The Age of Ultron has finally arrived. After months of waiting and trailers coming at us like crazy, we finally get to watch the sequel to the third highest grossing film of all time – the Avengers. I have seen the movie two times now and will be seeing it several more times (Cards shown), and here are my thoughts on this Summer blockbuster. (SPOILERS…MANY, MANY SPOILERS!!)
loved that Age of Ultron was fast paced. Right from the beginning, the audience is sucked in by the action of a mid-mission scene of the Avengers taking down Strucker’s forces. Some of the action sequences looked a little too CGI (especially with Thor), but was incredible anyways. Captain America’s use of his shield while racing around on his motorcycle dragging Hydra soldiers in the process was GREAT. Hulk running through bunkers – rad! The money shot of all the Avengers jumping/flying on the screen was spectacular. The pace is never really slowed down from that point. There are some quieter moments, but still the excitement of coming events keeps the pace going strong.
The tone in Avengers is pretty dark. There’s a lot that goes wrong for our heroes. Creating a being that ultimately tries to obliterate mankind off of the map. Scarlet Witch uses her witchy powers to quote Toy Story 3 to show the Avengers their “deepest fears.” These hit home with each of the Avengers and sends them spiraling. Now I’m unsure of what the visions are, but I have a theory that these are possible outcomes of the future and past. These scenes along with the subject matter create a much different story then the first Avengers film.
The humor in Age of Ultron does not disappoint. There are so many jokes that it took me the second viewing to get some of them. Whether Thor’s talking about how much better Jane Foster is compared to Pepper Pots, or a Hydra soldier disagreeing to the quality of a conversation with Iron Man, or something as clever and quick as Vision looking at Thor and then giving himself a cape to mimic the Odinson. So many hilarious moments – “Go to sleep! Go to sleep!” After watching the trailers, I was a little scared that Age of Ultron wouldn’t be as funny as the first one, but this movie had just the right amount of humor to balance out the seriousness of Ultron’s plot.
This leads me to what I think the best scene is in this movie -the birth of Ultron. When Ultron gains consciousness and Jarvis helps him understand his purpose is insanely cool. Spader really shines in this opening scene. “We’re just having a conversation.” Scary, creepy, and diabolical are the words that come to mind. Joss Whedon does better in a short scene than Tron does in an entire series of showing the inside world of a program. I love the contrasting colors of orange and blue to show the dichotomy of these two opposing programs. Some people in my audience laughed when they talked about Ultron killing “the other guy,” but it was pretty shocking to me. Jarvis is a great character in the MCU and “killing” him was a big deal in this film.
Ultron is another great character and one of the best villains in the MCU, just under Loki if you ask me. For an 8-foot robot bent on eradicating humanity from the planet, Ultron’s got a lot of heart. I think one thing that is getting overlooked by many, is his relationship with the Twins – Pietro and Wanda. He shows them compassion when Pietro talks about the death of their parents. He says that they’ll understand once he gets Vision created. This brings a lot of depth to what could have been a very stale villain. I really enjoyed Ultron’s scenes, especially when coupled with Vision. Spader did a great job of voicing and mo-capping (if you watch Blacklist, you could see it in Ultron’s movements) Ultron. I love how sarcastic Ultron is because of Stark. “I can’t physically throw up in my mouth, but..” He adds what a lot of other MCU villains lack – fun.
The titular Avengers all have their moments to shine, some more than others. Captain America has really filled into his role of leader of the Avengers. He’s calling the shots and feeling at home with the Avengers. Iron Man gets the most screen time as usual. He has his usual charm and wit, but in Age of Ultron it become clear that he’s the MCU’s Batman. He always has something up his sleeve and does what he wants (more on that in a minute). Thor is an odd character in this film, in the first half of the movie Thor is on fire. He’s hilarious! Then he goes on his own journey and from there on out he’s pushed to the sideline and seems like a totally different character for the rest of the movie. Hulk smashes stuff. So of course he’s awesome. Beyond that though, Bruce Banner is pretty funny in this movie. “Murder-bot.” Ha! Black Widow is at the center of this movie and that’s a good thing. Her relationships with the rest of the cast is the glue of this Avengers team in my opinion. She shines in this movie not just as a killer assassin but as a person trying to find a life outside of the Avengers (must like Cap in Winter Soldier).
