After reading this here on BoingBoing, and thinking it was a really good point… what I (apparently mistakenly) believed I saw happening in Age of Ultron was Whedon make Natasha Romanoff a more complex female character, and not just a one-dimensional “badass.”
As for the plausibility of these two characters finding a romantic relationship (and I wouldn’t even call it something so saccharine as romance), Whedon drew a very definite connection between them in the first film–Romanoff is the first one to contact Banner and bring him in to S.H.I.E.L.D., and later when all hell breaks loose, she tries to talk him down from transformation. For all the nuance these movies have, those are a couple of poignant scenes.
It’s not out of character; it shows the change in her character. Isn’t this obvious? Romanoff’s central emotional conflict, which audiences saw as early as Avengers: Assemble, is that she is haunted by the things she has done as an assassin and a spy. She fears that her training and all the killing she’s done has created a kind of permanent scar tissue around her inner self, so that not only can she not show her real self to others, but she herself may not even be sure who she is. Seeing Banner - as she puts it, a fighter who doesn’t want to win - be emotionally open and vulnerable allows her to finally be the same way, when she reveals to him that she’s been sterilized and how much that grieves her. They both want the same thing: A normal life with someone they love, and they’re both afraid they’ll never get it. She was drawn to him in the first scene they had together, when she recruited him. And when he burst out in Assemble about his suicide attempt, I think that’s when she really started to fall in love with him.
Yep, and that’s supported by the conversation she has with Steve Rogers in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, after they’ve stolen (ahem, “borrowed”) the car.
I don’t hate this relationship. In fact, I’ve actually been shipping this couple since the first Avengers. It made sense that Natasha would be drawn to the one person who frightened her the most (conquer the fear). I think she also has a strong need to be needed - any jerk with a dick desires her, but very few need her, certainly none need her as much as Banner does. Bruce would be drawn to the one woman he knew, deep down, could take care of herself even against him. The chemistry was there, the logic was there. WTF happened? Granted, Avengers is a classic ensemble, it’s not about just these two. But I got the “we go together” vibes from the first film (also not about just them). Same writers, same actors, same premise (more or less) - I’m at a loss how something so good in the first film could be so utterly botched in the second under roughly identical circumstances.
I enjoyed the film, to a point. But a lot of it just made me go “… huh?” This is just the most glaring example. It’s not the set up, it’s the execution.
Actually, Banner’s in some ways the most obvious choice, in that they have some fairly large things in common.
Natasha was turned into a human weapon, with the intention that she be a merciless killing machine. Though in his case it was an accident, Bruce is the only one who has something similar going on. The others all /can/ cause mass damage, kill, maim, etc. but only those two know what it’s like to have the option to /not/ use violence taken away from them. They both want to make up for things they’ve done in the past, and are worried about what they are, what they can do, and how easy it would be to just let go and go dark, given the right push.
For some reasons, most authors insist on cramming romance into otherwise good movies…
Yes. During the scene in which Romanoff first suggests they run away together, she tells him, “See? You’re not the only monster on the team.”
I don’t see it as “romance” with all the sugariness that term implies. They aren’t looking for a white wedding. This is just two broken people realizing they are dealing with the same sort of issue in life, have similar underlying wishes, and just kind of innately understand each other in a way that hasn’t happened with anyone else around them. It might be the beginnings of a love story, but that is NOT the same thing as a romance.
I think part of the problem is that we’re meant to understand a significant amount of time has passed between “The Winter Soldier” and the beginning of this film. The Avengers, as a team, have been going around the world taking out Hydra strongholds, probably for months. The origins of this new relationship between Bruce and Natasha have occurred off-screen, probably beginning with their first missions where they work together on bringing Bruce out of Hulk-mode. There’s the impression that he’s not quite aware of what her thoughts are on the matter, so the scene at the party seems very sudden and forward, but it’s probably been building toward that for awhile, this is just the first off-duty time they’ve really had to interact. Natasha chooses her moment and raises the possibility.
I think Shaddack was being sarcastic. This is a series of movies that features Steve Roger’s unfulfilled love affair with Peggy Carter in a big way, after all. He’s super strong but sensitive and she’s a badass. I see some parallels.
Bah, sorry… my sarcasm radar failed.
Not entirely, I’m afraid. More like having a quarter century of uninterrupted chain of failures, and not exactly happy about getting the same themes stepping on my toes wherever I look at. Not tumblr-soaked enough to be able to authoritatively call it a trigger, but it is not an exactly painless thing and the reminders are rather omnipresent. Hence the grumbly annoyedness…
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