If there was ever a film to open with a big bang, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron takes the cake. From the get-go, we’re immediately thrown straight into the action as we join Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on their latest adventure to face their newest and deadliest foe(s).
Since we last saw our heroes, they’re now truly brothers-in-arms and are after the remnants of Hydra. The Avengers fight, live and party together like one unified team. They’re changing, advancing and adapting, both as a team and individually. Similar to how Stark gets a new Ironman upgrade with each new film, the other heroes are finally shifting out of their old suits and adapting to new ones. From changing their fighting styles to pushing the limits of their powers, the characters are truly a comic book fan’s dream come true.
With the origin stories out of the way, relationships are finally explored and characters are fleshed out a bit more. Individual stories are teased ever so slightly in an attempt to make our heroes more 3-dimensional, almost like they’re real people. Stark’s latest paranoia, with the aid of some witchcraft, quickly spells discord amongst our heroes and really tries to get the audience to believe that at their core, these super heroes are just people. Sure they’re superhuman, but their hearts and minds are anything but super. The script shifts various components of character history, but still keeps intact what makes them heroes.
The film is written pretty much like a comic book, similar to Avengers. Each scene ends on a comedic high note, usually the reoccurring joke on Captain America throughout the entire film. Despite minor cheesy moments, which I still thoroughly enjoyed, the script had solid writing but suffers from the occasional plot hole and doesn’t really allow any one character to surface as a fan favorite. Instead, the film (or if you prefer, Writer/Director Joss Whedon) does a splendid job juggling the vast ensemble and at least attempts to briefly highlight each character by making us care for them; no simple task for a film this large. Whedon does a great job in tackling the impossible – creating a movie that’ll allow all the heroes a chance to shine and still have the audience care for each of them, a problem every comic book writer that writes a team book faces. Whedon weaves the problems of these god-like beings and brings them to a somewhat human and believable level. Why else would I care about giant explosions, death-defying acts, or super heroes being super?
Age of Ultron also introduces four new players: Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Paul Bettany as The Vision and James Spader as Ultron. These new additions bring a new, fresh element to the story and draws us into their plight. I didn’t find myself hating these new antagonists, instead I found myself wanting more. Audiences don’t really get to see nearly enough of these new characters on-screen, which is a shame in my opinion. We barely even get to see The Vision in action and at one point, I thought to myself, “Where’s Vision? Does anyone have vision on Vision?” Excuse the continued pun, but for a character that was kept under wraps for the longest time, there was a serious lack of vision on The Vision.
One character that definitely could’ve used more screen time was Wanda Maximoff. I was really hoping that I wouldn’t have to wait until Captain Marvel to have another strong, independent female hero (the first being Black Widow) introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although Wanda is shown to have grown as a character by the end of the film, I was really hoping for more. The few precious moments she was in the movie, however, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. I was mesmerized. Elizabeth Olsen makes a super creepy and insanely beautiful Scarlet Witch. Every time Wanda came on-screen, I couldn’t decide whether I should be captivated or frightened. I loved the fact that Wanda’s powers are made to seem mystical in nature even though they were given to her through experimentation. Her introduction sets up the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the future of the mystic and magical realm (one of my favorite aspects and most anxious moments for Marvel). I loved seeing her utilizing her magical powers, however, again I was left wanting more.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is funny, fast paced, chock full of action, and is a nice mix of drama and fantasy. Filled with moments that’ll awe and inspire you, this film will undoubtedly become Marvel’s top summer blockbuster.
I already know you’re going to watch this film. Why else are you reading this? But if I had to tease this film without giving anything legitimate away: “Shields and hammers are thrown in perfect harmony, while a giant green monster finds solace with a black widow and a lone arrow finds its way home.”
- Runtime: 141 minutes
- Rating: Rated PG-13 for for intense sequences of sci-fi action, violence and destruction, and for some suggestive comments.
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All reviews are personal opinions and may not reflect the attitudes of other writers for DisneyExaminer.com unless stated otherwise.
These films have been screened prior to the release date for review purposes and therefore are viewed without charge courtesy of The Walt Disney Studios.