After 2 and so years of waiting, we now have the opportunity to witness the first of many (hopefully) sequel to the massive-behemoth The Avengers (2012) and Writer/Director Joss Whedon's swan song to the franchise, Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
This Hulk-sized sequels is jam packed with action, adventure and humor that we all loved from the first film, but now with a dash of dimness with what could possibly the darkest movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2.
Everyone and everybody just wanna know, is this movie better than The Avengers? Did it exceed all expectations? Now to answer the questions.
Realistically, Ultron failed to recapture the magic of the first film. You know? that feeling of thrill and excitement of seeing our beloved heroes on-screen side-by-side for the first time. For me, this is plainly unfair for the film. This is simply because the film isn't trying to do so. The first scene of the film is one epic action sequence with The Avengers already in the midst of action. No, this isn't the first time you saw them kicking butts, wrecking stuff and exchanging witty banters. As the how the film quotes it, Ultron simply "run with it" and you should too. The magic from the first film is now off the table, Ultron is a different kind of magic.
In terms of entertainment value, Ultron never felt short in pleasing it's audience. There is a good amount of fight scenes that could pretty much satisfy anyone. You want Iron Man vs. Ultron? Done. Captain America vs. Ultron? Sure. Thor vs. Ultron? Why Not? These and more of it, it's there to punch its way in through your eyes and will blow your mind.
Oh and did I say the witty banters? Yes, they never go away and they are as many as the punches each Avengers threw. Well maybe not, but you get the point. Writer and director Joss Whedon knew that he needed fire extinguishers to the heat, a tasty snack to cool off the chili and so he delivers.
The film also took its time to focus more on the relationships and connections between each Avengers and how it contributes to the menacing scheme of the titular villain, Ultron.
Ultron (James Spader) acted more like Tony Stark's twisted reflection than being the Pinocchio to Stark's Geppetto. It's interesting to see how these face-off each other, both physically and mentally.
Tonally, Ultron in many ways is similar to the first film, but different on others. It's bigger, bolder, tougher, darker, but with all these changes is still very comfortable on its own skin. It's a very comic book-ish movie and most probably the most out of all the Phase 2 movies and it proudly wears it.
Now this is where the rest of the disappointment comes from.
The story itself isn't as solid and focused as one would say. In movies like this, it's hard to become emotionally invested to the grand scheme of things especially in the ones that you should, when they're not selling it to you very well. Why is thing here? Why is this person there? Should I ship this? There are certain elements of the story that just doesn't work simply because they're not earned and some make you feel the movie is just dragging on and makes you say "I don't care about this" because you simply feel the need to be invested to real deal and not be distracted with this certain plot points that leads to future films, but just makes the movie clustered with more stuff. A person can only chew so much until that person unintentionally spits some of the food and drool with saliva. Plus the final act started with so much energy and power and it never stops until when it ended the whole thing just felt anti-climatic. These are some of the prominent problems or blockbuster movies particularly superhero films and this film did nothing about it, except they just roll with it.
Between this and the first film, I like Ultron better. Because visually it's more entertaining, plus the fact that it's bigger and meaner. But bigger and meaner isn't always better I might say.