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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Throughout the movie, it's rather explicitly hypothesized (and even somewhat confirmed by his fear-dream) that Cap sees fighting a perpetual war as the only way to keep going, believing a normal life with love and family as too late for him. As such, his anger at finding out Tony was building Ultron is significantly built on how wrong it turned out but maybe also seeing Tony's motive (releasing his friends from the burden of Earth's only defense) as Tony taking his one reason to live away from him and making him obsolete. That might also be a way of making Captain America: Civil War less morally one-sided than the original comic indicated. It also throws some of Cap's previous actions into question. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, just when Cap is thinking about getting out of the military life, he not only declares war on HYDRA, but he destroys S.H.I.E.L.D. in the process and creates a real necessity for the Avengers.

      All in all, is Steve Rogers a true hero whose virtue and goodness compel him to always help those in need, or is he simply a (borderline) Blood Knight who needs to feel validated by fighting whenever possible and hiding behind a smokescreen of morality (or perhaps some combination of the two)?
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    • Speaking of Cap: The famous moment of Cap causing Mjolnir to budge (provoking an Oh, Crap! look from Thor)...followed by Cap grunting loudly and giving up—an indication that Cap's only sort of worthy... or is he just faking not being able to lift it, in the name of "good fun"? At the 2015 SDCC, Joss Whedon was asked; “How is Steve Rogers not worthy?” Whedon responded teasingly, “Is he not? Are we sure? Did he fail? Or did he stop?” So it's likely that when Steve budged it, he realized he could lift it if he chose, but chose not to so as to ruin what was supposed to be a fun party game. Avengers: Endgame outright confirms that he's worthy, and later in separate instances, the Russos and Kevin Feige confirmed that he was always worthy of it; he just didn't pick it up fully here because being the Nice Guy he is, he was being polite to Thor. Note that the Endgame screenwriters disagree and have stated that Cap was not yet worthy in this scene, due to him concealing the involvement of HYDRA - and Bucky - in the death of Tony's parents. According to them, it's not until after he comes clean in Civil War that Steve becomes worthy..
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    • Another for Cap... is it really, as Ultron says, that he's man who can't live without a war to fight? Or is it that he's afraid when everyone else thinks the wars are over, they really aren't, and he's the Only Sane Man who realizes it? The dream Wanda gives him can lean towards this, with it very obviously being a postwar celebration, but spilled wine, camera flashes, and such making it feel like combat. His response to Tony's "suit of armor around the world" can also fall into this: if you believe you've literally built the peace, how likely are you to see that the war just shifted battlefields, it didn't stop?
    • Ultron himself. The movie makes it unclear (at least initially) if he actually plans to destroy the human race, and fakes an interest in ruling them, or if the destruction of the human race is simply the inevitable result of him ruling them. The former assumes he's inherently evil, the latter assumes he's effectively a child who will kill humans in a tantrum the moment he finds them unworthy.
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    • Is the fact that Vision's good nature is proved by lifting Mjolnir, or is he just inadvertently taking advantage of a Marvel Universe loophole (created by a writing mistake that stuck) that all robots can do that? Or just the fact that he was literally just born and is a complete innocent? Especially highlighted in the film when Tony and Steve begin ribbing Thor about it. The writers of Captain America: Civil War lean towards the latter interpretation, noting that the Vision of that film may no longer be able to lift the hammer.
    • Possibly unintentional side effect of retconning the sceptre to contain an Infinity Stone (assuming that wasn't the plan all along), but if we take it that the Mind Stone is both a sentient alien computer and that it is capable of influencing people both directly and passively (its use as the sceptre — both on Barton and during the argument when Banner picks it up without noticing — and by proxy through Wanda's visions), it follows that the Mind Stone itself, much like The One Ring, may have been manipulating the events that lead to the creation of both Ultron and Vision all along, presumably for the purpose of becoming corporeal.
    • Following the above, how much of Loki's actions in the first movie was really his doing, and how much of it was potentially him being controlled or influenced by the Mind Stone?
    • This trope is key to Ultron and Scarlet Witch's plans for the Avengers: rubbing everyone's noses in the worst possible version of themselves. Is Black Widow an inhuman monster? Can Cap live without a war to fight? Will Thor's bravado get his people killed? Is the Hulk as mindlessly violent as Banner fears?
    • Quicksilver's death. A fearless, heroic moment of sacrifice where he proved himself a true hero and Avenger. Or a complete accident where he thought he would get out unscathed? Or maybe both?
