THE AVENGERS: We're wiping out the last of Hydra, an organization which has been completely embedded in various levels of the US military-industrial complex for the past fifty years! That's totally a thing you can do in one ten-minute battle sequence Somewhere in Eastern Europia.
THOR: I'm real excited for this battle to be over with so I can get the Asgardian MacGuffin back and zoom on out of this movie and back to my own high fantasy adventures.
WANDA MAXIMOFF: Hey Tony I just ambiguously mind-whammied you to do ... a thing? To have PTSD? To be your worst self? I dunno, I did something, it's kind of unclear, but the plot of the movie rests on it! Have fun!
TONY: Hey Bruce wanna make a super-powerful artificial intelligence to keep peace on Earth without asking anybody else?
BRUCE: That sounds like an amazingly terrible idea.
[THIRTY SECONDS LATER]
BRUCE: I have no idea how you talked me into that amazingly terrible idea.
TONY: Me neither, buddy! :D Now let's go leave this experiment running and have a party.
RHODEY: Hey! I'm here! Mostly for a few jokes, but I'm here!
MARIA HILL: That's great, but why aren't any of the other women in the Marvel franchise at this party?
TONY: Pretty sure Marvel decided it couldn't afford them.
NATASHA: Hey Bruce did you get the memo about how we have a deep relationship and burgeoning tormented love?
BRUCE: Memo? What memo, I didn't get any memo! Who sent this memo, where did it come from, when did we even have time to hang out when I was living in Stark Tower and you were taking down SHIELD in DC --
NATASHA: Look, we established in Cap 2 that as an efficient operative I'm willing to occasionally take weird orders without questioning them. I GOT THE MEMO. WE HAVE A BURGEONING TORMENTED LOVE. THIS IS MY LIFE NOW.
BRUCE: I .... okay.
STEVE: So, hey, Bruce, you and Natasha! Super cute!
BRUCE: ... you also got the memo? Did everyone but me get the memo?
STEVE: What memo, the one about how massive militarized superhero enterprises are totally cool and not weird at all in a post-Cap 2 universe?
BRUCE: No, the one about how me and Nat apparently have a burgeoning tormented love.
STEVE: Oh, no, I just really respected Natasha's dedicated efforts to pair me up with someone last movie and felt like I should return the favor.
DR. CHO: I'm here, my specialty is regenerating skin cells, I'll probably be plot-important later, I guess.
FALCON: I'm also here to name-drop Operation Find Bucky but don't get your hopes up because I will not be plot-relevant later in the movie at all.
ULTRON: I am here and I killed Jarvis and I downloaded myself through the entire Internet and I'm controlling all electronics everywhere! It's a good thing I'm not gonna use this to do anything more subtle, sinister or all-encompassing than possess a bunch of giant robots! Could've really gone Skynet on you guys, LOL! Oh, also, I think superheroes are maybe bad for the world, like, did you see the massive property damage that happened at the end of Man of Steel? Intense, right? Oh, also also I'm also taking this Asgardian MacGuffin to piss off Thor.
THOR: GODDAMMIT NOW I HAVE TO STAY IN THIS MOVIE >:( >:( >:(
STEVE: Tony we are really disappointed in you for this really stupid decision that is probably going to cause major loss of life, but eh, now's not the time.
BRUCE: Is anyone disappointed in me for my part in this really stupid decision?
STEVE: Nah, feeling guilty for making bad decisions about militarized science is Tony's job.
NAT: Is anybody going to talk about Ultron's points about whether having an ultra-militarized unstoppable team causing massive property damage all over the place potentially causes more long-term worldwide harm than ... not having that team?
STEVE: Nah, we're not supposed to engage with that in this movie. I got a memo that says the important thing is that we're all in this together!
THOR: I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, I wasn't there and none of this is really a big deal to me because I'm literally an alien with no stake in your government, but didn't you and Tony each spend your last movies emphatically deciding to nope out of the US military-industrial complex --
THE MAXIMOFF TWINS: We hate Tony Stark for being an arms dealer and contributing to our tragic backstory!
ULTRON: I hate Tony Stark too because poorly-described robot daddy issues! Let's be friends!
THE MAXIMOFF TWINS: 'kay.
MARVEL: So FYI after blowing up New York in the last Avengers movie we've decided to outsource our property damage to foreign countries now so our US audience doesn't feel obliged to care. Let's all take a trip to Africa!
WANDA MAXIMOFF: Weird hallucinatory episodes for everyone!
