Avengers: Age of Ultron Review
Reviewed by Owen Bush.
3 years ago, Marvel took a giant leap into the superhero frontier by releasing the widely successful box-office brute Avengers Assemble. Of course a sequel was announced not far after due to the epic being watched by pretty much everyone. Now, Avengers: Age of Ultron has hit waters in Europe, and soon the US will be greeted by its giant proportions. But was it as good, or perhaps even better than its predecessor? In short, Age of Ultron might just be Marvel’s best film to date – an ultra for the universe!
I’d prefer not to delve into spoilers of the film. It’s filled with perplexing plot-twists, radical revelations and a giant change of direction for the Avengers team. These, if spoiled, would ruin the true imagination and integrity of the film. The tone is sharper and more interesting than Avengers Assemble. In fact, it almost bounces off Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s haunting undercurrents, something far more fascinating to watch than other outings that rely only on the richness of the action and solidity of the A-List actors.
Age of Ultron works well with this new haunted approach, it allows the story to feel real and sincere rather than dulled with non-stop action. Of course, Age of Ultron features a ton of agile sequences that remind the audience of the superhero thriller they’re watching, but the central tones that support character development are what makes Age of Ultron a more intellectual and beautiful movie – something that may have been lost a bit with the original.
The newbie characters – Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Vision – all fair well as they help save the universe from the tormenting Ultron. Each have their own helping sub-plot, although the latter of the three sees the least exploration, leaving Vision to feel a little excluded from the fine group due to the crowded amount of plots. But I’m confident Marvel will expand the character with more essence as the series continues.
Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver almost identify a more X-Men-rooted direction the Avengers appear to be taking. They give the movie more style and diversity, allowing the expansion of the universe as a whole. I’m sure the superhero groups will continue to merge as we plunge further into Phase Two, and then Three, with the Guardians of the Galaxy hoping to soon to make a jaw-dropping collision with the Avengers.
Let’s not forget the original stars, either. Black Widow, Hawkeye and Bruce Banner/The Hulk get the most character elevation here, with all of them mounting with emotion and intensity that allow the film to remind us of their grievous pasts and their encouraging but yet, fateful future. Black Widow only hints at her daunted memories, which allows us and the audience to speculate more whether we’ll be getting that much needed solo film any time soon (c’mon Marvel!). But it’s refreshing to see the character feel more inclusive and salvaged within the group. Her brief and subtle development outweighs any previous remarks about her one-sided-sexiness. I’m sure her involvement with the group will continue to become triumphantly more significant.
Hawkeye also has a sense of personality within. He felt like an extra in Avengers Assemble, but comes to life within Age of Ultron. He seems richer with emotion throughout this latest outing, as well as adding snide, quirky quips that hold Avengers as an action thriller, as well as a comedic film. Bruce Banner is florescent as a damaged soul. He very much feels through his anger, and his dynamic with Black Widow triumphs soulfully, making the madly intelligent scientist more than the bulky demon that hides within. Iron Man, Thor and Captain America all continue to shine throughout, but don’t make as many radical plot changes as the other Avengers.
Of course, I couldn’t talk about the movie without mentioning its central destroyer and villain – Ultron. Ultron works fabulously as the deviant, deathly but strangely sassy villain, played by James Spader. Almost like Tom Hiddleston’s frisky Loki, Ultron has a mix of comedic timing and sharply brutal quotes. His plan for mass destruction is actually highly realistic. Like that of Kingsman: The Secret Service, they manage to uphold realism with evidence based upon evolution, and it ponders within the mind during, and after the film is finished. Spader is terrific as Ultron, a mysteriously dark and rumbled approach to the fascinating AI.
Joss Whedon rocks the directing seat again with his ability to mix the action with the character-building scenes. He seems to be able to work in even more with the sequences, making the epic slow-motion seem new and brave again, rather than dull and repetitive as seen in many other movies. Whedon grabs the universe by his hands, and molds it into something of an all-round adventure – almost like that of Marvel’s recent hits, like Guardians of the Galaxy, which successfully mixed fantasy with beauty. This sequel does the same, allowing the audience to be hit with waves of action, frisky and hilarious dialogue and undercurrents of harrowing morals.
It’s not perfect. A few minor scenes just feel unnecessary, almost a way to add more action than anything else, and end up feeling like a clunky mess, but luckily the slickly-directed scenes that frequently occur often overwhelm these mishaps.
Age of Ultron only signifies the importance of Marvel films as they conquer the box-office as well as the critics and audience members. It almost feels like a conclusion, yet once again, leaves strings ready to be grabbed hold of as the series takes things into deeper waters with war is on the horizon in both Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and 2. And even though they now feel like years away, as only this one proves, I’m sure they’ll continue to thrill expectations.
Slick, sexy and daunting, Avengers: Age of Ultron devours any expectations set by its predecessor, allowing the universe to shine and the characters within to broaden, flex their personalities and muscles simultaneously and still have enough time for freakishly chuckling moments that soften the drooling amount of action being excitably thrown in your face. Sure to quest through the box-office, Age of Ultron dares to be beaten with its richly sharp character development oozing with dripping hot action sequences that are sure to make everyone beam with happiness.