The new additions to the universe are the Maximoff twins – Pietro (Quicksilver) and Wanda (Scarlet Witch). I went into this movie thinking they were going to be annoying, but I ended up really enjoying them. Quicksilver is funny and very much the punk that he is in the comics. He is rash and reckless. He even tries to grab Thor’s hammer (not a great idea). He is made to seem like lovable jerk, but not a hero throughout the movie, but he does have his hero moment when he saves Hawkeye (No Super-Spoilers). Plus, I’m pretty sure he moon-walks into a scene when Vision is floating looking out the window shortly after being created. Wanda is the flip of the coin to Pietro. She is very calm and thoughtful. She’s the catalyst of this entire movie. It’s her inaction in allowing Tony to grab Loki’s staff that makes Age of Ultron possible. Once the Twins figure out what Ultron is really up to (not just destroying the Avengers, but all of mankind) they quickly take action and help the Avengers. I understand why Cap trusts them, with his defense of their actions to Maria Hill early on in the film and then Wanda’s explanation of Tony stark’s intentions, but I don’t understand why the rest of the team quickly accepts them into the fold. This is a problem with the movie in general, consequences seem to be abandoned for the sake of time.
Let’s talk about Hawkeye. In the last Avengers movie we barely got to see the real Clint Batron. He was busy being mind-controlled by Loki and fighting the other Avengers. Joss Whedon redeems Hawkeye in this film. Right from the beginning Hawkeye is given much more to do and given more time to shine. Then of course there’s the farm. After Hulk’s smashing, the Avengers lay low and go to Batron’s “safe house” which ends up being his home – a farm in the middle of nowhere. They walk into the house to have Hawkeye’s wife and kids running to him. Wow. I did not see that coming. I loved it though. It might not be the Hawkeye from the comics, but as a husband/dad I liked this version of Hawkeye. It made me care so much more about him. He also has some of the greatest lines – “No one would know. No body.”
The breakout star of this movie is of course Paul Bettany’s Vision. He is incredible. His birth scene where he jumps out of the cradle and takes a shot at Thor while everyone looks just in awe will go down as one of the most memorable scenes in recent movie history. I’m talking Han Solo going into carbonate level epic-ness. I love the wisdom that Vison has and that he doesn’t want to kill Ultron but he knows that Ultron must be destroyed. His powers are every inch as unbelievably cool as the comics, flight – check, phasing – check, super strength – check, solar beam – check. He rocked. Plus, they seeded the relationship between him and Scarlet Witch. She sees his dreams and later looks at him and smiles, and then of course Vision saving her at the last minute. I’m very excited to see him again! I hope we don’t have to wait till 2018 (Civil War perhaps?)!
There is so much to love about Age of Ultron. The fight between Hulk and Iron Man in his Hulkbuster armor is amazing and I will be thinking about that for years. Vision and Ultron are incredible and I love their fights of the “mind.” The humor in this movie is top-notch. And that action sequence at the end where the Avengers are defending the church while Ultron’s drones are attacking is the coolest action scene I have ever seen, EVER. We also get a new team at the end of the movie which will be exciting, mostly because FALCON is an Avenger (I’ll be writing a post about that sometime)!!!
There are some negatives though. As I mentioned earlier, consequences. There does not seem to be very many consequences in this film. Tony Stark and Bruce Banner create a psychotic artificial intelligence that tries to destroy the world (and murders many people in the process). The team doesn’t seem to care, sure Thor chokes him for a minute and Cap rips a log in two, but how is that not a “Your’e off the team” level mistake? Hulk then destroys portions of a city and Tony fights him destroying more of the city (people died, I’m sure), they then lay low for a while and everything is ok? They get to have their own Avengers facility? They are not shut down by the government? Really? And then of course we have Tony ignoring Captain America’s demand for them to stop with bring Vision to life and then shooting him. That happened. Iron Man shot Captain America, but because Vision turned out to be good, everything is ok? Again, Really? I don’t buy that. The consequences in this movie are laughable. Yes, an Avenger died and that brings gravity to this film, but not enough to ignore the rest of it.
Overall Age of Ultron is a great comic book movie. I had a great time watching it. While not as great as the original Avengers, it didn’t have to be and I appreciate this movie for the film that it is not the film Avengers was. I would give Age of Ultron an 8.5 out of 10.