I just finished watching Age of Ultron and boy was it underwhelming! I walked into this movie really wanting to like it (Excited even and almost sure to like it), partly because i was such a fan of the first film. But mostly because i was a very big fan of Joss Whedon's work. So much so, that i would religiously wait for kickass characters he'd created on Buffy, week after week. So imagine my shock, upon pinpointing that the one thing i disliked about the film was how each character developed throughout the film.
Let me break it down for you and try not to spoil too much away
CAPTAIN AMERICA - Cap was by far one of my favourite Marvel characters growing up. However that soon died down when i watched Captain America: The First Avenger and all hope for his solo franchise died with it. It was just terrible in every aspect. The only good thing was that Chris Evans made for a good Cap, lookswise. Then some miracle happened in the form of the Russo's taking over, and Captain America: Winter Soldier came out. And Boy! Was i surprised at how quickly hope was resurrected. It was one of the best comic book movies I've seen. And as an added bonus, Chris Evans was so much fun in that little Thor: The Dark World cameo. Like I said i can't give too much away. But to sum it up this Cap wasn't First Avenger BAD but wasn't Winter Soldier GOOD either. He's situated somewhere in Marvel's new favourite lane of mediocrity.
IRONMAN - I have mixed feelings about this one. Mostly because I feel like RDJ is simply being RDJ and not actually acting as Tony Stark. And i guess that's OK considering his brand of wit and sarcasm works. I'm not saying I didn't like his interpretation. It's entertaining and it gets a good laugh out of the crowd. But there comes a point when it becomes too much for one outing - and that was about 10 minutes into this film. I love Joss Whedon. I think he's a genius when it comes to dialogue, but he really overdid it in this one. The only time RDJ was bearable was when he was interacting with Bruce Banner (who was one of the saving grace for this film, but we'll get to that later)
THOR - Thor is a bore! There I said it! I think he's the one character the MCU can do without. But I know he's good to look at which is probably why most people even turn up to see him in the solo films. In saying that though, i think he is best when Joss Whedon is writing him because the only times I've been able to watch him without dozing off into a snooze were the first Avengers film and this second one. But make no mistake. BEARABLE DOES NOT EQUAL GOOD.
On a side note: Isn't it annoying that Chris Hemsworth has been quoted in interviews bagging out DC and saying things like "What competition? We're just winning aren't we?" What's so funny is that neither installment of the Thor movies made as much money as MOS did. In fact none of the MCU PHASE ONE solo films did well against MOS (which is the first in the DCCU first slate.)
HULK / BRUCE BANNER - I feel i have to include both alter egos here simply because they differ so much from each other. However, in saying that, Mark Rufalo did a fantastic job at portraying both. I was a massive fan of Edward Norton and his portrayal in The Incredible Hulk, but as soon as Mark Ruffalo stepped into the role in Avengers, even I must admit he was a breath of fresh air. And for one who doesn't utter more than 3 words at a time, Hulk provided some of the funniest and even heartwarming moments in both films. Perhaps the only bone I'd like to pick here is **SPOILER** the romantic development with Agent Natasha Romanoff aka The Black Widow. I mean what the?! Where did that come from?
BLACK WIDOW - again WHAT THE?! Wasn't this the same character they had flirting with Tony Stark in Ironman 2? Also, wasn't this the same character they had flirting with Steve Rogers in Captain America 2? Has her character really been reduced to the love interest? Is this the kick-ass female character that Marvel was so proud of? This just makes me mad so let's move on.
HAWKEYE - Has anyone heard anything from or about this guy since the first Avengers film? Is his character not interesting enough to flesh out and include in the other other solo films? **SPOILER** It was really nice to see Linda Cardellini show up as his pregnant wife and mother of his two grown children. His back story and their moments together made for the most believable performances throughout the film.
SCARLET WITCH & QUICKSILVER - before i get to the main super villain, lets talk a little about the anti-heroes. Twins Pietro & Wanda Maximofff. Magneto's kids themselves. Except they're not!
I really wanted to like Elizabeth Olsen's portrayal. I just couldn't. Her accent was so terrible and so inconsistent - much like Cate Blanchett in that horrid Indiana Jones sequel. Also her interpretation of 'weirdness' didn't seem to work for this role.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson was OK as Quicksilver. See. The quicksilver i grew up with was funny, witty and fast with his comebacks, even slightly mischievous. You know - kind of like the poor man's FLASH. So in comparison, this one was just bland. But i do appreciate that they tried to differentiate him to other interpretations. It was always going to be hard to compete in likability with Evan Peter's Quicksilver in XMEN: Days of Future Past. The only redeeming part was his last scene (which i won't give away but those who have seen it will understand.)
You all still with me?
ULTRON - And the BIG BAD himself - Ultron. My first beef with this was he should have been Pyms' and not Starks'. This could have been the perfect segue into the upcoming Ant Man film by using a little Michael Douglas. Especially considering they are focusing the Scott Lang iteration. However, for reasons we wont find out until the next phase rolls out, this was a good substitute story. It was a smart way to integrate THE VISION into the fold. James Spader did such a great job at voicing this demonbot, but i found him to be less menacing and/or creepy throughout the entire film as he was in the trailers. I kinda wished he would have been a secondary villain to a more imposing threat.
OK! Well that seemed like a lot to take in right? Well that's what the movie seemed like. Imagine a dragging 141 minutes of that.
There were a few other things that did bother me
- Some terrible overuse of CGI. This is where the movie could have benefitted from practical effects.
- The opening scene. What the hell was that? It didnt interest or pull me in one bit.
- Way too many characters thrown at you to care even for just one
- that Black Widow Bruce Banner storyline
- Underwhelming Soundtrack.
The movie wasn't all bad. There were some great scenes, some good laughs and even some tear worthy moments. Some great cameos from Agent Maria Hill, Nick Fury, War Machine, Falcon and even brief glimpses of both Peggy Carter and granddaughter Sharon Carter. Also that mid-credit scene was a good indicator of where the franchise is going next. The cast looks great and is evident they actually seem to enjoy working with each other.
Overall it just didn't do it for me. It was by far the most underwhelming CBM I've seen since the first Captain America. But if you're a fan. Go and see it anyway - you might just enjoy it. However i do suggest waiting a while at least until when the tickets are discountable. Sadly - It's not worth paying full price for this.
P.S. - I'm not alone in thinking this. I watched with a few friends of mine, some of whom are Marvel fan boys, and we all came out shrugging our shoulders and saying "meh!"
VERDICT : 6/10