All right, it’s Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron opening weekend, a lot of us have seen the movie already. Some of us haven’t, so before you read any further, dear reader, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.
Has everyone cleared the room that doesn’t want to be spoiled? Good.
Editor’s Note: This piece comes to us from longtime Marvel fan and sometimes Aggressive contributor well known cosplayer Tallest Silver.
It should come to no surprise that a Joss Whedon movie has a death in it. We can all count the times he has killed beloved characters. This time, however, it felt extremely forced and completely unnecessary. More to the point, it doesn’t even make sense in the context of the film. And no, this is not because I am a scorned Maximoff fan (but I totally am).
Quicksilver, Pietro Maximoff (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) was the victim this time around. He had hardly the time to become a beloved favorite straight man like our dearly departed (and then reinstated) Agent Phil Coulson. Age of Ultron was a vague origin story for our Maximoff twins, Wanda and Pietro, so we were just introduced to them. In fact, they barely dabbled being villains before turning to the Avenging side.
Yes, fans of the comics were excited to see them on the big screen. Even fans of Days of Future Past with their “Peter” Maximoff (who acted more like Pietro’s nephew Tommy Shepherd more than the hot tempered impatient Quicksilver) were interested in seeing this studio’s take on the character. So they were a high draw. (ANOTHER GIRL IN THE AVENGERS?? WHAA?) However, just as we get to know and love the twins, half of the equation was taken away.
The scene is a young boy is going to be left of the floating, crumbling city of Transi-I mean, Sokovia, with precious little time to save him. Hawkeye darts from the rescue ships to save the screaming child, knowing inevitably he will most likely die in the attempt. A barrage of bullets and then- it’s Quicksilver in front of Hawkeye and the boy, blood oozing from his bullet riddled body. “You didn’t see that coming?”
Well, no. Here’s why.
In film, one of the most important ways of story telling is “Show, not tell.” This gives the audience a better understanding of the rules of this little world you’ve created, the guidelines on how things work, and it gives viewers a chance to interrupt their own perception of what’s happening. Overall, better art. This, like many modern movies, breaks that and breaks the rules it previously establishes (The Star Wars prequels are a huge offender in this).
Pietro had already established he is faster than bullets. We’ve seen this on three occasions. First, was the scene with Ulysses Klaue where he plucked a bullet from the air. He was so fast, he grabbed a close range bullet like it was a leaf fluttering slowly. Second, a bullet moving the slow speed that Pietro sees the world, appears from underneath him in a comical fashion, only for him to fall through the shattered glass from which it came. The audience is shown how slowly even bullets move for this speedster. Pretty easily avoided. Thirdly, he does get knicked with a bullet while in Sokovia, but he actually just brushes it off with a WTF-face and is only mildly offended.
So how could he have been killed by bullets when we, as the audience, have been shown numerous times that they are easily avoided for him and if he isn’t paying attention, they’re a minor inconvenience?
I don’t buy it. He was fridged to give the Scarlet Witch twin-angst and although that worked and my girl was a boss, it was completely unnecessary for him to die. I don’t believe he’s dead at all. Which goes along with Marvel’s trigger happy murder plots only for those characters to not actually be dead. Any and all gravity of a character is lost because we know they’ll come back.
In the words of Captain America, “You get killed, walk it off.” #WalkItOff #PietroLives
P.S. How many times has Wanda Maximoff killed people and then brought them back? I MEAN REALLY? SHE DOES IT ALL THE TIME. Hawkeye is a prime example of that!