What’s Right and What’s Wrong with the Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron
I was really glad to see the Vision included in Avengers: Age of Ultron. For me, the Vision always seemed like the defining member of the group, and arguably the coolest and most powerful. I mean, come on. The guy is a super-intelligent robot, he’s mega strong, he can fly, and he can control his density so he can phase through stuff. I was never a gigantic Avengers fan, but when I was a kid, in sixth grade maybe, I did have this Avengers folder that featured the Vision. In one panel he “only slightly solidifies his fist” inside a guy’s chest to take him down. Elegant, right?
Image via “BIG GLEE!” http://bigglee.blogspot.com/2010/02/1976-mead-avengers-and-captain-america.html
Anyway, here’s my take on the way the Vision was handled in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Some spoilers ahead, please be advised.
The rewritten origin makes sense. Mostly.
It makes sense, that is, with what Marvel has done so far with the other stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you’re not familiar with the original story, in the comics it was Hank Pym who created Ultron, and then Ultron created the Vision. When I heard that Marvel was going to make an Ant-Man movie, I kind of assumed that it was just so that they could introduce Hank Pym, so that they could then have him build Ultron. Instead, in this film Ultron is mostly the product of Tony Stark’s intellect, and to me, that still feels OK.
The part that feels kind of fuzzy for me is how Thor and the infinity stone that ends up on the Vision’s forehead are connected. Yeah, the Vision did always have a little blip up there. I believe he’s always blasted beams out of his eyes and not his forehead, but, well, close enough. Maybe this is a way that Joss Whedon could at once solidify relationships between the characters and also give the Vision an extra edge of magical power with which to overcome Ultron. I can accept it, but for me that part of the story doesn’t feel as fully realized.
He’s kind of purple.
The colors used for the Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron are a little weird and I’m not sure why. We see him both indoors in dark rooms, and outside in sunlight, and though the light has an effect each time, in neither case does he appear to be close to the classic green, red, gold. Instead he looks more like pinkish-purple and teal. Did they not want him to look too much like Iron Man? Just as an experiment, I messed with the coloring of this poster image in Photoshop. I think they could have stuck closer to the Vision’s original coloring and maybe whitened up his eyes a bit, and could have ended up with a look that was slick and also faithful to the original stories. I’m not a purist — I don’t mind when film adaptations alter details to make a story stronger or more interesting. I just like to understand why. I mean, if a sentient artificial intelligence was building the ultimate body for itself, it probably wouldn’t start with green and red and yellow. But it probably wouldn’t go fuschia and teal either. Just sayin’.
I wish they’d had him phase through some things.
Yeah, he jammed his fists through a couple of the Ultron robots, but it happened so fast that you barely notice. The density-shift is the one thing that the Vision can do that nobody else on the team can. It’s kind of his thing to just slide through walls or come up through the floor, I just expected to see more of that. Hopefully they’ll lean on that ability harder in the next Avengers film.
The Vision is an android.
I wish they’d had him act a little more robotic, at least in his posture or something. I’m not saying that I’d want him to have a monotone voice, or a stiff C-3PO walk. But he seemed a little too relaxed or casual. I always thought Paul Bettany’s performances as Jarvis struck an excellent balance, formal enough to believe that it could be coming from an artificial intelligence with a programmed wit, and just human enough to feel beyond any technology that’s available today. “In the flesh”, however, The Vision felt a little too much like a regular guy, I would have liked to see any human personality elements handled with a little more subtlety.
That’s it. It’s awesome to see the Vision on the big screen, and I hope we see a lot more of him. If you have any thoughts you’d like to share about The Vision, please leave a comment!