Avengers: Age of Ultron Movie Review
I have no strings to hold me down, to make me fret or make me frown, I had strings but now I'm free, there are no strings on me.
Genre: Action / Fantasy / Sci-Fi
Director: Joss Whedon
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olson, Anthony Mackie, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders and Samuel L Jackson
Run Time: 141 min.
US Release: 1 May 2015
UK Release: 23 April 2015
German Release: 26 April 2015
Avengers: Age of Ultron is the newest instalment to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the penultimate blockbuster to the 2nd Phase of the franchise. It was released in Germany on April 23rd and is directed by Josh Whedon, director and writer of the first Avengers film and creator of the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
As I was sitting in the cinema, seeing the first scene of the movie being a battle, I thought: “Cool they are going straight into the action!” but as the fight went on I started to realise that I had seen it all before. Don’t get me wrong, Avengers: AoU is a good movie and a great comic-to-screen adaptation! They changed a few things here and there (such as Tony creating Ultron and not Hank Pym) but it worked, and overall it was really entertaining and a great expansion of the Marvel Universe. Still, it was not as good as the first movie!
Now before you read on, I want you to be aware that this review might contain spoilers about the movies and TV series that are linked to the MCU
The movie begins with a tie in from the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series as the Avengers follow a lead on the location of Baron von Strucker, given to them by none other than Coulson (incognito of course). Strucker is hiding out in Sokovia (Eastern Europe) and the Avengers are fighting the Barons army to take over the base. There they find an important artifact they lost during the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, when Hydra destroyed S.H.I.E.L.D. from within, and bring it back to the Avengers Tower in New York.
Tony and Banner study the artefact and find a dormant A.I., accidentally awakening it. The A.I. introduces itself as Ultron and attacks the Avengers during a party, taking over the Iron Legion and escaping through the internet once physically defeated.
The Avengers are on the hunt for Ultron, leading them to a city in Africa (which is a hint to the upcoming Black Panther movie) and a second fight ensues, with the help of Wanda Maximoff’s mental manipulation and Pietros ultra speed, Ultron manages to escape while the team is ripped apart and left to fight each other. By the end, they need to run into hiding.
Meanwhile, Ultron is creating a superior new body he can upload to.
A third battle starts between the Ultron team and the Avengers, who are trying to stop him from uploading his consciousness to the body. Once the Twins realise that Ultron does not want to save the world but destroy it, they switch sides and beat the A.I.
The team rallies up and makes it back to Sokovia to confront Ultron in an epic and final battle. At the end the team splits up again having won some new members. Thor leaves to Asgard, warned by a vision he obtained that will lead to the third Thor movie titled Ragnarok (standing in Norse mythology for a future event that leads to several deaths).
The story in the movie was good, though there were some scenes that left me confused. Whedon originally planned the movie to be three hours long, and those cut scenes clearly ripped some holes in the film’s plot, as some parts feel rushed or just poorly explained. Examples of these are: Ultron’s rushed development, the mystical cave where Thor obtains his vision and it also felt as if Banner’s story was cut at places, as there were things that just felt off in his story. But one of the biggest events that came out of the blue and unexplained, was the return of Fury in a helicarrier. Nevertheless, as a whole the plot was good and very amusing.
As for character development, I really loved the fact that Whedon delved deeper into Clint Barton’s and Natasha Romanoff’s past and present. Since Hawkeye and Black Widow were introduced, I always thought that their limited background story made them seem more like sidekicks than Avengers. Here though, we obtained glimpses of the Black Widow’s horrible past in the Red Room and at the safe house Barton revealed a secret that completely fleshed him out as a character and made him more human.
I also liked the romantic development between Banner and Romanoff as it felt natural and not forced upon the viewer. If you think back to the first Avengers film, it was the Black Widow who recruited Bruce.
The Maximoff twins explained their hatred towards the Avengers in a quick but well explained back-story. This gave them a good motive to despise Tony Stark and therefore the whole team. James Spader was simply amazing as Ultron. He was cruel and cold but at the same time cocky and childish. The only problem I had with this character was his rushed development.
The rest of the cast was brilliant as always. Some cheesy lines where thrown here and there for comedic impact, but it also had some serious and dark moments. Especially Bruce Banner’s fear of hurting innocents while he is hulking out. It is one of my favourite themes explored in this blockbuster.
I went to the cinema twice to watch this film, once in 3D (German version) and the other time in 2D (English version). I must admit that some of the scenes look great in 3D. Still, since I am not a fan of the third-dimensional movie experience, I prefer the standard 2D screening.
The cinematography in this film is great, but since we are talking about a Marvel film there is something about these movies that they all have in common: the great cinematography. The special effects are fantastic, Ironman and his Iron Legion simply looked amazing and that includes Veronica (aka the Hulkbuster). Ultron looked and felt real and the Vision’s make-up was simply incredible.
The fight scenes and choreography were displayed and captured perfectly and since it’s an adaption of a comic book storyline those over-the-top scenes can be forgiven and enjoyed.
The musical score composed by Brian Tyler was epic and strong. It was built upon the score of the first Avengers movie, but it had a new tone. Some parts were even reminiscent of the original Star Wars score. In my opinion, Tyler created a musical masterpiece.
Verdict: Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron has its flaws, but is an alright blockbuster and a good sequel to the Avengers franchise. The movie had a good direction, great performances, amazing cinematography and an equally amazing musical score. Still the story was not up to par with the first movie and therefore Avengers: Age of Ultron obtains a 7.0 out of 10.