Avengers: Age of Ultron, also known as Avengers: Not Anyone's Favorite, has famously been criticized for spending its runtime setting up a half-dozen other films and kind of ignoring itself as a singular work. It's also, more recently, had its reputation burnished slightly by people pointing out all the good things it accidentally did, too. We're not going to talk about either of those things here.

Instead, today, let's discuss the fact that Age of Ultron is fundamentally the exact same movie as 1990's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel Studios

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, New Line Cinema

Or do you think it’s just a coincidence that both posters feature the heroes and the title prominently?

Both movies start with our titular team of heroes being all hero-y and really feeling themselves. They beat some forgettable and generic bad guys and celebrate this arguably routine success with take-out: Chinese food for the Avengers and, of course, pizza for the Turtles.

Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel Studios

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, New Line Cinema

If you can legally call Domino's pizza, that is.

But then! Our heroes find themselves in the crosshairs of a new and unexpected enemy – an enemy who, coincidentally, is shiny and silver in both movies. Our previously triumphant heroes get their asses beat like Sean Connery's reputation and henceforth retreat to a secret farm that one of their non-superpowered members just happens to have – along with, in Hawkeye's case, an entire secret family – despite never mentioning it before.

Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel Studios

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, New Line Cinema

There, at the farm, the brash, hot-headed one argues with the born leader. Also, there's some flirting between teammates – Natasha/Bruce for Earth's Mightiest Heroes and April/Casey Jones for New York City Sewers' Greatest.

This is when the wise, physically scarred mentor – one a spy missing an eye, the other a rat missing an ear – shows up to give our team of heroes some much-needed advice about being both teams and heroes. Inspired, they come up with a plan to go after the Big Bad and his nearly infinite team of identical-looking foot soldiers – but not before rescuing one of their own (Natasha/Splinter) from some henchmen.

Speaking of henchmen, in a shocking and unexpected twist that just happens to occur in both of these movies, the only lackeys with actual names and histories have defected to the good guys' side! That's right: Wanda/Pietro and Danny, the upper-class street urchin, aren't evil anymore! But that's not all: the mentor figure from earlier shows up in a borderline deus ex machina to help save the day.

And then it's finale time: both Avengers: Age of Ultron and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles end with our heroes finally confronting the villain in an all-out brawl (with, of course, plentiful slow-mo and tight-knit choreography) that they still almost lose, until they remember to use teamwork.

There's also a very conveniently placed vehicle (a Helicarrier and a garbage truck, respectively), things falling from the sky (Sokovia and Shredder), and the Big Bad seemingly obliterated permanently and forever, even though Shredder and Ultron are both huge deals in the comics and we all know their deaths aren't going to stick

Literally, the only difference between the two movies is that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles didn't chicken out and deny its romantic interests their happily ever after. Whereas Age of Ultron sent the Hulk packing in the world's tiniest-looking Quinjet, leaving Black Widow to stand around looking sad, April O'Neil and her hyperviolent brute Casey Jones got to get together after all.

Then again, Casey wasn't hired back for Secret of the Ooze, so maybe not. Doomed romances (that our heroes mostly seem to forget about by the time a later sequel gets nards-deep into time travel) for everyone! And roll credits.

Eirik Gumeny is the author of the Exponential Apocalypse series, a five-book saga of slacker superheroes, fart jokes, and assorted B-movie monsters, and he recently added werewolves and assassins to The Great Gatsby. He’s also on Twitter a bunch.

Top Image: Marvel Studios

Forgot Password?