5 Positives/Negatives About ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

WARNING: There are plenty of SPOILERS ahead from  Avengers: Age of Ultron.  So, if you haven’t seen the film, please visit one of my other articles.  

Still here? Ok.  The first time the Avengers assembled they had to take down Loki along with all of the Chitauri he brought with him in order to conquer the world.  This time around, the Avengers have to deal with a more sinister threat in the artificial intelligence robot named Ultron.  Ultron was a result of Stark’s creation in order to protect the world while the Avengers can do their own thing.  As Stark declared, “In a world this vulnerable, we need something more powerful than any us.”  The Avengers can only do so much which leads to Tony’s creation of the robot menace.

There are plenty of reasons to enjoy this film.  If you are a straight up comic book nerd (like myself), then you will no doubt love this movie.  However not every Marvel film is perfect.  Avengers: Age of Ultron  is no different.  My favorite Marvel film to date is still  Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  I even thought the first Avengers film was better than this sequel.  I would like to give you reasons what I both liked and disliked about this film.  So here are my five reasons for both liking and disliking this film (in no particular order).

Let’s get the negatives out of the way first shall we?

1.   Ultron Was Created WAY Too Fast!

This was actually my biggest drawback on the film.  The creation of Ultron happened way too quickly than I had anticipated.  There was little to no character development for one of Marvel’s most powerful villains.  In a matter of minutes, Ultron goes from a weak Iron-Man suit of armor to Ultron Prime.  If you blinked, you basically missed it.  While watching this film, I felt like a good ten to fifteen minutes of the film were cut out.  We never really saw Ultron evolve throughout the film.  He was a smart robot right off the bat.  He begins explaining his reasons why the world is cruel and why the Avengers must be annihilated but the whole thing never really comes together.  His intentions are very vague and this leaves a big enough plot hole that should have been filled.

Had his character been more developed and his creation had been much smoother, I might have given this film a higher rating.  If there’s one character that should have been developed more, it’s definitely the film’s antagonist.  Ultron’s intentions were there, but we never really felt the true reason why he believed human extinction was the way to go.  Something was missing and hopefully the deleted scenes on the Blue-ray will give us a better glimpse into the mind of Ultron as well as him evolving at a much steady pace.

-Another side note for Ultron’s creation was a scene that I was very disappointed they removed.  It was the one from the very first trailer where we saw his arm become shrouded with Vibranium.  We never saw Ultron in the film become covered with the metal, only obtaining it.  Let’s hope that scene is included on the Blue-ray features.

2.  Vision’s Creation and Backstory

Like Ultron, Paul Bettany’s Vision did not have all that much of a backstory other than the fact that he was supposed to be Ultron’s final form.  The Vision’s body was created by Ultron, but his conscience was instead created by Tony Stark using J.A.R.V.I.S.’s brain waves.

That was a plot twist that I sure was not expecting although I found it disappointing.  I understand that the Marvel cinematic universe is not going strictly based on the stories from the comics.  Marvel’s CEO Kevin Feige has laid out the ground rules and every director must listen to what he has to say.  It was clear that the Vision was going to be good from the start as soon as Thor unleashed his thunder on the container which held him.

I was expecting a brawl with the Avengers but unfortunately we didn’t get it.  It would have been nice to see the Vision have to overcome Ultron’s conscience to try and break into his own.  To see Vision turn on his master would have been a sight to see.  Although Vision was the one who destroyed the final Ultron bot in the end so at least we got that scene to thank Whedon for.

3.  Thor’s Quest

Everyone except Hawkeye succumbed to some sort of nightmare thanks to the Scarlet Witch.  Thor was no exception.  Both Black Widow and Captain America had visions of their past however Iron-Man and Thor had glimpses of their future.  Earlier in the film we saw Iron-Man’s nightmare which showed that he would be the one to destroy the team.  Then we get to see Thor going back to Asgard which was under some sort of attack.  This dream sequence gave us a brief glimpse into the future Marvel’s Phase III film  Thor: Ragnarok.  However, none of this was really explained.  In fact, it left most of us a bit confused.

Thor goes on in the film to explore what he had just seen.  He speaks with Erik Selvig briefly to take him to a place that shows him a vision of the future.  This cave swimming pool if you will for some reason allows Thor to experience what will happen in the future.  None of this is explained and appears to leave the audience questioning why this was even included in the film with myself included.

