(Light Spoilers ahead)
Coming into this film, it's easy to see how the expectations of fans could have been shot through the roofs. After all, Marvel has successfully crafted something of a brand out of their live action superheros, even with a handicap seeing as though marvel doesn't even own the live action rights to many of their major characters.
Prior to Age of Ultron's release, the first avengers film was largely regarded by fans as the best super hero film to date and with it making the #1 Box office opening of all time, it's clear that the general audience would agree. So it was only natural to assume that Age of Ultron would surpass it's predecessor seeing as though marvel had another 4 films to build into the Avengers' sequel. As it turns out though, the film shockingly under preformed both in it's box office debut and in the eyes of the fans as it was met with mixed responses, at least in comparison to the first Avengers film.
So what happened? Why did it disappoint? What was so wrong with [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035)?
5.) Too many Jokes!
Now before you say it! Yes this is a marvel film and yes humor is inevitably heavily integrated into these stories. And yes, the humor was actually pretty funny. Captain America's language jokes were a great example this films' comedic genius as the joke kept coming round and round yet it was just prefect enough to never me think, "Alright already, we get it".
That said, this awesome quality also worked heavily out of its favor. The comical nature of the film naturally deflates a lot of the tension and robs the characters of otherwise emotionally compelling or intriguing stories. Ultron is actually the biggest casualty of this, but well get into it later. There's several scenes where characters are battling it out or having a would be-tense moment where you should be nervously or emotionally invested but the tension almost never settles because in the very next beat, there goes another one liner serving as comical relief. Do to this you never felt that a character was going to fail and in the one instance that a character did, the preceding tone didn't really allow you to care.
4.) Too much of the same story.
During the film's first act it really seemed as though we were about to see a squeal that would capitalize on the teams previous encounters and propel their story into new and exciting territory. As opposed to the last film, the team starts off as a well greased hydra fighting machine and we even get to see them act as good friends during a party scene. This is easily one of the most enjoyable scenes of the film because it allowed us to see these charters interacting with each other in a way that hadn't ever been scened before. (Get it! No? NVM!)
However, as the film progresses familiar beats and even entire plot points which were executed well in the last film were unnecessarily revisited. To name a few;
A.) Again, Villain capture side character and uses them to advance villain's motives.
B.) Same Dis-functional team members fight and argue until they can unite for the greater good.
C.) Half way through the movie, villain attempts to once again psychologically break heroes and use hulk to reek havoc on the team which throws into a funk which they again have to recover from in order to save the day.
D.) The team battles a lot flying robotic things in a city while saving citizens
But if the first Avengers film was such a success, why should't the producers try to closely mimic the original? The answer: Because it's just not interesting to see the same stories told over and over again. One of the biggest reasons the first Avengers film was so much of a hit was because it was so different. Up until that point we had never experienced these characters come together on screen and do the things they did. Fast forward 3 years however, and the sequel's natural task is to take that original experience, and further it, not mimic it as we've already experienced alot of these same beats. It would have been nice to see this film take the characters into uncharted territory and put them through things we haven't seen before, but sadly that mostly didn't happen.
3.) Not Enough of a Payoff or PayForward
Not a critique of the films quality but still relevant to the discussion as to why this movie may have been a little disappointing: Age of Ultron does a fantastically terrible job at building off of Marvel's phase two and paving the way for phase 3. In fact, you could literally have skipped each and every P2 movie that's come out since the first Avengers film. Obviously this movie has to stand on it's on two feet, but it IS the pinnacle of phase 2. Every Phase 2 movie should have lead into this film and there should have been some indication of their existence yet there is almost none. A similar argument can be made with the first avengers film, but phase one introduced these key characters in their solo films where they came together for the first time in the First avengers. Phase two featured what now appears to be a bunch of side stories that hold no real weight in the universe, at least not in Age of Ultron's plot. Similarly, Age of Ultron does little to nothing to advance the MCCU as there was little to no set up for any upcoming Marvel movie. It would have been nice for this movie to have made an impact on the MCCU leaving it different or changed. Instead the universe felt very much the same
2.) Unbelievable Plot
Especially in the second half of the movie; Age of Ultron doesn't do a very good job at crafting a believable story. Make no mistake, realistic and believable are two different things. While none of these movies are set in a realistic universe, that doesn't mean their plots can't be believable in their own stories.
To use DC characters for an example.
If explained adequately, Batman can believably take down Superman using his superior knowledge, skills and technology. However, if explained un-adequately, Batman taking down superman can seem flat out unbelievable. Though both scenarios are unrealistic due to the nature of the characters, if adequately explained, a healthy amount of 'Suspense of Disbelief' will allow the audience to naturally accept the outcome.
This 'Suspense of Disbelief' is something that Avengers Age of Ultron relies too heavily on when it comes to important things such as character motives and vagueness of how things took place. To list a few popular head scratching questions
A.) Why does Stark think Ultron is so necessary, hasn't Jarvis operated pretty much as an AI in every film to date until it became an inconvenience plot point?
B.) Why does Ultron capture Black Widow and just lock her in a cage instead of, I dont know...kill her? Was it so that Banner could later save her and they could have a moment?
C.) How did Banner even find here? Was there like entire scenes dedicated to finding and saving her that where cut?
D.) How was Ultron defeated by killing his bot bodies when he can literally download himself to the internet?
E.) How did the avengers evacuate a city of people in less than 10 minutes with almost no casualties. Also,
F.) Flying City, something that would be acceptable...if another 20 things weren't already occupying my 'suspense of disbelieve ' category.
For an attentive viewer, Age of Ultron just doesn't adequately explain a lot of the craziness that drives the plot forward and though it's still a nice film to mindlessly watch while stuffing food in your face, the unconvincing plot just doesn't do it for many people.
1.) Ultron: Another silly undeveloped villain.
The biggest issue with this film is it's villain, Ultron. The problem with Ultron is that his motives and character are under developed and he's too darn funny.
Ultron's motives are actually clear; he seeks to destroy the Avengers to save humanity, and then he feels humanity need to be Destroyed. But it really feels like the 'Why' of these statements where not fleshed out enough. The film didn't give us enough time to watch his motives develop during his creation or after. As he was formed we saw a little development in his logic, but it was so fast that it didn't feel like it warranted such a dramatic response from him right out of the gate. It would have been nice to see him slowly transition from being a compliant AI to defiant one but that didn't happen. So when things started to emerge like his personal hatred toward stark or his master plan to annihilate the human race by dropping a giant citieor (Get it!Tee-Hee) on the world, fans are left wondering....Why?
The villain is also too dam funny! Yes, this is a bad thing for all of the reasons listed previously. His menace and otherwise intriguing ideology is constantly undercut by his humorous nature with witty one liners. As this happens the character is taken less and less seriously and becomes a joke. Which is a shame considering the character's debut was filled such raw menace. It would have been nice to see that throughout the entire film.
So Was it a Bad Movie?!?!?
Absolutely not, Avengers age of Ultron is easily the best film of the year so far as it features a really fun and funny action packed story. It's only because of these reasons that i felt the film didn't quite live up to expectations.