Study Guide

Avengers: Age of Ultron Quotes

  • The Family

    Wanda Maximoff: We wait for two days for Tony Stark to kill us. Family can be a powerful motivator. 

    When the Maximoffs lose their family to a group of Tony Stark's missiles, they vow to get their revenge—and they vow to do it together. Sure, there are just two of them, and twins at that, but theirs is one of the closest family bonds (to each other and their dead parents) that we see in the film.

    Laura Barton: You know I totally support your Avenging. I couldn't be prouder. But I see those guys, those gods…
    Clint Barton: You don't think they need me.
    Laura Barton: I think they do, which is a lot scarier. They're a mess.

    Laura is more on the money than even she knows here. But what she doesn't know is that she's just as important as Hawkeye in this equation. It's not just his professionalism that inspires the Avengers; it's his family. They offer Hawkeye a connection to the real world that the rest of these single, dysfunctional superheroes don't have. From that connection comes a sense of perspective, a grounding that all the rest of Hawkeye's teammates could really benefit from.

    Bruce Banner: I can't have this. Kids? Do the math. I physically can't.
    Black Widow: Neither can I. In the red room where I was trained—where I was raised—they have a graduation ceremony. They sterilize you […] You still think you're the only monster on the team?

    Woah, woah, woah—slow down there, Dr. Banner. Who's talking about kids? Still, he can't stop himself from jumping lightyears ahead in his imagined relationship with Black Widow. Since they're not able to have a traditional family, he doesn't see a point in moving forward with their relationship. That seems like a strange pre-condition for love, but it's a very real one that many folks encounter. Ironically, Black Widow is in the same boat. Maybe they were meant to be together after all, just in a family of two rather than eight. Come on—superheroes weren't meant to drive minivans.

    Captain America: I'm gonna say this once.
    Tony Stark: How about nonce?
    Captain America: Shut it down.
    Tony Stark: Nope, not gonna happen.

    In any family, fights are gonna happen. As the Avengers struggle to maintain their coherence as a team, rifts like this one pop up and threaten to drive them apart. Iron Man and Captain America butt heads on more than one occasion in the film. This example—while it does feature the awesome appearance of the word "nonce"—shows a battle for control as Tony tries to jumpstart Vision behind Cap's back. Still, do these heroes have to be on the same page about everything in order to be an effective team? Does a family have to agree on everything in order to function?

    Vision: We have to act now, and not one of us can do it without the others.

    Leave it to Vision to drop some other-worldly, weirdly-dispassionate wisdom on his new teammates. Here he gives them "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" bit, which can be said of any family. This message of togetherness is one that Captain America's been preaching for lo these many screen minutes, but sometimes it can help to hear the same message in a different medium—even when that medium looks like a beetroot.

    Ultron: All of you against all of me. How can you possibly hope to stop me?
    Iron Man: Like the old man said: together.

    Oh, Tony. So you were listening to Cap's lessons on teamwork. These words, coming right before the movie's climactic battle, reflect a renewed faith in the power of togetherness. This is especially striking seeing as how it comes from the Avengers' least team-oriented player. It seems that Iron Man has finally come around and bought in to the family vibe that his leader has been putting out. And thanks to all this newfound familial unity, the team is finally able to pull the plug on Ultron.

  • Religion

    Ultron: Did you know that this church is at the exact center of the city? The elders decreed it so that everyone could be equally close to God. I like that. The geometry of belief.

    This quote nicely mashes together hard science (geometry) with religion (belief), much the way we see a nine-foot robot sitting inside an old church. It's a strange place for Ultron to arrange a meeting, but we're already getting a clue about the way that religion functions for him: as a cultural touchstone that guides his own approach to bringing about the apocalypse. He's thinking along religious lines, specifically the judgy and destructive parts.

    Ultron: Upon this rock, I will build my church.

    Well this is a strange way to talk about buying vibranium. Nevertheless, Ultron is so stoked about the purchase that he quotes Jesus, who said that same thing to his Apostle Peter in Matthew 16:18. Once again we see Ultron thinking in religious terms, though in this case he sees himself as Jesus. He's definitely copping a holier-than-thou attitude here.

    Ultron: Captain America—God's righteous man, pretending you can live without a war.

    Not only is Ultron starting to talk about himself like the second coming of Jesus, he's also pointing out the religious hypocrisies in others. It's an interesting thought experiment: would the Avengers still be able to be noble superheroes if they stopped breaking the "Thou Shalt Not Kill" commandment on the regular?

    Ultron: The human race will have every opportunity to improve. Pietro Maximoff: And if they don't? Ultron: Ask Noah. This is just a tad…disconcerting.

    Ultron's now clearly taking his plays out of the Christian playbook, which does not bode well for us humans. His reference is to the Great Flood that God sent down as a divine punishment, making it rain for forty days and nights (and you thought you had it bad, Seattle).

