All told, they did an exceptional job with the Ultron story. The effects were amazing; the story was extremely well thought-out. I loved the way they brought in a lot of characters from other films. I enjoyed almost everything about it, but there were a couple of things in the film that left a bad taste in my mouth for what would otherwise have been a great movie-going experience.
- The first word in the film is a swear word, spoken by a hero. The second word is to chastize the first, and hero who objects is mocked for it for the duration of the film.
I could have done without this, because it derides those who want to keep their talk clean - which most parents want their children to do. My opinion wouldn’t have been the same if this movie weren’t so obviously marketed for school-aged children.
- I’ve seen mention on at least one other blog of a “Catholic joke”; it was not so much a joke “just for Catholics” as a joke about Catholics, and I didn’t find it funny. I was offended.
Nick Fury makes a crack about the enemies multiplying “like Catholic rabbits.” This was really in poor taste on the part of the writers. No jokes have called out any particular religion so far, to start doing so under any circumstances is vastly inappropriate, especially in a movie they want me, as a Catholic, to allow my children to see.
Heroes do these things. While it isn't "okay" for villains to do things like this, heroes are held up as the gold standard for morality, and these kinds of things shouldn't make the list.
These knocked what I would otherwise have found to be a “great” movie down to just a “good” movie - and one that (if we decide to have it in our home at all) would probably be purchased second-hand instead of new.
On the whole, I agree that these things are relatively minor, but if we don’t speak up about this, now, we can count on future films (maybe Marvel movies, or maybe not) making jokes that are more offensive.
If you choose to see Age of Ultron, I think you'll enjoy it, but I wouldn't take the kids. Make sure that if you do see it, you write Disney a little note about the experience. Let them know that these kinds of jokes aren't funny - they undermine you as a parent, and they don't belong in a movie they're marketing to kids.
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You should also be aware, before you see the film, the villain makes a lot of biblical references in disdain. My husband, Daniel, who is a big comic book nerd, has informed me that this is faithful (in spirit) to canon.
Ultron despises the idea of God. He is filled with disdain for anything either mythological or divine; in fact, he wants to take God’s place. It is not a divergence from his character to manifest this disdain in the way he speaks by making Biblical references in an ironic or derogatory way. This is not especially bad behavior on the part of the writers, but I think the movie could have done as well if they'd used a lighter touch. (Daniel also has some pretty insightful things to say about the nature of Ultron as it relates to the nature of man, but I’ll leave that for another post.)