“Beep. Beep.” The superhero gang is back together in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’… and it’s magnificent.
Already a fully functioning team, the Avengers are cleaning up the remains of the Hydra fallout. Tony Stark/Iron-Man (Robert Downey Jr.) decides that the world needs a peacekeeping artificial intelligence program to save the world, Ultron (James Spader) at the opposition of Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). When the idea goes haywire, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the rest of the Avengers have to do everything in their power to stop Ultron.
Right off the bat, the action is absolutely superb. Incredible long takes of jaw-dropping action are consistent throughout the whole movie in shots that look like they are straight taken right from the pages of the comics.
This cast is perfect. The chemistry between all of the characters in every scene just seems very genuine. After 2012’s ‘Avengers,’ it is obvious that the cast feels more comfortable with working together. With director Josh Whedon’s help, the banter back and forth never feels forced, and is quite hilarious despite the trailers projecting a darker more ominous tone. Whedon has also become the king of one-liners and puns (so much so, a certain someone was laughing for a few minutes just for a tractor joke).
While the film definitely goes into some darker places, it never detracts from being an all out fun summer blockbuster. While, in some instances ‘Age of Ultron’ doesn’t live up the “magic” that the first one had going for it, there are definitely moments that have you smiling like a fanboy/girl. For that reason, in addition to a deeper plot and a lot more character interactions, it would be fair to say the sequel is better than it’s predecessor.
James Spader as the big baddie, Ultron, gives a chilling performance. While still a dark and evil character, if you will, Spader brought some of his own personality into Ultron which fit the story nicely. Having Ultron make sassy whips towards Tony in an “angst” teen kind of way was quite comical (pun intended). One area that Marvel hasn’t really excelled in has been villains, with the exception of Loki, and Ultron was surely a fantastic villain. One that made it feel like the heroes may not make it out alive, making the audience rightfully concerned.
One of the big problems with the film, surprisingly, was that it was too short. Having a run time of a little over 2 hours and 20 minutes, one would think that would be plentiful, but there are times that are very clear that 5-10 minutes of footage had been cut at a time, which made ‘Age of Ultron’ feel choppy and incomplete at times. Whedon has already publicly stated he was not happy with the way the studio had cut the film, and had stated that a directors cut of over 3 hours including an alternate ending was to be released on Blu-Ray.
Whedon did a marvelous job (yay for puns) by making the Avengers more grounded. There is a ton of character development and characters like Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johnasson), who have yet to have stand alone movies, get a great deal of good background story. Newcomers Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) were surprisingly some of the best parts of the movie, and steal some of the scenes they are in with the original cast.
Vision can only be described in one word: perfect.
Besides the general plotline being semi-emulated from ‘Avengers,’ ‘Age of Ultron’ did a valuable job at distinguishing its own plot and tone from the rest of the MCU. Composers Brian Tyler and Danny Elfman did a good job using Alan Silvestri’s theme and making it more unique and more in depth, in quite a memorable score.
Marvel, unfortunately, has set some extremely high standards for themselves, just within the last year with ‘Captain America: The Winter Solider’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ and while ‘Age of Ultron’ is a glorious movie, it doesn’t quite live up to the “greatest comic book movie ever” title, which to be completely honest, is a little disappointing. BUT, that is not to take away from how admirable and amazing the film is.
While not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is one excellent time at the movies. Seeing the likes of these nostalgic characters interact on the big screen is something for the record books, and a spectacle that no one should miss.
Final Verdict: 8.5/10
Oh yeah, the end credit scene is pretty good. Like really good. Stay in your seats kiddos.