Avengers Age of Ultron Review

Very minor spoilers inside. I’ll keep the best stuff safe

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Genre:  Action/Adventure/Science-Fiction/Fantasy/Comic Book

Director: Joss Whedon
Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, James Spader (voice), Paul Bettany (voice), Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Idris Elba, Colby Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, Andy Serkis, Stellan Skarsgard, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie , and a cameo by Stan Lee.

Just in from Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.  It was a wild time that may have fallen short of my initial expectations (which were unrealistic at best), but surpassed my new-found expectations brought on by those who saw it before me.

I think that is something important. You need to be able to still have that excitement for this movie, but find a means to keep it in check and be realistic to what the movie can offer you.  In the end, Age of Ultron was a fun action film that was darker and deeper than it’s predecessor and offered some insight into the future of this ever growing franchise  The only question my friend and I asking after coming out of this one was, “When do we see it again?”

Age of Ultron is a movie about Tony Stark’s dreams of artificial intelligence that can provide protection against whatever comes after the world next. He wishes to save humanity from destruction, but in the process helps to create Ultron.  Ultron does what most artificial intelligence are known for. Deciding that mankind is a problem and the solution is to wipe them out. (Yet, even this doesn’t explain this situation fully.)  The Avengers must once more assemble to stop this threat. (It’s much more complicated than this. There are strings attached that I won’t get into since they are vital to the movie and I promised very limited spoilers.)

The movie is not without its faults, but they are pretty limited.  There are certain characters that I wished to have seen more from.  They are introduced, you get a little bit of their viewpoint on matters, but then are pushed aside. I would have much rather them be included.

The humor worked 90% percent of the time, but that 10% followed in Thor: The Dark World’s footsteps where a serious moment is reduced by humor. Sometimes that is okay, but they go to that route too much for my taste.

Finally, sometimes the CGI wasn’t as crisp as I’d like it to be. There are many awesome visuals in this that look fresh, but a few times that it was very clearly CGI. Not nearly enough to ruin the movie in any sense unless you demand absolute perfection.

I feel this movie is stronger than it’s predecessor in several areas. For one thing, there is added depth. Demons come out of the woodwork and cause complications. You learn much more about the characters than you do in the first one.  There are elements involved that cause conflict between members and other characters. Even the villain has layers.

I feel the movie did an excellent job portraying a psychotic robot. The voice of James Spader is perfect for the character of Ultron and adds menace. I love Loki, but Ultron may have been the best villain of the Marvel universe to date. He was flawed and had issues we couldn’t quite grasp. Some of his ideas would be noble if he didn’t go in a demented direction with them.

The movie  flows better than the original, the pacing much more fluid. The original Avengers movie had dips and dives in action and tension. Moments where it would drag a bit before something awesome would happen. This movie didn’t have much drag, it continuously fed you action, drama or overall tension. All these characters interacting with one another. The drama builds in various points. You are watching these character evolve from where they were at the beginning of this movie. Granted, some grow more than others, but they develop into much deeper characters and this film does a great job showing that.

If you’ve seen the trailers, then you know there are lots of robots in this one. Some will tell you that is very similar to the original movie, and that’s true, but it didn’t make the movie any less enjoyable. The risks were as great, the complications between characters more developed, there were strings everywhere tugging on character and coming unwound in different ways.  Some characters were pulled in unique directions. Therefore, while there is some similarities to the first film, this movie steps everything up to the next level.

The fights were well executed, the action never left you for long, there were complex character dynamics that the first film lacked.  The villain Ultron was actually superior to Loki (and I love Loki).  The special effects and stunts were also pretty sound. This movie is very aware of what it is, a series of comic book characters uniting in a comic book come to life on the big screen. If you want something more realistic and reserved, you’re looking in the wrong area.

If you like the ultra realistic approach that Nolan took with Batman and that DC is attempting to go in, you are going to be somewhat disappointed with this film in certain aspects. They use a lot of special effects, and the atmosphere while dark at times never gets too dark and philosophical. The movie skims those waters, but never quite plunges in. The movie also stops teasing and has things happen and keep them that way. This may change in the future, but for the time being that fact is very cool.

If you are looking for a well put together superhero action film with heart, awesome effects, great action, and timely use of humor (minus a few exceptions), then Marvel’s Avengers Age of Ultron is a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat and you will keep coming back for more.

The fact is, nothing can eclipse the magic of that first film, watching the Avengers assemble for the first time was something special. This movie builds on that and while its similarities, it creates its own path. I respect this movie and I can’t wait to see it again.

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