Being one of the most anticipated movies ever,the Avengers' second outing had extremely high expectations.It had to sell to both the general audience and the core fans,at which it succeeded to an extent,but you can't help but feel that Marvel will need to up their game if they want to keep their devoted fans in awe,a job that is relatively easier with the easily astounded casual movie-goer.
You'd feel the negative tone in the lines above,yet wonder why the rating is that high.To be honest,I'm finding it tough to give the movie justice in a review so I can't imagine what it took Joss Whedon to deliver a massive project like that with all eyes fixed on him.Some feared that the sequel to the revolutionary "Avengers" would just be another "Iron Man 2" (or 3,really),an obligatory slate-filler lacking heart.Well,"Age of Ultron" barley jumped out of that category.
Before discussing the bad and the good, a **SPOILER** warning is due to those who haven't seen the movie.So if you haven't,you might want to click away and maybe watch some promo clips ,but if not,then feel free to read on....
You don't get the "first time falling in love" feeling
When the things kick off,you have already woken up on your side of the bed,with your lovely wife right next to you.You do know one thing ,that is you love her and would probably never be really mad at her at any point.Then she makes you the best looking breakfast you've seen or eaten in a long time (Take no offence,Girl Power).But for the rest of the day,she rushes you when you go out because she wants to do all the possible great things in a single day.She had already promised you that you were in for a "The" ride,but despite her good intentions,you can't help but say "What am I missing here?"
You're missing nothing but the fact that you want that first-love feeling again,you now have your dream lady between your hands yet you don't savour every single moment you spend with her,which is totally normal in a healthy marriage.
But remember,you still love her.
Some things are better taken as they are,so don't ask..
It was obvious that the movie wouldn't be spending a lot of time exploring the characters that have their own franchises.That's why we get to see a lot of Hawkeye,a little less from Black Widow,and even less from your friendly neighbourhood Hulk.
Which brings us to think about how the relationship between the latter two that -surprisingly- took place or almost took place in the movie.A projected "Beauty and the Beast" themed love story would have been more acceptable if it didn't happen completely out of the blue.Yes,Black Widow had obviously kept in touch with the team and even in closer touch with the team's monster,but could we feel it if we didn't see it? Especially with a character like Black Widow who happens to stick around with a lot of the team members during her free..er...work time.
And am I the only one who is wondering where is Betty Ross?! If there was a possibility at one point to re-use the Abomination as a villain,then why don't we get any slight mention of Betty? If Banner would be getting into a relationship again he would at least mention his previous experience with his famed ex-lover.Which brings one to think that this fast relationship between Hulk and Widow was intended to keep a sour feeling when Hulk leaves the team to God-knows-where.So Vision better hook up with Scarlet Witch fast before Widow starts to consider him as an option.
Are the stakes even that high?!
If I were to judge Marvel's marketing,I'd say that announcing that some stars would reprise their roles in future movies is totally a bad call.They have announced that almost every star in this movie will be appearing in "Captain America:Civil War",well,not every star..
Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Quicksilver was never announced to reprise his role,he wasn't actually keen to take the role in the first place due to how strict the Marvel contracts are.He was later convinced by his friend Elizabeth Olsen to take part in the movie,and if I were to take a guess,I expect it could've been like "Don't worry,they'll kill you real soon" in that adorable Sokovian accent.
Apply that to the rest of the cast as well.How do you feel any real danger if you know for sure that you will see the character again?! What harm could it have done if they had waited to announce the cast for "Civil War" after this movie?! Beats me...
It's your typical Hero win-Villain loss story
I'd be lying if I told you that the main story was mind blowing,or that I found a hard time untangling the events in my head.I hope that was the case,but instead I found a straight out story that you know exactly how it is going to end,and those cases where you can't veil the obvious conclusion of a movie,you need to make the trip to that conclusion completely extraordinary,which was not really achieved through a thin storyline that was covered by the fact that the movie is a long-yet very good- action sequence with a few easter eggs here and there.
Ultron and the Twins
The movie could have gone without the twins.We only get that little speech from Quicksliver to Ultron about family sorrows,but they don't get to really hook us up.In addition to some cool shots and the use of new powers,Wanda was merely introduced to be a New Avenger and show Thor the Infinity Stones, while Pietro was introduced to give a long promised death and add the seriousness that some complained was not present in the first "Avengers".
Ultron on the other hand,is a villain with a plan that seems crazier than that of Loki's,but he really isn't that menacing.We see him fighting with Cap and shooting lasers(?) at his chest with zero effect,he also doesn't kill Black Widow which makes you question the kidnapping in the first place.He needed more time to develop on screen.Ultron could have been better than that.
But enough of all the negative talk,I already feel bad doing that to the movie I kept thinking about for months.So to give reason to the rating,take a look at what "Age of Ultron" did right...
The intriguing,menacing and comic book accurate Vision.And don't stare at me for saying "comic book accurate",he may have a different origin and an Infinity Stone in his forehead,but I'm willing to accept that given the amazing job Joss Whedon has done with Vision.He is absolutely my favorite of the film.He looks the role.He sounds the role.And despite that he appears in the final third of the movie,I believe we all enjoyed his time on the screen.Paul Bettany was definitely "Worthy"of taking the mantle of The Vision.
Back in 2012,casual fans didn't tolerate the pawn that did archery.Hawkeye fans,meanwhile,waited to see the real aspects of the character who was portrayed by a wonderful actor in Jeremy Renner.They didn't wait in vain.
Next to Vision,Hawkeye has the best moments and lines in the movie.Hawkeye's backstory delivers one the most heart-warming moments in the MCU so far.The introduction of his family doesn't only make you compassionate with the character,it also delves into the family aspect that hasn't been heavily addressed in the MCU so far.Luckily for us "Ant-Man" will get to play on the family string as well.
But I guess there won't be any Hawkeye-Mockingbird action any time soon...
Joss Whedon and the VFX team
Admiration is due to the worn out director.The effort Joss Whedon has put into his two Avengers projects is obvious on his face. And Although the story is not the best,but the directional abilities of Whedon can't go unnoticed.He puts those good visual effects to good use to make a really good looking movie.Also considering the massive number of characters he had to juggle,he probably did the best anyone could do with the time and movie length restrictions.
Sorry,but I had to give some points here for James Spader's voice.
You gotta love those little talks between the characters.The chemistry can be felt on screen between the great cast,and believe it or not,the appearances of James Rhodes and Sam Wilson added a lot to the general atmosphere even if they hadn't ended up being New Avengers.Also Nick Fury's appearance,although making all the efforts Coulson has been doing on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." seem worthless,but his presence was vital at one point and one that fans wouldn't complain about.
"Age of Ultron" would not be considered the best Marvel movie to date,nor the worst.The flaws are there,and to some they are quite unacceptable,but it wouldn't be fair to give the movie total hell and look over the good things that it did deliver. Marvel wanted to give us an epic action spectacle,and to some extent it succeeded,but it fell a little short of convincing the fans who demand the best out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe,and not just a good action movie.