4.  Black Widow Locked up in a Jail Cell

So remember the scene where Captain America is fighting on the train with Ultron?  Not too long after the fight, Hawkeye swoops in to grab the cradle containing the Vision.  However, as Natasha guides the package into the Quinjet, Ultron grabs her just before it settles in the back of the aircraft. The next time we see Black Widow is in some sort of jail cell where Ultron delivers a speech about becoming stronger and how the humans need to be extinct for the world to become a better place. He talks about his plan for global extinction of creating a “meteor” that would destroy the human race.

This scene doesn’t seem to make much sense other than Ultron delivering a speech to someone who will listen to him; “I wanted to show you. I don’t have anyone else.”  However, after Ultron locks her up he leaves and we never see Widow again until Banner shows up to rescue her.  To me, this scene did not seem necessary.  However, what it does give us is more great dialogue from James Spader’s Ultron.

5.  The Humor

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE humor in a film especially a superhero one.  Marvel films have delighted us with plenty of memorable moments including one scene you may very well remember from  Marvel’s: The Avengers.  That’s the scene where the Hulk grabs Loki in a fit of rage and slams him into the ground multiple times.  That kind of humor is perfect for a scene nearing the end of a climactic battle.  However, I felt that this film had WAY too much humor for a more serious film.

It seemed like every time a robot was destroyed in battle, there had to be some sort of joke to go along with it.  Not only were there jokes, but Ultron had plenty of witty dialogue to go along with his thoughts about global destruction which I had covered earlier.  His dialogue worked, however I wished they had toned the jokes down just a bit.  Ultron made a good villain, but Loki still is the perfect balance of a villain (at least in my opinion).  Perhaps Thanos will change that in due time…

The first Avenger’s film had a perfect balance between seriousness and comedy.  The movie felt more like an action/adventure film whereas the sequel felt more like an action/comedy.  All three of the trailers that were released made me believe that this movie was going to be more sincere and the tone was grim from the very beginning.  Nonetheless, we were all very wrong.  Perhaps I may be making this too big a deal but for me the comedy was a bit of a defect for a film with a far more serious tone than the original.  The humor fits more for the  Guardians of the Galaxy  than any Avenger’s film.

Alight, now for the Positives.  Avengers Assemble!

1.   Plenty of Action

I’m going to be honest with you.  If you came into this movie expecting lots of dialogue and awesome character development, then you will be highly disappointed.  However, if you came into this film expecting plenty of over the top action with nods to the comics, then this is the film just for you! Avengers: Age of Ultron  does not tone down the action one bit.  Sure there are scenes where there are some down time but man this sequel unloads a plethora of punches!  There is no doubt more action in this sequel than its predecessor.  That is not a bad thing.  Since Nick Fury had to go out and round up all of the characters to bring them together in the first Avengers movie, this limited Whedon to hold off on the action for the second part of the film.

On the other hand,  Avengers: Age of Ultron  jumps right into the action straight from the get go. Since we don’t really need to develop the characters who have already had their solo outings, this allows Whedon to limit lots of unwanted dialogue and to focus strictly on the story at hand.  As a result, Whedon is able to craft us an action extravaganza with lots of memorable action sequences such as the Hulk vs Hulkbuster scene.  There is much to love about this film and this my friends is one of them.

2.   Nick Fury’s Presence

What could the Avenger’s do without their trusty leader in charge?  Nick Fury once again made his presence felt.  He gives a great speech to the Avenger’s shortly after getting beaten by Ultron and the Maximoff twins.  He also makes a grand appearance when all hope seemed to be lost as the city is just about to fall to the ground with loads of people still on board.  So what does the trusty Nick Fury do?  Well he brings back an old friend.  That friend would be the same Helicarrier from the first Avenger’s film.

He unloads transports to take the people off the city (now an island in the sky) to bring them aboard the ship.  This makes for quite a scene as the Avengers have to rally up all the people to get them to safety.  Once again Fury plays a “big” role in this film because without his help, no one would have survived on that “island.”  Captain America couldn’t have said it any better; “Fury, you son of a bi***!”

