Joss Whedon’s Avengers sequal; Age of Ultron, has just been released in cinemas over here in the UK. I managed to catch a midnight screening of the film on it’s release date, and thought I’d do a quick review of all the things I loved, and all the things I didn’t.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is the 10th movie in Marvel’s new cinematic universe (11th if you count The Incredible Hulk I guess). Captain America, Iron man, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye and Black Widow return as the Avengers team, kicking ass and defending the world from bad guys. The only problem is that the villain they come up against this time isn’t an Alien race threatening to destroy the planet, it’s a robot called Ultron, with incredibly advanced AI, created by Tony Stark. Good going Iron Man!
Ultron was designed as a peace keeper, but decides that the only way to keep the peace is to annihilate the whole human race, especially the Avengers, so he enlists the help of superpowered twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, who are conveniently looking for revenge against Stark anyway. And so the battle begins..
Personally, I prefered Age of Ultron to it’s predecessor, and the main reason for this being that I love the new characters that appear in the film. Vision and Wanda are two of my favourite heroes in the Marvel universe, so getting to see them on screen was beyond awesome. I guess that makes me a little biased, but this is my review so *pokes out tongue*
Seeing Red – As mentioned, Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) is one of my absolute favourite characters from the Marvel universe. She is unbelievably interesting, powerful and complex throughout the comics, so I was intrigued to see how Elizabeth Olsen would portray her in Age of Ultron. Olsen did not disappoint. She was the perfect amount of crazy and compassionate. She gave off this unstable, vulnerable vibe that defines Scarlet Witch, whilst proving that she packs a punch in the power department. She really made this movie for me, and now that I know she’ll be in the next Captain America, I can’t wait to see what they do with her.
I had a Vision – Another character I love in the comics is Vision. I had reservations about him when I first saw his character poster earlier this year, mainly because his appearance didn’t match my expectations, but i was worrying for nothing. Paul Bettany made a brilliant Vision, and was probably my favourite character in the whole movie, even though he didn’t appear until over half way through the film. He had such presence, and managed to be charming and thoughtful, whilst still keeping this calm, almost cold persona that would be associated with an android. And I actually ended up liking the way he looked. I commend them for using Bettany’s real features rather than a CGI interpration.
The big bad – I wasn’t sure what to expect from a villain made entirely from CGI, but Ultron beat any expectations I had about him, and it was all thanks to James Spader. His portrayal of Ultronmade me burst into laughter at times, whilst simultaneously managing to absolutely terrify me. It felt like they combined Loki’s humour and wit, with the Winter Soldiers dark presence to create the ultimate villain. The CGI wasn’t bad either.
I’m the leader of the gang I am – Hawkeye had so much more screen time in this film than in its predecessor; where he spent most of his time in the background as Loki’s puppet. He managed to keep his cool more than any other Avenger, and came across as the rock of the group on more than one occasion. I liked that he wasn’t just an accessory in this movie, he was a main character.
Family guy – I also liked that we got to see that there’s a lot more to Hawkeye. He hasn’t had his own movie, unlike Thor, Captain America, and Ironman, so we don’t really know anything about his past, or even who he is. Up until now, he came across as a bit of a playboy, potentially having some sort of fling with Black Widow, but in reality, he’s a devoted husband and father, whichcame as a complete surprise, and it’s always nice to have a few surprises. The only problem was that his wife is played by Linda Cardellini, so I was constantly thinking of Scooby Doo (she played Velma in the movie)
That opening scene – Rather than all the blah blah blah you get at the beginning of most movies, trying to set the scene for what’s to come, Age of Ulton came straight in with a boisterous, exciting battle between the Avengers and Hydra. Not only was the action impressive, but the whole scene appeared to be shot in one fluid take, so you couldn’t risk taking your eyes off the screen for a second – apart from that cheesy, slow motion shot of the team flying over a baracade mid battle. It was like something out of Starsky and Hutch and made me cringe a tad.
My name is the law – I heard somewhere that the destruction caused in the first Avengers movie would have equated to way over 100 billion dollars, and I’m not sure on the casualties, but I bet there were thousands.. and the thing was, no one seemed to care. Age of Ultron was different. The Avengers appeared to be more concerned about the safety of civilians than fighting the bad guys, which I liked. You also saw that the Avengers weren’t above the law, when they were trying to find out whether there was a warrant for Bruce Banners arrest after he went all Godzilla on Wakanda.
Green and Black – Now, I love a good old fashioned love story as much as the next gal, but Hulk and Black Widow’s little fling just didn’t cut it for me. Their romance came completely out of nowhere. Natasha Romanov has had flirty moments with both Hawkeye and Captain America in the past, but has never appeared to have any chemistry with Bruce Banner. It just seemed like the two characters were lacking screen time, so Joss Whedon decided to add some love scenes.
It’s not funny! – During that awesome opening scene, there was a point where Iron man swore over the radio, and Captain America said ‘Language’ – which Iron man then continues to rips him for. Yeah, it was kind of funny ..that one time, but it then became a running joke throughout the whole movie and boy did it get old. It seemed like they would just add in ‘make fun of Cap’ when the action was paused and they couldn’t think of anything else to say.
It ain’t easy being cheesy – Another bit that made me cringe.. when Tony Stark and Thor were discussing why their respective girlfriends weren’t at the party, then argued about which one was better. I really don’t think we needed to know to be honest.
Not so Quicksilver – X-Men: Days of Future Past introduced us to Quicksilver, who was incredibly likable. He was cheeky and fun, and was the main focus of one of the best scene’s in that movie. The Avengers’ Quicksilver – not so much. He was actually quite forgettable and at the end when he *spoiler alert* died, I didn’t care. I was more sad about the fact that I didn’t care, than the fact he actually *spoiler alert* died.
Go back to sleep – I really didn’t understand why they added the dream sequences into the movie – you know, the one’s Wanda inflicts on the Avengers. OK, Black Widows was rather informative and gave us a look into her mysterious past, but Captain America’s was boring and Thor’s, well it just didn’t make any sense, and It seemed to drag on for ages what with him going off to find answers. It didn’t seem to add anything to the movie, apart from explaining a little bit about the infinity stones.
Loose Ends – I hate loose ends with a passion, I think I just have an undeniable need for closure. Age of Ultron seemed to have a few. First off, what happened to Ulysses Klaue, the Vibranium dealer? He was introduced in what seemed like a relatively important scene, but then just seemed to disappear. In fact, that whole scene on the ship seemed to evaporate into nothing once Iron man and Hulk started fighting. And then there was Quicksilvers *spoiler alert* death. I know I didn’t personally care, but why didn’t anyone else on the team? Did they give him a funeral? Is he actually secretly still alive? I mean, Scarlet Witch brings him back to life in the comics.. did she do that in the movie?
So I admit, there were a few things I didn’t like about the movie, but they were relatively insignificant compared to all the things I loved; the characters, the battles, the back stories. The loose ends were a big thing for me, but I’m hoping that they will be expanded on in upcoming movies within the franchise. Avengers: Age of Ultron wasn’t my favourite Marvel movie so far, that title sticks with Captain America: Winter Soldier.. but it does come second.