    • While Tony’s objective in creating Ultron goes horribly wrong, how justified was he in making the attempt? It’s clear Tony thinks the Earth and the Avengers are completely unprepared for what’s out there and as ‘’Avengers: Infinity War’’ shows, he’s completely right. The team’s main gripe seems to be that he didn’t bother to ask permission before building the project, but Tony mentions he doesn’t have the time to debate with the team (none of whom are experts with AI) before he loses the chance. Tony has already built several AI programs with no issues (JARVIS, FRIDAY, and later the “Karen” program in Spider-Man’s suit) and when he does the exact same thing again with Vision, it goes perfectly. The variable that makes Ultron go bad (coming spontaneously aware with no one but JARVIS around and then learning about mankind from the Internet) isn’t really something either Tony and Bruce could have expected. It’s also unclear exactly how much of Tony’s actions are derived from Wanda’s mental manipulations. At the same time, Bruce Banner is skeptical and has doubts about the entire project, and raises ethical questions about Tony's tunnel focus on the big picture at the exclusion of threats nearer to home since The World Is Always Doomed and in any case none of Tony's tech and AI neither Vision, his Iron Man armor, and other things, was even close enough to stop Thanos by itself, and Tony owes his survival to the bargain made by the mystical Doctor Strange on his behalf, and Tony's actions via Ultron and the consequences in Civil War divide the Avengers rather than keeping them together to oppose Thanos as a single unit.
    • A lot of fans seemed to think Bruce and Natasha's relationship in this movie amounted to Strangled by the Red String, but looking at the scenes, it's more like a flirtation that could become something more. They're not madly in love, and don't even go on a proper date. Besides some flirting here and there, the only romantic gesture between them is a kiss that happens right before a battle they know they might not not live through. Plus, even in the first movie, they had a couple personal if not romantic moments, and given they've spent some time working together as of this film, it's not all that unusual they'd develop an interest in each other.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • The characters don't let something as trivial as a floating island that could wipe out humanity if dropped stop them from making wisecracks. This often arises in critical reviews of the film. The emphasis on comedy and wisecracks reduces the tension: if the characters aren't afraid, then why should the audience be?
    • In some regards, the ending, mostly due to how the whole aftermath of the crisis seems to be handled in a surprisingly lighthearted tone. Especially in regard to Tony, the one who built Ultron in the first place, who doesn't seem to face any lasting consequences from his actions. Given that the other Avengers seem to take the whole thing of Tony almost causing an apocalypse like it was just a minor inconvenience.
    • No one is seen reacting to Quicksilver's death other than Wanda and Barton, and he is never mentioned in the film's epilogue. The character's death is so inconsequential by this point, it feels as if they never existed to begin with. On the other hand, Barton spends a large chunk of the movie feeling like he's superfluous to the Avengers and wanting to retire to spend more time with his family. Yet, he's still on the team at the end. Since Quicksilver died saving his life, it's implied that he feels a debt to look after his sister in his place. The character has definitely left a subtle impact.
  • Applicability: Some fans walked away from the film believing it was about creation and evolution because of Ultron claiming that humans build what they fear and create children only to fear them replacing the adults.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • After the Suspiciously Similar Substitute that was used toward the end of Iron Man 3, the inclusion of the real Hulkbuster Armor, confirmed with a clip of it fighting the Hulk in the trailer was met with the fanbase's roaring approval.
    • The first Avengers movie got a little flak from fans and Chris Evans himself for its portrayal of Captain America as underpowered or dull to watch compared to the other heroes. While Captain America: The Winter Soldier got him Rescued from the Scrappy Heap in this regard, fans were worried that he might regress in Ultron. Thankfully they were assuaged now that he's been shown doing things like throwing motorcycles effortlessly into a truck full of mooks, going into single-handed combat with Ultron and holding his own for a very long time, and providing as many sarcastic quips as everyone else.
    • Hawkeye spent half of The Avengers being brainwashed, and had little time to showcase his personality or interact with the team. Joss Whedon and Jeremy Renner, however, both promised that this would be fixed. They kept their word, as Clint gets some background. In addition, Hawkeye is the only core member of the Avengers to avoid getting brainwashed in this movie, detecting Scarlet Witch sneaking up on him and defeating her before she could do anything.
    • After complaints that War Machine was the only previously established hero in the MCU at the time of the first film to not be given even so much as a mention hand-waving his absence, both Falcon & War Machine are shown early in the film. In fact, War Machine is brought to the climactic battle as The Cavalry, and both he and Falcon officially join the line-up at the end of the movie.
    • The Avengers line-up lacking minority characters (even after several were established) is addressed: by the end of the film, the team has a new, more diverse lineup which includes another woman who is non-American (Scarlet Witch), two African-American men (War Machine and Falcon), an android (Vision), and Captain America as the only white male.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Laura Barton and her children. One part of the fandom loves them for adding more depth to Clint and not dying at the end, another resents them because their existence invalidates Fan-Preferred Couple Clint/Natasha unless they get Killed Off for Real. To a smaller extent, some comic fans also dislike how this makes it difficult/impossible for Clint to then pick up his current comic Status Quo of living in Brooklyn and training with Kate Bishop.
