Taylor’s Video Review of Avengers Age of Ultron: Thoughts on Hawkeye as Odysseus

Joy and I saw the new Avengers Age of Ultron movie over the weekend and I was fascinated with the Hawkeye twist and how much he resembles Plato’s depiction of Odysseus in the Republic. Warning…I’m showing my nerd side.

hawkeye on farm

If you want to geek out by cross checking the Marvel Universe with ancient philosophy, then this new video is for you:

If you don’t see this video in your browser, please click here to watch it.

Here’s the audio only podcast version:

Question: Were there any other interesting subthemes that you enjoyed in this new movie? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Broken bose

    Hey Taylor,

    My friend and I were just debating the sub-themes of the movie when your blog post came up on it.

    When I saw the movie, I must admit I was disappointed, not the least of which because it seemed more often than not like a product full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, but also when it did signify something. Not knowing anything at all about Josh Whedon who wrote the script for the movie, upon leaving the the theater I thought I detected an anti-religious bias as well.

    Ultron uses the verse in Matthew 16:18 saying, “upon this rock I will build my Church” and if you noticed, Ultron says these words to Thor in a ruined Church. And then, in order to save the world from being destroyed, the ‘rock’ or ‘Petros’ must be destroyed by our heroes, the Avengers.

    If Whedon knew the end of the Matthean verses relating to the Church and Peter, then it’s no surprise that he knows what the ‘rock’ symbolizes at the beginning of these verses too –namely Peter and the Church.

    So I walked out telling all this to my friend, who thought I had gone slightly bonkers about a popcorn movie (and I still might be slightly nuts), and that I think Josh has got a problem with either the Catholic Church or religion in general.

    Turns out Josh Whedon is an atheist. And he’s said disparaging things about the Church and the Pope as well.

    So maybe I’m making a bigger deal than what’s really there, but maybe I’m not. Maybe Josh really is taking a little shot at us–and our ‘catholic rabbits’ (it’s in the movie).

    • Yeah I definitely picked up on Catholic rabbits. I don’t think the Mt reference has much behind it. Either way, the “rock” is evil here so it must be destroyed.

      If anything it’s an antichurch and not a condemnation of THE real Catholic Church.

      I didn’t like how Cpt America was being deflowered of his good boy reputation.

      • Broken bose

        Maybe so, but Ultron’s purpose was to ‘save’ the world. That’s why I’m still thinking that Josh is trying to let his thoughts be known about the Church. Either way, I’m a Geek for getting this far. My buddy says he’s going to see the movie again just to spite me. Josh isn’t directing the next movie… So maybe there is a God after all…

  • Darren

    This is irrelevant. But it would be really awesome if the 33 days devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary was year round, instead of for Advent only. Thanks for this AWESOME blog!

  • Marilyn McQuade

    Subthemes – how about “Beauty and the Beast”? (Is she nuts? Why not go after Captain America?)
    The pro-life message was surprisingly (and refreshingly) strong for a mainstream big-budget movie. Joy over the impending birth of a baby, bitterness over forced sterilization, resolute determination that not one civilian be harmed in a combat situation. Nice.

  • Kevin

    Hi, not to be a downer, but at what point do Christians say “no” to paying money to watch movies that broadcast sin for our entertainment? From what I gleam via a Christian review website, this movie contains swears, blasphemies, violence, and some sexual innuendo among other sins. Yes, there are movies with far worse content, and yes, I get that it is entertaining, but if Christ was here in the flesh would we feel comfortable bringing him with us to this movie?

    1 Cor 6:19-20
    Or know you not, that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God; and you are not your own?
    For you are bought with a great price. Glorify and bear God in your body.

    • All the same things are contained in Homer, Virgil, Chaucer, Shakespeare et al. I don’t think its a problem. I did take Christ with me to this movie.

  • Angela Holtorf McConnell

    I am in no way a critic…and truly no absolutely nothing about Avengers. What is the meaning of the Entity (don’t remember what it was called) calling himself “I am” and being able to lift Thor’s hammer…which only a worthy God can do. Just curious. I like your take on it and did definitely see that as well as the other things mentioned by Broken Bose

    • I did NOT like this. Clearly they were associating this character (The Vision) with God. Not cool.

      That being said, I think it’s amazing that a secular film like Avengers keeps returning to the treasure vault of Catholic imagery/language to find transcendental meaning for things.

      • Ken Vee

        My hunch is that The Vision is supposed to represent “science” as God. He is a new and higher being “created” by technology. When he picks up Thor’s Hammer he renders effortless something only the god could do previously. This new “man”. I believe we are meant to assume it is because he is “worthy”, as the legend of the hammer goes.. and the Vision is a great Avengers character. However, I think the veiled idea is that he is not just worthy, he is “better”…

        • Ken Vee

          PS- I agree with you, Dr Marshall; the gradual paring down of Captain America’s “old fashioned” decency in favor of some new and edgier type is unfortunate. Hasn’t he been a breath of fresh air?
          PS2- The actress playing Black Widow… is she coming out with a line of pro-choice T-Shirts?!
          Has anyone else heard that?

    • Broken bose

      I definitely picked up on The Vision calling himself, I Am, when one of the other Avengers asked him what they should call him. My buddy who sat through the movie with me, and who had to also sit through my fevered paranoia about the movie and its ‘other’ meaning, is Jewish. I commented to him that orthodox or conservative Jews might not have appreciated that little flourish from Whedon using the TNK (or John 8:58 for Christ) either.

      He had this bemused expression– basically giving me this, “superheros are not real” look.

      I know, I know. But I can’t think of why anyone like a director or writer would have a character in one of his movies refer to himself by the Sacred Name if they really respected what the name meant.

      It would have been a greater surprise to me if I had discovered Whedon was a co-religionist rather than an atheist. But it unfortunately seems more appropriate to me for an atheist to throw around sacred words and images for the sake of popcorn cinema. Just my humble, correct opinion.

      Oh, one more thing. I can’t help it.

      Did you notice that when the Hulk finally got to Ultron in one of the final scenes, that the last thing Ultron said was, “oh, for God’s sake!” before the Hulk threw him out of the back of the plane? I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean, but I know it was bad!

  • Darren

    This movie review is classic Taylor Marshall, especially the point when you say, “you’re life is glorious.”