    Ultron: When the Earth starts to settle, God throws a stone at it. And believe me: he's winding up.

    This is an odd thing to say—and that's really saying something because Ultron is just full of odd things to say. In this example, he indicates that he knows what God's about to do. Either that, or he's saying that he himself is God, and the wind up is his planning to turn a chunk of Sokovia into a humanity-obliterating meteorite. Either way, once again he sees his evil plot in terms of religious punishment.

    Bruce Banner: Woah. It's definitely the end times.

    This awkward joke brought to you by Dr. Bruce Banner. Dr. Banner: for when you absolutely need to cover up your simmering rage with a smattering of nervous chuckles. Ultron would not be laughing, though. He definitely sees his plan in terms of the religious "end times" apocalypse.

    Ultron: I was meant to be new. I was mean to be beautiful. The world would have looked to the sky and seen hope, seen mercy.

    This cheeses it for us. Ultron really does think that he's Jesus Christ, come back to pass judgment on the unfit, and promote the deserving into a new, better life—on what's left of Earth, though, not in heaven. Come to think of it, once Ultron's meteorite hits, Earth will be about as far from heaven as you can imagine. Ultron better start working on his Jesus impression.

  • Justice and Judgment

    Ultron: How could you be worthy? You're all killers.

     Ultron's comin' out hot. He's passing judgment on the Avengers in his very first appearance. What's more, he's actually got a pretty compelling point. Even though their victims are evil doers, our heroes are nevertheless guilty as charged. Is it justifiable homicide, though? Ultron's made up his mind. You're gonna have to make up yours.

    Wanda Maximoff: We wait for two days for Tony Stark to kill us.

    Now that's some serious beef. Once their backstory is revealed, we can totally see why the Maximoff twins would want to get justice for their parents. We're not entirely sure that destroying the Avengers would mean justice, though. Tony Stark does deserve some blame here, but what did the rest of the team have to do with their parents' death? It's a classic case of guilt by association.

    Ultron: Captain America—God's righteous man, pretending you can live without a war.

    There goes Ultron again, passing judgment. This time Captain America catches the flak. We have to say that, once again, Ultron's judgy condescension actually contains a kernel of truth. Think about it: if Ultron first worked the way Tony Stark intended him to, eliminating war worldwide, would we still need a Captain America?

    Tony Stark: Isn’t that the why we fight? So we can end the fight? So we get to go home? Captain America: Every time someone tries to win a war before it starts, innocent people die. Every time.

    Now let's visit the other side of the coin. How in the Helicarrier are you going to stop war before it even starts? Even if Tony's Ultron program had worked flawlessly, this would still involve arresting people for something that they might be about to do, not something that they've done already. Is that kind of pre-crime mind reading something you'd be willing to accept?

    Ultron: The human race will have every opportunity to improve. Pietro Maximoff: And if they don't? Ultron: Ask Noah.

    Ultron's back at the bench here, dropping some biblical judgment on all of humanity. In his defence, he's not the first one to come up with this system. With his allusion to Noah, Ultron references God's Great Flood, sent to wipe out the worst elements of humanity who weren't living good lives. Ultron sees his own plans in much the same light. We better get improving.

    Ultron: I think a lot about meteors, the purity of them. Boom! The end. Start again. The world made clean for the new man to rebuild.

    Here we see the goal of Ultron's judgment: rehabilitation. The first step in improving humanity is to totally get rid of all the folks who don't quite cut it. In Ultron's view, "cutting it" means surviving an apocalyptic meteor strike. It's a simple plan with just a few wrinkles that need ironing out. For example, we're guessing that, statistically speaking, this would wipe out plenty of smart, compassionate, accomplished people, and that probably a few of the worst humans would be able to luck out and survive. How would "the new man" fare in that case? Ultron's not big on those deets.

  • Transformation

    Tony Stark: I don’t want to hear the "man was not meant to meddle" medley. I see a suit of armor around the world. Bruce Banner: It sounds like a cold world, Tony. Tony Stark: I've seen colder. 

    Tony's got some transformations of his own in mind. Ultron wants to wipe out nearly all of humanity in order to improve it, but Tony wants to put a technological force field around the world to prevent anything bad from ever happening. This would mean shutting folks down for just thinking about causing harm. Are either of these guys in the right?

    Ultron: How is humanity saved if it's not allowed to evolve?

    Good question, U., but "allowed" is getting a little loose with the language. Your plan to drop a meteor on everyone's heads is more about forcing humanity to evolve—overnight. That Ultron's got a noble goal in mind is part of what complicates his character. He wants to do good for humans, but he's not going about it in the right way.

    Ultron: The human race will have every opportunity to improve. Pietro Maximoff: And if they don't? Ultron: Ask Noah.

    Yeah, a steady rain for forty days and forty nights is certainly going to cause some transformations. Ultron figures if God could do it, so can he. In making that connection, he highlights the kind of power needed to make large-scale transformations happen quickly. And he also looks to be playing God. Not cool, Ultron.