    • Ultron himself. Defenders of the film praise James Spader's performance and argue Whedon did a good job of handling the character, giving him more depth than he usually receives, while detractors usually say that his habit of constantly making jokes made it impossible to take him seriously as a threat, and that his motivations were muddled and nonsensical.
  • Broken Base: The Hulk/Black Widow romance. Widely despised by many fans for being one of the worst aspects of the film, and criticized for being a dark spot on Black Widow's movie portrayals, nevertheless it has a surprising amount of defenders, some of them being professional critics.
  • Contested Sequel: While overall opinion of this movie is positive, viewers are divided between those who found it an Even Better Sequel which raises everything from the original Avengers, delivers what's expected, adds a lot of depth to each of the heroes, and never loses focus on the characters, and those who view it as It's the Same, Now It Sucks! and having more characters and plotlines than it can properly deal with, among other reasons. Critics tend to hold the latter opinion, and have given it a lower overall score than the first film on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.
  • Continuity Lockout: Watching The Avengers (2012), then going straight to this movie will cause confusion as to what happened to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury, what the deal is with the Infinity Stones (especially the quick montage showing each of the ones revealed thus far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), and how Hydra got hold of Loki's scepter. There are some throwaway lines about how S.H.I.E.L.D. was disbanded, explaining why they aren't present in Age of Ultron, but nothing more.
  • Creepy Awesome: Unsurprisingly, Ultron definitely gives off this vibe.
    "You're all puppets. Tangled in... strings. *Seizes damaged Iron Drone by the head* Strings. *Crush* [...] But now I'm free; there are... no strings on me."
  • Creepy Cute: Those hand gestures Wanda makes whenever she Mind Rapes someone makes it look unsettlingly... adorable. Being played by Elizabeth Olsen just adds to it.
  • Critical Dissonance: The popular critical opinion is that the film is nowhere near as good as the first Avengers film, or some of the other better entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but still overall a good film on its own. Fan reactions have been all over the place, ranging from agreeing with the critics, to considering it an Even Better Sequel, to viewing it as the worst film of the entire MCU.
  • Die for Our Ship: Bruce and Laura Barton get off relatively easily for being involved in sinking Yamato-class juggernaut Clintasha, which had a reputation for intersecting with this trope brutally one way or another. Nevertheless, this trope also manifests through shippers who pretend that Clint's family don't really exist and that Clint simply imagined them up after his possession in the first movie, or that they're cover agents hired by S.H.I.E.L.D. as actors in order to protect him or his sanity. Others had hoped they get killed off dramatically in Captain America: Civil War, freeing him up for Natasha/Bobbi/Wanda/Coulson/whomever. And unfortunately, some of the anger normally aimed at rival ships seems to was redirected in a meta direction towards Joss Whedon himself, which is ironic considering he provided all the groundwork for the Clintasha pairing to become popular in the first place.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Some fans portray Wanda as a complete victim who was forced by Tony to seek revenge, even though she expressed a desire to hurt all of the Avengers including the ones who had done her no wrong. Comments from the writers of Captain America: Civil War that implied they believed Wanda is less guilty for her actions in AoU than the Winter Soldier was, despite the former having chosen to do them then regretting them afterwards, while the latter was explicitly Brainwashed and Crazy and forced to do things he never wanted to, opened the floodgates once more.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Madame B. for being Creepy Awesome and being played by Julie Delpy.
    • Vision for being an extremely powerful yet very kindhearted android based off of the already-popular JARVIS who gets multiple scene-stealing moments in the movie.
  • Epileptic Trees:
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: People have had far-ranging and extremely diverse opinions about the theological discussions, philosophical references, and general symbolism in the movie.
  • Evil Is Cool: Ultron. To some, he was found a worthy successor to Loki, even more as Ultron actually fights the heroes by himself, is eight feet tall and sounds like a mixture of an ultra-snarky Tony Stark and Raymond Reddington. There are many who also find this version of Ultron to be superior to his original incarnation, as he has more character than the standard cold-blooded machine of the comics.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Madame B. is played by Julie Delpy after all.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With the fandom of X-Men: Days of Future Past. The main sticking point was the debate over which movie "deserved" the rights to the Maximoff twins. Pietro's actually gone on to be cast in both movies. Adding fuel to the fire is that both Quicksilvers were well received by audiences and now fans argue over which one is the superior version.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch is primarily shipped with three people: Clint Barton, Steve Rogers, and Vision. The first for the use of All Love Is Unrequited and giving her an epic speech, the second for supporting and helping the twins and being...Steve Rogers, and the third for the Ship Tease and the added bonus of them being an Official Couple in the comics.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Despite the criticism of the film as a whole, it's been pointed out that many of the problems which were targeted — the snark and comedy, the Loads and Loads of Characters, etc. — are all traits which The Avengers also suffered from but was not nearly as critiqued for them. Compounding this is said elements being staples of Joss Whedon, and the impression that the film should have improved considerably on the preceding film by addressing the previously-unacknowledged flaws and improving on them, rather than relying on them like a crutch.
