Avengers: Age of Ultron, it’s finally here! Many fans have long awaited this event film and the one thing everyone is going to be doing is comparing the film to its predecessor, 2012’s The Avengers. While it is fun to compare sequels to the first, fans should just enjoy this movie for what it is outside of scaling it next to The Avengers which is arguably the best comic book movie of all time. With that in mind, let’s discuss Avengers: Age of Ultron (AoU) which, in my opinion, is a perfect sequel and one of the best entrees into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Like any movie there are things I love about AoU and things I think did not work, let’s start with the good.
- Chemistry of Actors/Characters- One of the prominent components of this movie and in the MCU is the chemistry and comradery among the cast members/characters. Showcased heavily in the first Avengers and even in last year’s Captain America:The Winter Soldier, this chemistry is a key component in the success of these Marvel movies. Age of Ultron is great heavily due to the interactions between these actors while playing their respective characters such as the back and forth bantering between Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) and Chris Evans (Captain America), the bromance between Stark and Banner, the romance between Black Widow and Banner and even the dialogue and bantering between Stark and Ultron is amazing. There are several great one-on-one interactions in this movie but the overall chemistry between the Avengers team as whole is something unmatched in any movie that I’ve seen to date.
- The Action- Until I saw this movie, the last battle at the end of Avengers (2012) was probably the greatest thing I’ve seen on screen. Now take a scene like that and imagine four or five of them in one movie! That is what we get in AoU and the first one is literally the opening scene in the movie. I could not believe my eyes while watching some of the action sequences, they are so well shot and have so much going on that you want to see this movie multiple times in order to take it all in. I consider this a good thing because I’m going to have multiple viewings of this film anyway, the fact that there are actions scene where I can catch something I may have missed the previous times then all the better.
- Ultron- While not as good as Loki in the first movie, Ultron is a very well thought out villain that actually seems to strike fear into the Avengers. Ultron, to me, is very unexpected and unpredictable as far as what I thought he would be in the movie which mostly is good(I do have some negatives on Ultron that I’ll get into a little later). The two things about Ultron that surprised me the most is the humanity of him, both his personality and his mannerisms, and his sense of humor, which was not shown in the trailers so it caught me off guard at first. After realizing how Ultron’s sense of humor played into the overall movie, I loved it! As a viewer I didn’t expect Ultron to say some of the things he says and it works so good as shock value and making the audience laugh. Ultron’s humanity is probably the most engaging thing about him. While yes he is a menacing robot set on destroying Earth so it can evolve, he is also a being that is insecure, worrisome, hateful and can be polite at times. Even though his ultimate goal is villainous, Ultron has good intentions and he is just doing what he thinks is right and what he was programmed to do.
- Other Quick Positives- I could go on for thousands of words writing about all of the things I liked about AoU but I’m just going to quickly mention a few other things I liked to save my time and yours. The introduction and execution of The Vision is spectacular. Wanda and Pietro Maximoff (AKA Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver), whom I wasn’t sure I liked when the film started, are two characters by the end of the movie that I really enjoyed and left wanting to see more of in the future. (Side note: I absolutely love Scarlet Witch in this movie, her action scenes were freaking awesome! She might be my new favorite Avenger.) The character development and time given to Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton aka Hawkeye is great to see and really adds to his progression after getting short-ended in the first movie. Also, most of the comedy in the movie is absolutely hilarious and continues that streak of Marvel humor, something people thought wouldn’t be heavily present in this movie from the look of the first couple trailers.
Negatives: While I admittedly love this movie a lot due to my preexisting love for comic book movies, I do realize there are things wrong with it that could have been handled better. Keep in mind that this is me looking for things wrong with the movie, they didn’t bother me too much but are worth mentioning.
- Pacing- While I love all the action scenes and all of the time taken to slow down and focus on character arcs, the mixture of them felt odd at certain points in the movie. For example, there would be an action scene that is very fast paced with a lot going on, then for about a half hour things would slow down. Then another full throttle, hour long action sequence followed by a slower half hour. Every scene in the movie is good and contributes to the overall story but the way it was all paced could have flowed a bit better.
- Convenient plot-manipulation- There are certain things that happen in the movie, particularly near the ending, that work out a little too conveniently for the Avengers. However, I do give props to Joss Whedon and Marvel for subtly making fun of this and being self-aware earlier in the film, if you pay attention and think about it you’ll know what I’m talking about.
- Some of Ultron- Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Ultron and he is by far the second best Marvel movie villain. I just expected something different and I expected him to be more physically imposing. I like Ultron’s humor and mannerisms a lot in the movie but I was expecting him to be more scary (for lack of a better word). There were moments in the movie that took away from the intimidation of Ultron. While his power is undeniably great, I don’t think we saw Ultron fulfill his full potential and I think as far as him physically being able to fight the Avengers; he is not match. He does have the edge over them because physically destroying one of his bodies does nothing because he exists as a computer program that is tapped into all the technology in the world. I think the Avengers should have had a harder time beating him, although it was still very difficult and made sense how they defeat him. Ultimately, I left the theater disappointed in Ultron, not because I didn’t like him or the way he is, I loved all of that, I just thought it was a missed opportunity to do so much more with a great villain.
- Too much humor?- I’m not even so sure this is a negative for me but out of the three times I’ve seen the movie, I felt different about the humor each time. If you haven’t seen it just expect a lot of jokes and one-liners throughout the whole movie . Like I said earlier, most of the humor is great but some of it feels a little forced in moments that would otherwise be really serious. I think this all depends on the crowd you see it with. If you’re with a crowd that is reacting to all the jokes then it makes it funnier but if you’re with a crowd that is silent the whole time, it’s hard to watch at times.
Conclusion: I hands down, without a doubt, love this movie with all my fanboyish heart. I want to see it a few more times before I rank it among the Marvel movies and maybe even my favorite movies of all time. I say it’s a perfect sequel because it goes hand-in-hand with the first movie, especially in developing the characters that did not get as much screen time in Avengers (2012). It definitely has that Marvel feel and humor to it and it takes the action to a whole other level. There are some things that could’ve been improved such as the pacing and overuse of humor but those are just me nitpicking. Overall, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a great movie. It’s not as good as the first Avengers but it doesn’t need to be and that does not make it a failure.
If you’ve seen the movie, let us know your thoughts in the comment section. If not, go see it! You won’t regret it.