THOR: I'm seeing the quest movie I could've gotten if I wasn't still stuck in this film, goddamnit!
NATASHA: I'm seeing a vision of what a Black Widow movie could have been like if Marvel ever got around to it. The unkindest cut of all. ;___;
STEVE: I'm seeing ... swing dancing! Awesome swing dancing. And Hayley Atwell is here! Best weird hallucinatory episode ever.
BRUCE: I'm seeing HUUUUUUULK
[A LONG AND DEPRESSING FIGHT SCENE ENSUES]
TONY: Well, 60% of this city is destroyed now and millions of harmless people are traumatized and probably suffering from long-term lung damage, entirely due to our own fuckups. Specifically, mine and Bruce's fuckups. Partly also Wanda's fuckups I guess.
BRUCE: So is now the time to talk about the ethical considerations surrounding the Avengers initiative and whether we should consider disbanding --
TONY: No, no, it's cool, I've got my private foundation in here to do some disaster relief work! IT'S FINE. EVERYTHING'S FINE.
MARIA HILL: FYI, the entire global press pretty much is having a field day tearing you apart right now. It's OK, this will never be mentioned again.
HAWKEYE: HEY GUYS guess what I am IN this movie and I am NOT brainwashed and I get to even make some QUIPS now we're all going to go meet my ADORABLE PREGNANT WIFE AND CHILDREN at our FARMHOUSE in the COUNTRY! :D
NATASHA: Hi kids, great to see you again! :D
STEVE: ... so, um, this is very nice! What does your life do for a living, Hawkeye?
HAWKEYE: ... she's pregnant? There might be farming? IDK, I'm only here like a fraction of the time, we mentioned her name, I don't know what else you want from me.
TONY: Was that a Matt Fraction pun, because I don't appreciate the reference to the more beloved version of Hawkeye you might have been.
THOR: Oh my god, I'm so tired of this movie, I'm just going to go find my own epic fantasy quest film. OK? OK LATER LOSERS.
BRUCE: Sooooo Nat I know we got that memo and all but given all the massive damage to life and limb that happened in the last scene I'm thinking maybe I am not really an asset to this whole Avengers Initiative and I ...
NATASHA: Bruce! Remember we have a burgeoning tormented love!
BRUCE: ... and I, um, I'm a monster and we can never have a family or kids like Hawkeye apparently has ...? It's -- am I doing it right? Is this the kind of tragic you meant?
NATASHA: Bruce! I was sterilized in the Red Room! I'm a monster too! Let's run away together!
BRUCE: ... really? Because, a.) that's -- a very weird and somewhat unfortunate comparison to make, and b.) that's really not what I thought we were getting out of your flashback sequence at all, and --
NATASHA: Look, Bruce, being an Avenger means sticking to the mission and I GOT A MEMO.
THOR, NOW IN AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MOVIE: I must seek out the magical waters of thingummy to interpret my vision of whosamawatchit and save Asgard from destruction!
STELLAN SKARSGARD: I'm not entirely sure why I'm here to be your sidekick for this instead of Natalie Portman, but sure, OK.
THOR, NOW IN AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MOVIE: Pretty sure Marvel decided it couldn't afford her.
ULTRON: I've decided I want to grow an android body!
DR. CHO: Told you I was going to be plot-relevant later! Quick question: why do you want to grow and inhabit an android body instead of just taking over the entire internet and all connected systems and thereby exerting an instant chokehold on the Earth? Like, we've all seen Terminator.
ULTRON: I dunno, having an android body and blowing stuff up just sounds like more fun.
WANDA MAXIMOFF: Now that you're half-downloaded into the android body I can read your mind and, oops, you're genocidal! Pietro, we're switching sides!
PIETRO MAXIMOFF: OK, sure! I guess our motivations were never that clearly sketched out anyway!
[ANOTHER LONG FIGHT SCENE ENSUES]
TONY: Hey, check it, we captured Ultron's not-actually-Ultron-yet android body in progress!
BRUCE: ... cool?
TONY: You know what this means? >:D
TONY: We can make another super-powerful artificial intelligence to keep peace on Earth without asking anybody else!
BRUCE: That sounds like an even worse idea now than it did the first time you proposed it, when it led to massive global destruction!
[THIRTY SECONDS LATER]
BRUCE: I have no idea how you talked me into that truly astoundingly terrible idea.
STEVE: Seriously! What the hell, Tony?
TONY: It's a GREAT idea and I will PUNCH you if you DON'T SEE THAT IT'S BRILLIANT.