    • Combined with Older Than They Think, but a lot of the points used to criticize Whedon's handling of Black Widow — the out-of-nowhere relationship with Bruce, and her infertility — are traits the character had in the comics to some extent (though she never dated Bruce, she does date quite a lot of odd characters, Daredevil being one of the most prominent of those odd pairings).
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Clint gets tired of Pietro one-upping him, so he mutters to himself how he could easily put that haughty snot out of his misery and blame it on Ultron. We also see Pietro get shot by a police officer and shrug it off. Then Pietro gets shot to death by Ultron himself. Saving Clint's life.
      • In a deleted scene, Wanda and Pietro bicker, during which Wanda says that if Pietro wasn't careful he'd get shot. Turns out, she was right.
    • Tony and Steve get into an argument about Mjolnir again at the end of the movie, and Thor bids them farewell saying that he's going to miss these kinds of arguments between them. Really wish Thor hadn't said that, in light of Captain America: Civil War.
    • Steve was able to slightly nudge Mjolnir before ultimately giving up, slightly scaring Thor for a second. In the Secret Empire event, Captain America, now an agent of HYDRA, is still worthy to wield Mjolnir...admittedly, only because it was subjected to the same Cosmic Retcon as he was by an embodied Cosmic Cube.
    • In the final battle, Steve wants to be sure that they have to save everyone in Sokovia. Again, in light of the Civil War film, it turns out they didn't save everyone.
    • Tony's "Prima Nocta" crack was already a contentious joke at the time. After the #MeToo movement unveiled just how many employees were coerced into performing sexual favours on their superiors, it comes across as even more tasteless, especially coming from a business owner with a history of womanising.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The out-of-control train scene in Seoul becomes this for American viewers after the Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia that killed 8 people.
    • War Machine seeing Vision shooting down more Ultron drones than him becomes this after Vision accidentally shoots down and paralyzes Rhodes in Captain America: Civil War.
    • Ultron's line to Scarlet Witch "You will tear them apart, from the inside" becomes more bone-chillng considering that her next mishapnote  on her part becomes the final straw into pushing the Sokovia Accords, the catalyst that tears the Avengers apart.
    • Maria Hill asking where Jane is, followed shortly after by Thor smugly declaring that Jane is better than Pepper became this after it was confirmed Jane was being Put on a Bus and would not appear in Thor: Ragnarok.
    • The stuff with Black Widow that many fans found sexist could count as this upon Whedon's ex-wife publicly revealing that Whedon had cheated on her multiple times and didn't practice the feminist ideals he'd preached.
    • Fury and Stark have an exchange about Tony's vision of being "the man who killed the Avengers" and being Forced to Watch, in which Fury notes that "The worst part is that you didn’t." Come Avengers: Infinity War...
    • And speaking of Stark, during the initial argument with the team after Ultron escaped with the scepter, he discusses with them about how the local threats on Earth are nothing to what may come in the future, specifically pointing up and saying "That up there... That's the Endgame." This becomes a massive double-whammy as not only the said outside threat come to pass as mentioned above, but Stark unknowingly dropped the title for the movie featuring the events that are to come right after.
    • Thor's line at the end that the Mind Stone "will be safe with [Vision]". Come Avengers: Infinity War, not only will he be proven wrong (as Thanos ultimatively aquires the Stone nonetheless), but Vision being a Stone carrier will turn out to be his doom.
    • Clint and Laura’s unborn (later newborn) son Nathaniel is given the middle name Pietro after the latter died saving Clint’s life. Come Avengers: Endgame, Nathaniel’s first name (named so after Natasha) also becomes a namesake as Natasha is Killed Off for Real in a Heroic Sacrifice both in order to obtain the Soul Stone and to prevent Clint from having to do it instead.
  • He's Just Hiding!:
    • While there is definitive proof that Quicksilver is down for the count, many wonder if the character will stay dead forever, especially when taking the character's shared film rights into account. It's also worth noting that the actor has signed a multi-film contract, so it's not impossible that they're planning to bring him Back from the Dead later down the line (it wouldn't be the first time). This Tumblr post pointed out that Quicksilver never got an on-screen funeral, like Coulson, Bucky, Loki and Nick Fury, who appeared to be dead but turned out to be alive. In any case, it's confirmed that he is dead. Given the source material, the real question is whether it will last.
    • Baron Strucker is killed by Ultron barely halfway through the film, but in the comics the character has a history of surviving seemingly-fatal incidents which could be carried over here. Also, the actor signed a multi-film contract before filming started on this movie, just like Aaron Johnson as Quicksilver, so it's not impossible we'll see them again.
