The following review is spoiler free if you’re on the fence about seeing Age of Ultron. I know you’re not, if you’re like me you already have the babysitter lined up and the tickets bought, but for you skeptics out there here is my two cents on the second outing of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
First off I have to make mention of a fanboy wet dream I experienced while at the theater. No it wasn’t a buxom, spandex clad super heroine of the hubba, hubba persuasion. Possibly strangely enough what did it for me was the noisy, IMAX, 3D, pulse pounding, I got my $16 dollars worth in 2 minutes version of the Star Wars Force Awakens trailer. Admittedly I am one of those people who has seen it in the comfort of my own home at least 15 times, but seeing the Falcon roaring across the big screen totally blew my head off my shoulders. I’m trying ever so hard not to get over-hyped for this movie but JJ and Co. are making that mighty difficult. I wasn’t the only supercharged fan either, the whole crowd erupted multiple times during that too brief few minutes.
On to the reason you came to this article- Age of Ultron. Following up the first Avengers movie with a worthy successor is a mighty task. Did Age of Ultron deliver? In many ways yes, in other ways not so much. Let me say upfront that Age of Ultron is a solid action flick worthy of what we have come to expect from Marvel. So while I have my gripes they are minor when looking at the bigger picture.
With the ever expanding roster of Avengers it is difficult to find something for everyone to do and give them fair screen time. Thankfully Joss Whedon does a great job with ensembles and gives every character a pretty fair shake this time around. The one character I really felt got shortchanged this time around was Quicksilver. He was a character that didn’t have much to do but I was enjoying and wanting to get to know more about him as the movie progressed. As much as the Quicksilver in Days of Future Past stole that movie this version was different enough that he could be interesting in his own right.
Hawkeye deservedly got much more to do this time around and Jeremy Renner turned in a great performance. He had some of the best one liners in the whole movie. Of the characters from the first Avengers movie his character got more development than any other, and that was welcome. As for the other characters they all had some familiar but amped up action sequences and some very funny one liners. They’re all used well and get their time to shine throughout the film.
I found Vision and Scarlet Witch to be two of my favorites in Age of Ultron. Both were somewhat limited on screen time but they both bring something new and different to the series. Vision was just flat out cool looking and seems to be set to have a larger role in the films to come. I am very eager to see his role and powers get expanded on in the next few films. What I enjoyed about Scarlet Witch most were her powers once the action got going. Once she gets angry and intense her powers were some of the coolest things we’ve seen so far in a Marvel movie. If they ever have the Scarlet Witch melt down in the films it will get catastrophic.
The Age of Ultron as a whole is a great action film. Ultron’s motives aren’t anything you haven’t seen in other movies before and he is a good villain but isn’t as menacing as I had hoped. I didn’t feel that he broke the Avengers and I didn’t feel the sense of desperation I was hoping for when he had the heroes on the ropes. The original Avengers and Loki had the benefit of quite a bit of character development and motive leading up to the first Avengers film and this is where it might be tough for the Marvel films going forward. How do you balance developing new characters in short periods of time to get the audience to care about them like we do about Cap, Iron Man, Thor and Hulk all while keeping the action going? It’s a tough nut to crack.
Spader did a great job with Ultron but I just didn’t feel the heroes were that beaten and splintered. Unfortunatley I think it will make a major Avenger death at the hands of a villain to really get me to fear and tremble at the sight of a villain. Thanos might have to crush one of our favorites to make us really hate him. I don’t want to lose a cherished friend but I do want to want to see one of these bad guys get pummeled. One of the best scenes for me was Tony Stark’s dream vision, I won’t spoil it but it was sobering. As much as I like the joking in the Marvel movies I think they need to go slightly darker. Some of these characters need lose it and fight out of rage and revenge and forego the quip at the end of the fight. That takes me to the last point on my review. There were many great one liners that had me laughing out loud, however there were other times where something dramatic happened and the impact of the moment was ruined by someone cracking a joke. They need to reign that in some if they want Infinity and Civil War to have some gravity to it.
Age of Ultron is a great way to start out the summer movie season filled with great humor and epic heroes and villains. The action sequences are second to none and it feels like a reunion with old friends. The new additions to the team are welcome and interesting and should be fun going forward. However sometimes the film could use a bit more drama and a few less jokes to make the impact of the events of the story mean more. I give this movie an 8.5.