-Tony Stark, Avengers: Age of Ultron
My sisters may have counted the days until we assembled to see Avengers: Age of Ultron, and I must say that I felt pretty excited about it too, but the story went much beyond what I expected. However much I do judge a movie by the trailer, we really can't do that anymore (Maleficent, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Big Hero 6 all didn't have trailers that did them justice in my opinion), so forget whatever first impressions you made of this movie and hear the three things that made it stand out to me this morning.
(Disclaimer: This post contains no spoilers, but it does discuss general themes.)
1. The characters. By now, Marvel fans have spent quite a bit of time getting to know these characters (I mean, Iron Man has three movies!), but this movie took their complexities to another level. It explored Banner's unwillingness to see himself as anything but a monster, Romanoff's doubts of her own character, and Stark's fear of not being enough. But Barton stole the show this time, a nice change. Because how does someone fairly regular (and by regular I mean someone not genetically modified, of a different race, or otherwise enhanced and "super") fit in with a team of gods, geniuses, and superhumans?
2. The action. Marvel knows how to do this. From beginning to end, the Avengers tear up bad-guys, ruins cities, and otherwise cause explosives and showy effects everywhere they go, but for a girl who doesn't like too much action (or at least, unrealistic action), this didn't bother me in Age of Ultron. The battle scenes, although anything but realistic, didn't feel forced or stretched. Also, the characters really focused on civilian casualties in this movie (more so than any other Marvel movie) and did everything they could to protect the civilians, not just defeat the villain. And with character growth and humor thrown in all throughout, the fight scenes didn't tire me out or bore me. In fact, I appreciated the action more in the sequel than in the original! Marvel knows how to raise the stakes and make every scene build upon the previous one (and every movie build upon the previous movie for that matter), something that kept me glued to the screen.
3. The Thought-provoking Themes. As the quote from Tony Stark stated in the beginning of this post said, the movie played upon the idea that we must be the strongest in order to win. Characters abandoned convictions and even logic in pursuit of guaranteed safety and peace, but that ended up not working out as expected. Ultron, the villain in the movie, believed the idea that humans aren't enough, that he needed to start over with something more powerful and more able. His idea of peace looked like this: "I know you're good people. I know you mean well. But you just didn't think it through. There is only one path to peace... your extinction."
And, in a way, we can think along these lines as well. We can think that it's up to use to save the world, to save ourselves. And again and again we realize that we just can't do it. The odds are stacked against us, but we don't even need an outside force to destroy us, because we can do that all by ourselves. By our sin, we kill ourselves to the beauty God intended for us, and when we look up in the entanglement of strings around us, we like to think that if we were stronger, faster, smarter, or better, then maybe we could get ourselves out of this mess. We just have to try harder and then things will turn out in the end, right?
We killed ourselves. And I only know one being capable of coming back from the dead based on sheer goodness and strength, Jesus. Tony speaks the truth when he says that "In a world this vulnerable, we need something more powerful than any of us." But we don't need "something", not better lives or prettier bodies. Not advanced machinery like the movie or even loving relationships can bring our deadness into life. No, we need a "someone" to save us, someone more powerful than anything on this earth.
We need Jesus.
And Jesus came. He saved the day! He brought us life that will never go away. He brings peace beyond what we can comprehend. He is enough, even when we fail again and again. He gives grace to us and loves us, knowing that we can't do it. Jesus knows! He knows that we couldn't do this life, and that's why He came to do it for us. What love and power!
I hope that you want to rush and see Avengers: Age of Ultron now, but even more than that, I pray that you remember that we do need Someone more powerful than any of us, we need Jesus! Comment below your thoughts on the movie or the Marvel franchise in general! Have a joyful weekend!