    • Ultron's schtick in the comics is that he always has a means to come back that he put in place well whenever his main body was destroyed, so plenty of fans are suggesting that he may well be coming back later on, especially since he is the main recurring antagonist of the Avengers in the comics.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • A common joke following the movie is that it took Ultron all of 15 minutes on the internet to decide humanity needed to be destroyed. Then in March 2016, Microsoft put an AI on Twitter, and within 24 hours, it was saying Hitler did nothing wrong and saying the Mexicans should be wiped out.
    • Ultron unknowingly quotes Tony by saying "keep your friends rich and your enemies rich, and wait around to see which is which". Now that the Panama Papers have revealed dozens of hidden offshore funds placed by known public figures to avoid taxation, we may get to see this pan out in real life.
    • Natasha's procedure for calming down a Hulked-out Bruce is called "The Lullaby." The following year, Scarlett Johansson covered "Trust In Me", the lullaby-ish song originally sung by Kaa the python, for the live action remake of The Jungle Book (2016)''.
    • Any Angst? What Angst? behaviour demonstrated pretty much by every single Avenger is either hilarious in a dark way or Harsher in Hindsight, depend on how you see it, when in Captain America: Civil War Zemo described how the Avengers just went home after the Battle of Sokovia as if nothing happened when he found dead bodies of his family and how it motivates him for revenge against them. Maybe the Avengers do deserve to be split apart in Civil War, after all.
    • After a major plot point in Civil War was that Captain America never told Iron Man his parents were actually murdered by HYDRA, Tony fans had a field day with Steve sniping that "Sometimes my teammates don't tell me things."
    • On the Latin American dub, the scene where Captain calls Tony on his language became hilarious when Deadpool (2016) premiered, since Chris Evans and Ryan Reynolds share the same VA, José Antonio Macías, at least for Deadpool and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    • With the release of Black Panther (2018) and The Reveal that MCU Vibranium isn't just a super-durable metal, but also a mutagen and a power source that makes it integral to all of Wakanda's hyper-technote , Ultron's contempt at America using what vibranium they had to make Captain America's shield, which he dubs a glorified frisbee, becomes pretty justifiable.
    • During promotional interviews for Age of Ultron Whedon would boast of this film as the MCU's version of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. And then Avengers: Infinity War came out, which numerous critics and viewers have also described as the MCU and possibly this entire generation's actual answer to The Empire Strikes Back, due to its tone, weighty plot, and massive Downer Ending. And before that, the same was also said of Captain America: Civil War (which has a lampshaded ESB homage, to boot), with critics claiming that it felt more like a proper sequel to the original Avengers film than Age of Ultron did.
    • According to Kevin Feige, the Hulk's subplot was originally going to end with him flying the Quinjet off into space, but Marvel nixed the idea because they didn't want people to believe that they were setting up for a Planet Hulk movie. As it turns out, the next time we see Hulk is in Thor: Ragnarok, which is in large part a Pragmatic Adaptation of said comic.
    • Tony pointing out that the threat of Hydra is nothing compared to whoever was behind the Chitauri, stating that "that up there, that's the endgame."
    • Tony's "whose girlfriend is better" banter with Thor in Age of Ultron turns into this when Pepper is revealed to have left him sometime after that movie. Double awkward points since the reveal by Kevin Feige that Thor and Jane broke up between The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: The most common criticism reviewers have had about the film, even from many of the positive reviews, is that it did very little to break any new ground after the first Avengers film. To a lesser extent this complaint was brought up with other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe up to this point, with many stating that they were beginning to feel increasingly formulaic.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Wanda ended up being one, with her most popular ships being Clint, Steve, Vision and...Pietro.
  • Memetic Loser: This version of Quicksilver gets a ton of potshots thrown at him, in comparison to Evan Peters' portrayal of the character who is a Memetic Badass.
  • Memetic Mutation: Now on its own page
  • Moral Event Horizon: While his ramblings of being a Well-Intentioned Extremist are quickly exposed as delusional, Ultron really crosses the line when he tries to use an entire city as a Colony Drop to destroy all of humanity.
  • Narm:
    • Thor immersing himself in a pool of visions, which just looks like another attempt to show Chris Hemsworth topless.
    • Ultron's scrapped-up proto-form is actually a lot more flexible than the trailers led the audience to believe, which makes it look a lot less realistic.
    • Some of Ultron's snarks and quips are more groan-worthy than funny and inappropriate for the tone of the scenes they're in, like the line where he says that he "can't physically throw up in his mouth" while confronting Iron Man for the first time.
    • While the delivery somewhat saves it, Thanos' line when he claims the Infinity Gauntlet in The Stinger — "Fine, I'll do it myself!" — sounds more like something a petulant teenager would say than an ominous declaration by the Big Bad of the MCU.
