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The Hardest Stunt To Pull Off In Avengers: Age Of Ultron


Here’s the set-up: Ultron has built an anti-gravity device under a city in the European nation Sokovia. He lifts the city into the sky, intending to smack it into the Earth like a meteor. The device’s control pillar is located in a church at the city’s center; if Ultron touches the controls, the city drops. The nine Avengers (the six originals plus Vision, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver) thus have to guard the pillar, standing around it in a circle.

Speaking to MovieWeb in 2015, Powell said the complexity of the scene (choreographing the action for all nine stars) made the sequence a challenge. “To do that with all of the major actors in one scene, was difficult, but you had to be on your toes that day,” he recalled.

Was that effort worth it? The sequence begins with a montage (really a cacophony) of extreme close-ups (rewatch above), showing one of the Avengers each destroying Ultron drones. It’s cut together carelessly, with little rhythm beyond the sound of smashing metal. Then, the scene transitions to the 360-degree pan as the music score swells, communicating that the Avengers are now working together as a team. And then it goes back to the same bumpy cutting.

When a comic artist illustrates a splash page, they have complete control; the entire image begins with their pencil and they can place each figure wherever they want. Just look at the concept art of the “Age of Ultron” final battle by artist Charlie Wen, which is much cleaner than the battle as filmed. Unlike a pen-and-paper artist, a filmmaker has to block tangible objects (and people) before a camera’s field of view. Both jobs take a lot of skill, but this is why, when it comes to showing complex superhero battles, comics remain the superior medium.

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