What is it with writers and a drink? Does it make them better? Or does it just feel like that? I ask because I was going to see Avengers: Age of Ultron movie with a friend last night, and realized that if I was going to sit through it again, I definitely needed a drink. Not that I didn’t like it, but I had some quibbles with it when I originally saw it. But then, half way through the movie, and after a whiskey neat (or two),I decided to share my movie thoughts on Facebook, as you do.
Well, one of those thoughts was the following “Drunken thoughts while watching Avengers Age of Ultron : There is a strong Frankenstein parallel /vibe to this movie.” Now, blinking in the light of day, I find that I was challenged to support that drunken remark. With friends like mine be careful of what you speak 🙂
So here is my quick comparison of the two and the similarities I could see…
Tony Starks pursuit of dangerous knowledge is not unlike Dr. Frankenstein’s – regardless of the possible good intentions of perusing this knowledge and endeavor. This pursuit of knowledge ends up proving dangerous and their creations (the Monster and Ultron) end up as key players in cicrumstances that could destroy everything they hold dear. For Frankenstein it is his family, and his reputation, for Stark, the very world that he was trying to protect. Their hubris and the idea that they can, and not if they should, is what puts them in this position. Did we learn nothing from this novel and from the follies of JURASSIC PARK???
Secrecy – this is a major theme for both as well. Tony pursues this in secret with the help of Banner, knowing that the rest of the Avengers would be upset by this line of thinking. Both he and Frankenstein are intrigued by the secrecy and the undiscovered and unknown posibilites in science, and what they could do with it. And at times, what they can do is needed to be guarded and kept secret because if it gets out then who knows what consequences may come from it.
In the book Walton is Frankenstein’s foil, as he has a role that runs parallel to the Doctor, but one where they form a friendship of sorts, have similar drives and goals, but where he ultimately makes a different decision than Frankenstein. You could argue that Captain America fills this role for Stark, as Cap is someone who fights the good fight courageously and regardless of danger, but also heeds the stretch of ambition, whether it be scientific or not. Not to say that Stark is not courageous, just that his drive is different and therefore highlighted by Cap, which is ultimately the role of a foil in any story. To be fair, a lot fo Tony’s courage comes from his hubris, but thats an entirely differtn comparission for him and Cap.
Monstrosity – Ultron is not happy with what he is or who he is, he is always trying to evolve into something better. Indeed, other than being born with the mind of a newborn like the creation in the book who eventually can articulate his story, Ultron is born as his own eloquent narrator and with witty repartee. Ultron’s lofty ideals conceal the deep understanding that he is fighting to make the world a better place, and to quote another Whedon character, a “There’s no place for me there… any more than there is for you… I’m a monster. What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done.” Bonus points if you can tell me the character and what that’s from.
This is also reflected in the secondary (and in my opinion silly) story with The Hulk and Black Widow. They are both haunted by the choices or events that have shaped them, and where they can live and learn with who they are. Victor fights with the monster within himself, often becoming depressed or moody, as he realizes that his creation will haunt him wherever he goes, as the Hulk also struggles with the duality of his nature and the fact that he will never be able to control both of this. His emotions are his weakness, and this falls in line with the sublime nature of an unrestrained emotional experience that was typical and embraced by Romanticism.
I could even go into the motifs of the ability to create life (both an independent life with skills and the act of procreation), and passive women in circumstances beyond their control by a society set in keeping them in their place, specifically in the case of Black Widow. But I won’t
Hopefully some of that makes some semblance of sense. Is this is an obvious theme and I’m just really slow at catching on? Disagree with this entirely? Was I watching a different movie than everyone else? Feel free to tell me so in the comments section!
Is there such a thing as “method writing” instead of “method acting?” Maybe another whiskey neat would help me get back into that head space…
One of my other thoughts during the movies was “If Thor was replaced with an upside down mop nothing would fundamentally change.” And I am prepared to defend that as well if need be 🙂