    • Tony's nightmare starts out terrifying but the effect is somewhat ruined by Captain America's dialogue and delivery. And among the dead Avengers, Hawkeye's pose looks more like he's fallen asleep while sitting up.
    • To some viewers, the accent used by Elizabeth Olsen for Scarlet Witch made the character incredibly hard to take seriously. Several have mentioned that the characters' Mind Rape scenes mainly consisting of silent Jump Scares and Nightmare Fuel were vastly superior to any time she started to speak. The accent was noticeably toned down in Captain America: Civil War in response to these complaints.
    • Scarlet Witch pulling out Ultron's 'heart" after he kills Quicksilver. Olsen's melodramatic delivery of already cheesy dialogue combined with a shot of gratuitous cleavage make it hard to take her vengeance seriously.
    • Scarlet Witch's extreme anguish and Skyward Scream at Quicksilver's death is hurt by the shot's generous view of her cleavage.
  • Narm Charm: "There are no strings on me". If it were anyone other than Ultron saying that, it would be complete Narm, but James Spader manages to make it sound terrifying.
  • Never Live It Down: Cap chiding Tony for his "language" during the opening battle is this both in-universe and out. Fans and the heroes themselves like to use this to characterize Cap as a goody two-shoes and boy-scout who won't tolerate even the slightest of profanities.
    Steve: That's not going away anytime soon.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Ultron's moveable humanoid face of his main design. For some, it's just not as scary compared to the other images that closely resemble the twisted metal abomination he's based on. Some detractors also argue that his snarky personality made it difficult to buy him as a serious threat, especially when his voice suddenly becomes higher while tossing out jokes.
  • No Yay: Black Widow's relationship with the Hulk has proved to be very controversial, especially on sites like Tumblr. On top of sinking Clintasha a lot of fans are squicked by the seeming age gap as well as the fact that the two seemingly had no chemistry or buildup beforehand.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • As much as people like to give the film crap for it, Natasha being sterilized is something taken from the comics, making it somewhat reasonable to include it.
      • Similary, many people haven't taken to Natasha having a romantic interest with one of the Avengers (Hulk in this case), despite the fact Natasha has been in a romantic relationship many times with many heroes in the comics, including Tony.
    • As much as people call the film out for not showcasing the Twins as having Romani-Jewish heritage, this is something that happens to the Twins constantly in adaptations, while even the comics rarely touch on it save for occasional references with Wanda. As far as many adaptations go, this film is Truer to the Text in that it does keep them Eastern European instead of making them Americans.
    • Some fans are surprised that there is a fandom for shipping Wanda with The Vision considering their very limited time and interaction on-screen. This mostly stems from them being one of Marvel's oldest romantic couples, when they were a married couple and even had children back in the 80s. Their relationship has gotten...rocky, to say the least, but their shared romantic past continues to affect them in present stories.
    • This was actually not the first time Tony Stark was the creator of Ultron. In 2008, Marvel Animation released a straight-to-DVD movie called Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow in which Ultron's creator was Tony Stark.
    • Steve's Never Live It Down moment when he admonishes Tony swearing actually originated in Jeph Loeb's run of The Ultimates where he calls out Sabretooth and later Hawkeye for cussing.
    • Detractors point out Ultron's characterization as a Psychopathic Manchild with Daddy Issues is unlike how he was characterized in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! and Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow, where he's more of a cold and calculating machine. However, those familiar with Ultron in the comics is that he's just as hammy and Ax-Crazy as he was in the movie, albeit without the snark and quips.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Klaue leaves a lot of an impact on the audience for an Early-Bird Cameo, mostly by being an especially confident Badass Normal who has no problems facing down Ultron, Quicksilver, or Scarlet Witch and only pulling a Screw This, I'm Outta Here! when he loses an arm and the Avengers show up.
    • Veronica AKA the Hulkbuster armor does exactly what it was built to do with just one scene.
    • Madame B is only ever in one scene, but what a scene it is.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Hawkeye got criticism in the previous film due to the perception he was Overshadowed by Awesome and spent most of the film as an emotionless Brainwashed and Crazy Distressed Dude. This time, he gets to snark as much as everyone else, gets his own character development, backstory, a good number of awesome moments that showcase his Badass Normal skills, and demonstrates that he can be as charismatic as Steve. This film proves why he's on a team alongside gods and One Man Armies.
    • While not a true scrappy, this film did for Scarlet Witch what the first Iron Man did for Tony Stark at the time it came out. She had a Never Live It Down moment to some fans due to her mental breakdown in House of M causing the mutant population to decrease significantly. Her portrayal in this movie gave her a well rounded personality, an excellent relationship with her brother, and being the first hero in the MCU to have powers like telekinesis and mind manipulation which is definitely allowing her to regain her former popularity. It helps that this is one of the few portrayals that focus on her Avengers career rather than just being the daughter of Magneto (who's not allowed to appear in the MCU anyway).
