Oh, that age old saying if you put MJOLNIR in an elevator and the elevator goes up is the elevator worthy? Who knows? According to Thor nobody is worthy but him to rule Asgard. Following The massive hit that was Marvel’s The Avengers what kind of threat can you put against earth’s mightiest heroes that could actually challenge them. The Avengers need to evolve as a team in order to face different challenges or defend against more dangerous villains. The hype surrounding this film was palpable. The buzz around Marvel Studios and what was going to happen next couldn’t be contained especially after that showcase our lord and savior Kevin Feige held announcing Phase 3’s lineup.
What was to come in phase 3 may have overshadowed what was happening in the present and Age of Ultron ultimately suffered since the movie is overstuffed. There is a lot of ground that has to be covered in a 2 + hour long movie that things get left out or unexplained. Age Of Ultron is a pretty significant story line in the history of the Avengers. Ultron is one of the most ruthless and notorious villains of the Avengers in the comics so it’s only right for the next threat to be a murder bot that could destroy everything they’ve built following the conclusion of the first Avenger film. The universe has expanded significantly in the three years so it’s interesting to see how returning director Joss Whedon can manage everything.
The concept of Ultron is intriguing – using the Pinocchio theme of “I’ve Got No Strings” to play during one of the best trailers Marvel has put out so far couldn’t have excited the fandom more. Ultron was teased as a next level threat, even more so than Loki because he could literally be anywhere. Returning to the Avengers line up is the original six: Tony Stark / Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) Steve Rogers / Captain America (Chris Evans) Thor (Chris Hemsworth) Bruce Banner / Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) Clint Barton / Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Its not just our original group that has to be juggled either.
The important side characters come back to be additional support to the team. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) make their return along with James Rhodes / War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Sam Wilson / Falcon (Anthony Mackie) adding more flavor. The newcomers include Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor Johnson) and Vision (Paul Bettany, formerly the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S). If it sounds like a large cast, it is. That is a lot of characters to juggle – a lot of dialogue and screen time to divvy out and a lot of story and plot to write to create a cohesive movie.
Right off the bat Age of Ultron attempts to recapture the magic of the battle of New York with the opening scene but the scene and action sequence doesn’t hold the same weight and emotion as the first time. There are so many moving parts that has to be focused on that the magic is missed in a wider open space than in a city location. Instead of giving us a fresh oh my god moment of the heroes working together we get a recycled version of something that came before. The end battle is actually more interesting with all the Avenger’s facing all of Ultron with the use of the slow motion going between each character and the use of their powers.
Ultron could have been a great villain, unfortunately he isn’t. Ultron is mistreated and mishandled in the movie. There is no backstory on Ultron and yet Tony and Bruce have had discussions of creating him before. What sounds like a promising villain on paper turns out to be executed poorly on screen due to the amount of actual characters on screen. The writing for Ultron isn’t what should be expected out of an impactful villain; there are way too many comical jokes that don’t fit his supposed character. His motivation is executed poorly – he wants to exterminate the Avengers? why, what is his reason other than they are in his way? If the tone is going to be darker for the film, the villain should mirror that.
If you look for an exact movie that starts the beginning of the end of the Avengers – It’s this film. Joss plants those seeds of the differences in who the Avengers are and what their main focus is starts with the creation of Ultron and Vision. Steve and Tony’s feud is exponentially amplified by Tony not bringing his idea of a better more protected world to the team thanks to the visions Wanda gives when messing with his mind. That scene foreshadows later events while not giving too much away.
The acting is spot on – this is just another example of Marvel casting done correctly adding in James Spader to voice Ultron. This film is some actors and actresses second or third time playing these characters and it shows. No one misses a beat and the chemistry between the group is clear and exciting to witness. There are several plot holes throughout – its expected with so much happening on screen. We can forgive some of the plot holes since the movie as a whole is pretty awesome. The stakes are higher as billions of lives are in jeopardy this time around.
Leave it to Marvel and Kevin Feige to drop some pretty awesome Easter eggs throughout the film. Some of the big ones include Hawkeye throwing Cap’s shield (Hawkeye gets asked by Tony to pick up the mantle of Captain America in the Civil War storyline), Ultron mentioning the invaders in a line of dialogue (in the comics, there is a team called the Invaders that predates the Avengers), and Dr. Cho is the mother of the current comics Totally Awesome Hulk Amadeus Cho. A new MCU film means a new Stan “The Man” Lee cameo – this time as a WWII vet who cannot handle Asgardian spirits added to his drink. It’s always a pleasure seeing Stan pop up.
The run time could have been shorter – several scene’s should have been cut out making for a better overall storyline. The pacing of the film is almost too fast as it moves giving only a few moments to breathe. Those moments offer a sigh of relief as the action picks up immediately after the Marvel Studios logo flashes on screen. The film only offers one mid credit scene as Thanos (Josh Brolin) puts on the gauntlet.
Overall Age of Ultron is a fairly good follow up to the first Avenger’s. All performances were fantastic, but the film lacks in certain major departments. Watching this film is a good indication that the film is just overstuffed with characters and plot causing things to fall at the wayside. It’s clear that Whedon was overwhelmed as the moving parts became too much to manage. It’s a shame – this could have been an excellent sequel. If I were to rate Avengers: Age of Ultron, I’d rate it a 3.5 out of 5.
So, tell me guys, have you seen Avengers: Age of Ultron and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is written and directed by Joss Whedon is Rated PG-13 and has an 76% on Rotten Tomatoes. Avengers: Age of Ultron was released on May 1st, 2015 and has a runtime of 2 hours and 22 minutes. Avengers: Age of Ultron can be streamed on Disney Plus.
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The Avengers will return