STEVE: Well ... maybe me and my new buddies the Maximoffs will punch YOU, how about that?
BRUCE: ... so I'll just stand awkwardly to one side during this fight scene, twiddling my thumbs like I had nothing to do with this operation whatsoever, shall I? :D
THOR, RETURNING FROM HIS ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MOVIE: FRIENDS GUESS WHAT I went on a QUEST and had a VISION and there was MAGIC WATER and anyway on this highly unspecific vision quest I learned that this super-powerful artificial intelligence is actually gonna be a pretty cool dude! Played by Paul Bettany!
THOR: Come on, we all loved A Knight's Tale, right? No way Paul Bettany could ever be evil!
PAUL BETTANY!BOT: Well, I was sort of evil in The Da Vinci Code.
THOR: Tormented! You were tormented. Anyway, we'd all rather not speak of that movie.
PAUL BETTANY!BOT: Anyway fortunately for all you guys I am so not evil I can casually lift Thor's hammer! Let's go save the day! All ... ten of us? Are there ten of us now? That seems like a lot.
STEVE: Only nine? The original six plus you plus the Maximoffs? I think only nine.
TONY: Actually I only count eight.
HAWKEYE: ... wait, where's Natasha?
NATASHA, HANGING OUT IN PRISON WITH ULTRON: So ... um ... any particular reason for kidnapping me?
ULTRON: Hey, you're a damsel, you're in distress, Bruce can bust you out and it'll be romantic or something, right?
NATASHA: Oh, good, you got the memo!
MARVEL: Just in case you US viewers were worried, this battle sequence takes place in Eastern Europia! No massive property damage and loss of life in the States, don't worry! You don't have to care at all!
STEVE: But because we are the AVENGERS and WAY MORE RESPONSIBLE than those jerks in Man of Steel we will certainly rescue every single person who is seen in peril on the screen! The ones who are presumably in all the cars and buildings collapsing offscreen are on their own.
BRUCE: Natasha! I've saved you! Let's run away together! Is this what the memo says I'm supposed to be doing because I'm still not sure --
NATASHA: It is, but ... now that push comes to shove, turns out I do still have my underlying characterization as a loyal and deeply pragmatic and dedicated operative, so ... ... SO sorry to push you off a cliff and force you to Hulk out, Bruce! I realize it's a BETRAYAL of our LOVE, but it's for the greater good!
RHODEY: HEY I'm here to rescue some civilians!
NICK FURY: And I!
MARIA HILL: And I!
THAT ONE BRAVE NERDY GUY FROM WINTER SOLDIER: And I! Man, remember that last, much better movie we were all in? Moment of silence for that film, y'all.
[ROBOT BATTLE ENSUES]
ULTRON: I mean, I guess at this point I could just connect to the Internet and go full Skynet --
PAUL BETTANY!BOT: I cut off all your connections to the Internet forever!
ULTRON: Ah, well. Missed opportunity.
[ROBOT BATTLE ENSUES]
PIETRO MAXIMOFF: Well, someone has to die tragically in this film and I guess I'm it. Goodbye, cruel world!
[ROBOT BATTLE ENSUES FOREVER]
PAUL BETTANY!BOT: It's cool, y'all, I stopped Ultron! We're good! -- how many of us are there supposed to be now?
STEVE: Eight? All nine minus Pietro? I think eight.
TONY: Actually I only count seven.
HAWKEYE: ... wait, where's Bruce?
NATASHA: He decided to nope out of the Avengers. Too bad about our TRAGIC LOVE!
HAWKEYE: Oh, well, in that case, can I nope out too?
THOR: Oh my God, I've been waiting FOREVER to leave this movie! Later y'all!
TONY: Given that this entire movie was my fault, I guess ... I probably should nope out too ... before anyone attempts to impose any actual consequences for my poor decisions ...
STEVE: Yeah, that seems like a good call.
NATASHA: OK, so who's left?
STEVE: Well, there's you, me, Paul Bettany!bot, Wanda, and then I called in Falcon and Rhodey, with Dr. Cho and Stellan Skarsgaard to do science stuff now that both our science guys are gone? Does that sound like an OK Avengers lineup?
NATASHA: ... actually that sounds like an awesome Avengers lineup.
STEVE: Doesn't it, though? I mean, except for the part where we're basically rebuilding SHIELD, which at the end of Cap 2 we all agreed was a terrible idea. But other than that.
NATASHA: Well, yeah, sure, other than that.
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