Avengers Age of Ultron Review

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By Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

If there was such a thing as a money tree, or a genie that grants wishes and one of those wishes is unlimited money, Disney has found it. It is called Marvel and Disney hit the jackpot (an understatement to be sure) when they acquired the movie rights to the Marvel films: Avengers (third highest grossing film ever!), Iron Man, Captain America…all hugely successful at the box office and absolute money cows. If you were to make a bet, that bet would be for the trend to continue, and possibly top, all other revenues when Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters this Friday.

Picking up shortly after the point where Captain America: Winter Soldier leaves off, the Avengers are taking out the last bits of Hydra in a forested area. Baron von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) puts up a final fight, unleashing the twins, Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olson), better known as Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. With Hydra neutralized, the Avengers get a reprieve and are able to enjoy some rest and relaxation, for them anyway. But Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce (Mark Ruffalo) decide to look into the technology Strucker was working on: artificial intelligence, and give birth to Ultron (James Spader). Ultron is Tony Stark without the heart, and realizes that humanity is a type of poison. So Ultron devises a plan for humanity, along with the help of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. But will the Avengers be able to come together as a team once again and defeat a threat against the world, or will their inner-team rivalries mean the end of humanity as we know it?

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We tend to go into our Marvel films for the action and entertainment value. Winter Soldier gave us that but also the drama and character development needed for an epic film. Iron Man and The Avengers had these elements as well. So did Guardians of the Galaxy. Unfortunately, we see less of that this time around. Part of it is due to the sheer number of characters involved in the film. With new members such as Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Vision (Paul Bettany), plus screen time needed for War Machine (Don Cheadle), Falcon (Antony Mackie), and Eric Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard), I think you get the point. It becomes difficult to delve into where these characters are now, mentally and emotionally, with so many needing precious screen time. That aside, the story itself is very straightforward, almost too simplistic at times, and Ultron is more than an admirable villain. He has his reasons for his motives, yet is still a form of a computer in the end. Plus, being more intelligent than Bruce and Tony makes for a more well-rounded, and deadlier, opponent.

The action sequences are great overall, and the Hulkbuster scene everyone has viewed in the trailers is just as amazing as it appears. It may just be the best action sequence among the two Avenger films, but I’ll let you all voice an opinion on that topic. Some of the CGI, unfortunately, falls short a few times, which, when it comes to Marvel films, is absolutely inexcusable considering the track record we’ve been left with. But there are other redeeming qualities like a slow motion sequence with all Avengers leaping into the fray together, almost like they are jumping out of a comic page. Plus Whedon also pays homage to some of the past films while also hinting at the direction Marvel Phase 3 will take, particularly with it comes to Captain America: Civil War.

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With so many actors in this film, it’s difficult to talk about the acting. Each character reprises the role they each done at least four times (some over four). They each bring the characters we’ve come to know and love back and makes us feel all warm and fuzzy seeing them back together on screen again. There are some relationships which feel a little awkward, particularly that of the Hulk and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), though there is a heartfelt moment towards the end between the two which may tug at the heartstrings. Then there’s a side story with regards to Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) which feels out of place considering the movie, but it provides some perspective for other characters and also sets the stage for Phase 3 in some ways.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is by no means as good as the first film, but rarely does a sequel live up to the originals expectations, especially one of such caliber. While it is still amazingly fun and there are plenty of jokes to be had, plus the great Iron Man/Hulk fight, it just feels like something is lacking overall. And, again, I personally chalk it up to there being too many characters, which puts a strain on the story, leaving aspects too thin to hold the weight of the narrative. Avengers: Age of Ultron is the perfect intro into the summer blockbusters and should absolutely ‘hulk-smash’ it in the box office.

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


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