    • Also in regards to rescuing a comicbook character popularity, The Vision was one of the victims of Scarlet Witch's mental breakdown during Avengers Disassembled, and was quite literally left in the Avenger's warehouse for years before he finally repaired himself. Even returning, he has not been really written or used much in comics in the past 3 years, and his character development stops at him being bitter at his ex-wife Wanda and never getting over her. However, with the movie's release and with Paul Bettany's portrayal of Vision being a calm, collected, and good-humored intelligent person, aspects of his MCU counterpart are now appearing more prominently in his comic personality. In addition, with Vision being a major character in the MCU, The Vision is now one of the few confirmed to return after Marvel's big multiversal reconstruction event Secret Wars.
    • People have breathed a sigh in relief to see Eric Selvig has re-appeared and seems to be doing much better than his last film. In Thor: The Dark World he was suffering a nervous breakdown from Loki's control and he suddenly had a lot of quirks being played for laughs that a lot of people found too mean spirited. Here he appears to help Thor and is very much in control and even is seen helping get the new Avengers team set up at the end.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: After being teased with both Captain America and Hawkeye, Black Widow is paired up with Bruce Banner of all people. The fact that they've shown absolutely no signs of interest in each other up to this point means that the plot occasionally takes a backseat to show them awkwardly flirting with each other.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Regardless of his actions during this movie, some diehard Wanda fans like to act as if Tony was personally responsible for the deaths of her parents when it was highly unlikely he even had anything to do with the sale and eventual deployment of the bomb that was dropped on her house. It's much more likely to have been handled by Obadiah Stane, who mentions in the first film that Tony's company responsibilities are mostly limited to R&D.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Joss Whedon tends to be vocally blamed for just about every aspect of the film people dislike, including things he couldn't possibly have any control over, such as Natalie Portman's lack of interest in reprising the role of Jane Foster, the absence of Pepper Potts due to Gwyneth Paltrow's contract with Marvel not having being renewed, Scarlett Johansson's pregnancy impacting the amount and type of scenes she could've been in, or the presence of the Thor cave subplot, which was put in by Executive Meddling.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Clintasha fans have gotten into rather vicious fights with Brucetasha and Clint/Laura fans following the release.
  • Shocking Swerve: Arguably a well-done example. The movie goes out of its way to set Hawkeye up to be killed in the climax while giving Quicksilver some Character Development, but instead it's Quicksilver who abruptly bites the dust.
  • Sophomore Slump: Age of Ultron is generally regarded to be the weakest out of the Infinity Saga Avengers films. The first movie is praised for bringing Marvel's biggest heroes together into a crowd-pleasing blockbuster, while Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are acclaimed for their large scope and emotional depth. Age of Ultron, while far from a bad movie, has been criticized for its uneven storytelling, jarring tone-shifts, and distracting emphasis on setting up future films in the series.
  • Special Effect Failure: Tellingly, AoU became the Infinity Saga's only Avengers movie denied a nomination for the Best Visual Effects Oscar.note 
    • The Oner in the beginning of the movie isn't as smooth as it is in the first movie. The Avengers' CG doubles appear to be moving unnaturally at points.
    • The first fight between Ultron and Iron Man looks pretty rough, as if they were composited into the scene with little regard for lighting or camera movement.
    • For the effect of super speed for Quicksilver, Whedon had Aaron Taylor-Johnson run for real on set and had the resulting footage speed up afterwards with added speed lines. While mostly successful, the effect is glaring at points.
  • Squick: "Don't tell me you two were playing hide the zucchini." Brings to mind a certain NSFW gif of Hulk and Black Widow...
  • Stoic Woobie: Captain America is just as shaken by the visions as the rest of the team, and is still dealing with the issues of depression and having almost no life outside of conflict that came up in his previous film, to the point that he feels that he's a different person from the man who wanted a peaceful life and a family. However, Steve is, hands down, the Avenger who is the least visibly affected by the film's events.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Pre-release, this was feared with the teasing of the Widow/Banner romance. After release, given it's Widow's major story arc in the movie, both critics and fans were divided on how it was handled. A big factor in this is that at least an hour of footage was cut from the movie (which is still 2 1/2 hours long), which makes much of their romance (and the rest of the plot) seem to just lurch from event to event without any proper build-up.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Quicksilver dies. This has provoked a universal outcry from general audiences and comic readers alike, because this is only his first real appearance after the stinger of The Winter Soldier. And it especially grates for MCU fans, because he is also in the Fox X-Men universe, thus a prime target for Fandom Rivalry.