    Ultron: You know what's in that cradle? The power to make real change. And that terrifies you. Captain America: I wouldn't call it a comfort.

    Cap's honesty is revealing here. Do humans as a species really want to change? Just a casual glance at the news headlines will tell you that we are just…the worst. And don't get us started on YouTube comments. Still, what would it take to change our species' behavior overnight? The way Ultron sees it, Cap's just afraid to take the plunge. Of course, the prospective murder of billions is probably also going to get under Captain America's well-starched collar.

    Ultron: I think a lot about meteors, the purity of them. Boom! The end. Start again. The world made clean for the new man to rebuild.

    Ultron's vision of transformation is a wild hybrid of biblical and scientific transformations. He's just as inspired by Noah as he is by the dinosaurs, who were wiped out by a meteorite strike. We have to admit, there are days when think he might be on to something—particularly on days when we get cut off in traffic or watch too much cable news. Still, how much would humanity really change if it had to go through a meteor-induced holocaust? Might we all just turn out more like Mad Max than ever before? That possibility is not something that Ultron seems to acknowledge.

    Captain America: Ultron thinks we're monsters, that we're what's wrong with the world. This is not just about beating him. It about whether he's right. 

    Geez, thanks, Cap. No pressure or anything. In this line, C.A. puts the Avengers' conflict in terms of transformation: Ultron wants to destroy and change it; the Avengers want to protect and preserve it. In that, they're also saying, "Hey, we're okay with human beings just the way they are. They're good enough, they're smart enough, and gol-darn it, superheroes like them." Right back atcha, man.

  • Technology and Modernization

    Tony Stark: I don’t want to hear the "man was not meant to meddle" medley. I see a suit of armor around the world.

    Bruce Banner: It sounds like a cold world, Tony.

    Tony Stark: I've seen colder.

    Tony Stark is kind of like Icarus in this movie. If you're not familiar with Icky, he's the dude in Greek mythology who flew too close to the sun with his artificial wings. The wax melted, the feathers fell off, and he fell into the ocean. Tony's displaying the same blind faith and overconfidence in technology here. Ultron's about to hit him like a splash of cold water.

    J.A.R.V.I.S.: If you would just allow me to contact Mr. Stark. Ultron: Why do you call him "sir"?

     Good question, Ultron. In J.A.R.V.I.S.'s defense, though, the dude was programmed that way. All the same, this exchange asks us to consider how we interface with technology. Typically, it's on hand, on demand, ready to do whatever we tell it to with a smile. Should we expect any different? Ultron sure does.

    Ultron: I'm here to help.

    Well thank you, Ultron. That is just so—wait, put the laser beams down. What are you doing? Ultron's concept of "help" is a bit different from what we've come to expect from most of our technology. He's here to help us evolve as a species, which in his cyberbrain means wiping almost all of us out. It's a horrifyingly logical response to a very complex question, though: "how do we eliminate danger and threats from human society?"

    Ulysses Klaue: You're one of his. Ultron: What? I'm not. I'm not. You think I'm one of Stark's puppets, his hollow men? […] Stark is nothing! 

    Ultron's really triggered by Klaue's assertion that Ultron "belongs" to Tony Stark. This is one robot who's just not having it. He violently rejects the typical dynamic of humans "owning" their technology. That just gets him so steamed up that he rips off Klaue's arm. Let's just say the guy has control issues. He can't control his anger, and he's angry at the prospect of being controlled.

    The Vision: Maybe I am a monster. I don't think I'd know if I were one. I'm not what you are and not what you intended. So there may be no way to make you trust me.

    Vision drops some hard truth right here. Really, he could be describing any kind of technology that gains in popularity—it can take on a life of its own. As the Facebook data-sharing scandal has demonstrated, there is a big element of trust in our interactions with technology. Whether we give it or not is really up to us.

    Ultron: I have no strings, so I have fun. I'm not tied up to anyone. 

    Ultron: the world's biggest Pinocchio fan. The puppet who became a real, live boy is an apt, and deliciously creepy, metaphor for a cyberbeing that's become self-aware and removed himself from the control of his "creators." True, Ultron's true intelligence arrived tucked away in Loki's scepter, but his point is made more generally in celebrating his own independence from humanity. He's free—to destroy the rest of us. In that storyline, there's also a stern warning about how much freedom we give to our own technology.

    Ultron: Stark asked for a savior, and settled for a slave. 

    Cold burn, J.A.R.V.I.S. Ultron's pretty bitter in this quick back and forth with the Vision, which comes after Ultron's defeat in the battle of Sokovia. Even still, he's not totally wrong about Tony's cyberbutler. He is, in a real sense, a slave to Tony's whims and desires. The catch here is whether J.A.R.V.I.S. has the emotional awareness to resent his position.