3.  The Vision Looks AMAZING

Let me be frank with you.  As poorly the character was developed, you can’t help but smile when you see the Vision on screen.  Paul Bettany’s portrayal of Ultron’s creation was absolutely astounding. The second he was born everyone in the audience stared in awe.  Vision’s look could not have been better.  The prosthetics used to bring the Vision to life was the proper look for the character.

I have always been a Vision fan from the comics.  His character was utilized greatly in two of the tv shows I have seen him in:  Avengers: United They Stand  and  Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.  I could not have asked for a better look with this character.  Kudos to Joss Whedon for the amazing work he has done with him.  And many thanks should go to Paul Bettany himself for accepting a chance to actually play a very important comic book character moving forward.  Bettany is no longer Stark’s AI J.A.R.V.I.S. but rather an android who has become an Avenger.

4.  The Twins

Aaron Taylor Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen played husband and wife in Gareth Edwards  Godzilla reboot.  Now they are both playing brother and sister in  Avengers: Age of Ultron.  Even though the characters weren’t properly developed, I thought from the scenes we saw from them were fantastic. The brother/sister bond between the two truly showed how much they care for each other.  Their hatred for the Avengers was only briefly explained however the fight scenes they were in was pure eye candy.  Watching Quicksilver zipping around destroying a dozen robots was nothing but spectacular.  Who could forget the slow-motion scene where Pietro zooms past all of the action to lay a fist right into Captain America’s chin?  That was awesome.

The Scarlet Witch was also a highlight of the film.  The scenes she was in showed us her true power.  My favorite sequence with her happened directly after Hawkeye gave her a lesson on fighting to kill and becoming an Avenger.  After busting down the door she takes out a ton of robots using her “weird” powers which she handles with ease.  She is by far one of the most powerful Avengers to join the team and I cannot wait to see how they develop her character further in the Marvel cinematic universe.  We will see Olsen reprise her role as the Scarlet Witch in next summer’s  Captain America: Civil War.  

5.  Hawkeye Finally Gets His Due Diligence

Perhaps my favorite aspect of this whole film was the emergence of the character Hawkeye.  Joss Whedon had expressed interest on having more screen time for both the Hulk and Hawkeye for this film and the director did not disappoint.  Hawkeye gets a well deserved story showing us the human side of the Avengers that we aren’t used to seeing.  This makes us understand that not every Avenger on the team has superpowers or a suit of armor with Black Widow being the exception.  The film gives us reasons why Hawkeye has been absent since the first Avenger’s film.  We now understand that he has a family with a wife and two children with a third on the way.

Not only does Whedon give Hawkeye more screen time but he also gets the best lines in the film. One of the lines that stood out to me was the speech he gives Scarlet Witch near the end of the film. Hawkeye says, “Are you up for this cuz I need to know?  The city is flying!  The city is flying, we’re fighting an army of robots, and I have a bow and arrow.  None of this makes sense. Now I’m going back out there because it’s my job… But when you step out that door you are an Avenger.”

This speech made for a great scene and shows us as an audience that Hawkeye may be human without superpowers, but that doesn’t stop him from doing what’s right.  He knows he’s not the powerhouse of the group, but he doesn’t have to be.  As long as he’s willing to fight and sacrifice his life (poor Quicksilver) for the good of mankind, that makes him a true hero.

So even though I had a few problems with this film I did come out of the movie theater having enjoyed it.  It’s most certainly not the best Marvel film to date but it didn’t have to be.  Unfortunately I have to blame myself a little.  I went into the theater hoping that this film may have better than Marvel’s: The Avengers  and  Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  However, I found myself disappointed.  I should not have set the bar as high as I did which I take full responsibility for.  From here on out I will go into the theater not wishing that it’s better than any of the previous films but rather hoping I will be entertained by a great story, characters, and action sprinkled throughout.

Marvel seems to do no wrong.  Even though I disliked both  Iron-Man 2  and  Thor: The Dark World,  I still found many reasons to enjoy the films for what their worth.  Marvel has done a tremendous job up until this point.  The future of the Marvel cinematic universe seems bright and I look forward to watching this story unfold.

I will give the  Avengers: Age of Ultron  a solid 8/10.  Sorry to disappoint if you were looking for more of a review on this film.  I wanted to give you my honest opinions of what I felt worked and didn’t work in this film.  Please share your thoughts below and tell me what YOU liked or disliked about the film and why.  Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more articles on this cinematic universe!

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