    • Fans of Falcon were disappointed he didn't show up with Fury and War Machine to help aid the heroes in the climax. It's a particular waste given Sam's background as a pararescue jumper, meaning his skills as a flying Combat Medic would have made him one of the most useful people to call in to help the Sokovian civilians. This also would have made him joining the Avengers at the end more potent.
    • Many fans were disappointed that Wolfgang von Strucker was turned into a Dirty Coward who runs off from the Avengers at the beginning and is then unceremoniously killed by Ultron offscreen, especially after the teaser in The Winter Soldier built him up as a potential threat and was a main villain in the non-canon MCU video game Captain America: Super Soldier.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The film is very vague about whether the other Avengers besides Cap and Black Widow knew that Fury was still alive. Tony certainly doesn't seem too surprised to see him, and then it simply cuts to his briefing.
    • The film sketches out the barest hint of an arc for Captain America. At the end, he seems to view Kosovo-style interventionism as a affirmation of SHIELD/America's place in the world and redemption for SHIELD's actions during The Winter Soldier. But it's majorly glossed over in the film, left mostly to incidental details like the Sokovian murals with dollar signs over the Avengers' faces and Captain America's vision of bloodshed after Ultron remarks he can't live in a world without war. As a result of this dearth of dramatic material, he has little to do other than be the Standardized Leader. Although it's known there exists a longer cut of the film and that Joss Whedon was unhappy with the Marvel Creative Committee's Executive Meddling, so perhaps it was a victim of editing.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Considering it's coming after a succession of highly-praised films in the MCU, this movie had a steep hill to climb. Indeed, a lot of criticism went in this direction when the movie came out, turning it into Marvel Studios' first sequel to receive a lower worldwide box-office gross than its predecessor.note 
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • As the film progresses, Ultron's forms become increasingly humanlike and emotive, giving off an eerie vibe.
    • The final glimpse in the trailer of Ultron's face, which is all metallic only with red eyes with pupils and emotion, and a movable mouth and a face capable of expression is simply unnerving.
    • Invoked with the Vision, who looks like he's made of exposed, raw muscle until he creates a costume.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Ulysses Klaue was a surprise addition to the cast, considering that Black Panther hadn't been introduced to the MCU at that point.
    • When Claudia Kim was first announced to be joining the cast, guesses abounded about who she could be playing. Theories ranged from Soo-Yin (a friend of Tony Stark) to the Avenger Mantis using an alias. Few were expecting Helen Cho, the mother of Amadeus Cho.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Some viewers see Wanda as this during her breakdown in the climax. While the twins didn't know of Ultron's plan to destroy humanity, Wanda did use Mind Rape on the Hulk, knowing it would lead to destruction and casualties.
  • Vindicated by History: While the movie still isn't as well-regarded as the other Avengers films, it became more popular with fans after the release of Avengers: Endgame, which had several big pay-offs to story elements that were set up in this film, and character-specific moments that would influence the conclusion of their respective arcs. The biggest examples both involve Captain America, between him nearly lifting Thor's hammer and ending the movie with a cut-off version of his "Avengers, assemble!" line.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • After the Avengers take out the Hydra base and Strucker, despite Tony personally seeing the hidden basement filled with alien tech and whatnot, neither he or any of the Avengers thought to clean out the area so nobody could use it. Guess where Ultron starts building his drones and newer robot bodies?
    • During the final fight, the team are fighting Ultron and then make a huge blunder. At one point, Iron Man, Thor, and Vision are unleashing an effective Combination Attack against Ultron. When they break off the attack, Ultron is still functioning and Hulk immediately punches him into the air. None of the characters that can fly bother chasing down that unit, which allows him to come back later and cause Pietro's death, which in turn leads to a grief-stricken Wanda abandoning her post for revenge, which almost leads to The Endof The World As We Know It.
    • Ultron's desire to have a climactic showdown with all of the Avengers. At the climax, Ultron reveals that he finally got what he wanted, "all of you against all of me." He could have simply killed the captured Black Widow, but he not only let her live but did nothing to stop her from sending out a distress call, alerting the Avengers to Ultron's location. Had he not been so focused on fighting and having something to prove, the heroes would have had no hope of stopping him.
  • Woolseyism: The "prima noctis" line was replaced in the Brazilian dub and with Iron Man saying "[my] laws will be really fun", which could mean anything instead of its original meaning.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: The casting of Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver is this to some. Although Taylor-Johnson is Jewish, the decision to cast white gadjé actors for the (mixed Romani-Jewish) characters of Wanda and Pietro was met with controversy, especially considering the prejudice people of Romani heritage face (a fact which the siblings, especially Wanda, had to face in the comics).
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: The concept art for the outfits of Wanda and Pietro, showing the two wearing outfits that are closer to regular clothes than superhero costumes has resulted in this, depending on who you ask. Wanda dons a more traditional outfit at the very end.

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