May 1st marks the official five-year anniversary of Avengers: Age of Ultron's release in theatres. The movie wasn't the most well-received in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, earning a 75% critics score and an 83% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. While that's certainly not a terrible rating, many people do consider it a lesser MCU movie. That being said, there are some of us who love the second Avengers film. In fact, the release of Ultron is what turned me from an average fan to a full-blown MCU superfan. Before the movie came out, I always struggled to choose a favorite MCU hero. I enjoyed all of the characters and actors, but I didn't become fully hooked until Ultron introduced Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). Not only does the addition of Scarlet Witch make me an Ultron apologist, but I strongly believe the entire MCU improved because of it.
Not only was it a relief to get another woman in the Avengers (we love you, Black Widow, but we needed more!), but it was pretty awesome watching a woman with Wanda's powers on the big screen. When she was on Ultron's side, she managed to take down all of the Avengers (the most powerful beings on Earth!) in one fell swoop. We'd seen women like Black Widow and Gamora be fierce warriors, but at that point, no woman had packed that kind of punch in the MCU.
It's hard not to be enamored by Wanda throughout the course of Ultron. In a movie that's overloaded with characters, her arc feels the most fleshed out. Throughout the course of one film, she goes from loathing the Avengers to working alongside them in a way that doesn't feel rushed or forced. You understand why she initially teamed up with Ultron, and you recognize early on that she's not actually a villain. Once she switches sides, her scene with Hawkeye is wildly humanizing. You truly believe you're watching a scared kid, and it's uplifting to watch her make the choice to be brave after Hawkeye's adorable pep talk. At that moment, she becomes an Avenger, and whether or not you dislike Age of Ultron, it's a pivotal moment that changed the way some of us viewed the franchise. She's an empowering figure and a beacon of hope for people who have experienced trauma.
Since Ultron, Wanda has only grown as a character and many people agree that she's one of the best parts of the MCU. With WandaVision set to hit Disney+ at the end of the year (hopefully) and her upcoming role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it's safe to say it's an exciting time to be a Wanda Maximoff stan. Avengers: Age of Ultron may not be the best movie in the MCU, but it paved the way for an exciting Wanda-filled future.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is now streaming on Disney+.
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