Release Date: 5/1/2015
Dir. Joss Whedon
Starring: Robert Downey Jr (Tony Stark/ Iron Man), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/ Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanov/ Black Widow), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/ Hulk), Jeremey Renner (Clint Barton/ Hawkeye), Samuel L Jackson (Nick Fury), Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/ Scarlet Witch), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Pietro Maximoff/ Quicksilver), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Paul Bettany (Vision)
Breathe. Just breathe. Avengers: Age of Ultron is finally here. It’s been roughly three years and I was so ready for this. I needed to pick up with where the Avengers left off. There are things that the Avengers need to conquer together. And Age of Ultron certainly delivers on getting a team up of your favorite Avengers. That said, one has to acknowledge that while this movie is a lot of fun, there is something that it lacked. I’ll get into that in the meaty bits of the review, but my feelings are ultimately positive. Extremely positive. It’s the kind of movie that I’m going to debate about going to re-watch it. That means a lot.
The Avengers are back in the saddle and we are right back into the action. Considering that Loki’s scepter has been floating around for quite a while, one would think that the Avengers or someone would have been trying to get this back a little sooner. It’s been what, three years? Well, they are finally going after it and it’s being used by HYDRA on the twins. I have to admit it was rather dismissive of the HYDRA threat. This is partially because of my perspective as someone who has seen The Winter Soldier and watches Agents of SHIELD, but HYDRA is kind of a big deal. It just seemed to get pushed away. I’m okay with that, but still rubbed me a little bit wrong.
The real focus of the movie was Ultron. I would say rightly so because he was a dangerous threat. Yes, Ultron is the epitome of dangerous. He was deranged and unsettled. It was something that was ridiculously unnerving at times. James Spader seemed to revel in his role. It was very satisfying to watch him crack jokes while seriously. While he was one of the more compelling villains in the marvel universe (behind Loki), he did fall into the same issues that many Marvel villains fall into. He fell flat. As a fan of the comics I understood Ultron’s motives. I’ve read the havoc Ultron wreaks and that colored how I saw his motivations on screen. I knew that he wanted this superior race. I won’t go into more, that’s what the comics are for. The movie felt a bit shallow when you look at the movie. There could have been more to that, but I’m glad that it did divulge enough for him to make sense.
This is an action packed movie. Jam packed. We literally begin the movie in an extended action sequence. Then there were a number of action sequences added in. It was interesting that we got an action sequence in almost every major locale that the avengers went to. That made for a lot of change in pace in the action. The action set pieces were glorious. Though some of these locale did feel like set pieces. As a result some of those moment are already blurring together in my memory.
It is a known fact that this movie has more special effects than any other Marvel movie to date. It really showed in the film. The vast majority of these efects go unnoticed or feel entirely natural in the film. However, there are moments when the effects make themself known. In some ways I wish that there were more practical effects, but much of the effects that made themselves known were actually because they were slowed down allowing us to see what was happening. That gave me too much time to notice the effects. That said, these are gorgeous effects.
The movie acknowledges itself full as a Joss Whedon film. It was filled with things that made it uniquely his. The humor infused in the movie was witty and sharp and kept me laughing throughout the novel. It was very funny and Whedon knew exactly when to infuse those quirks into the story. The result was a movie that touched some slightly darker topics and balanced them with great well-timed humor.
This movie did a lot of seeding of various things that will come in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What I found really interesting about this is that for the most part this felt like we got teases that were integral to the plot. This had both a positive and negative effect. On the negative, this made the movie feel like it was being pulled in a lot of different directions. On the positive, these were teases that helped drive the plot and the character’s motivations and actions. Thus the seeds were just a part of the characters’ journeys. That was a very enjoyable experience to have.
Though I may point out some negatives in this review, don’t take them the wrong way. This is a movie that I really enjoyed. When you walk into Avengers:Age of Ultron you have to walk in with different expectations. This is a team that has learned to work together as well. That said, they aren’t the closest of friends. As a result, it was less about compiling a team and getting them to work together. The team felt very separated and segmented when I wished they were more together, but that only seeds the problems they are having as a team. That said, this was a fun movie. It was a lot of fun. Would I recommend it, hell yeah. However this is a straight forward super hero movie. If your looking for a more genre tilted movie you may be looking in the wrong place. But what do I know, I loved it.
Did you enjoy the movie?