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Joss Whedon has written and directed another stellar Marvel film. Avengers: Age of Ultron measures up to what everyone has come to expect from a Marvel film within the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe with slightly serious undertones yet absolutely silly. Age of Ultron will bedifficult to disappoint, unless you one of the select few that haven’t been enjoying the previous wildly successful franchise films.
Wait, whose review exactly are you reading? Oh, I’m glad you asked. I am not a well-versed Marvel or comic book nerd. I’m actually a little jealous of those who are after the past several Marvel films. In fact, the comic book based media has grown so exponentially the last few years that I have come to wish I knew more about all of these characters and how they relate to their paper bound counterparts.
But alas, I do not. I’ve enjoyed most movies since the biggest change of style in comic book related films beginning with Iron Man to DC’s Batman Begins with me sharing the popular vote to the not so great like Green Lantern. Let’s face it though, Marvel hasn’t disappointed me with the Disney owned film properties and Age of Ultron held up in every way if not better.
Whoa. Let me slow down my praise. Avengers is one of those films that could have had just the characters all coming together to fight the bad guy, well, it is, except there is much more depth that has helped lead to its success. Age of Ultron benefits from classic Joss Whedon comedy and perhaps over characterization, which is quite the complicated task being this is a true ensemble cast.
I found myself laughing a little more than usual at Joss’s subtle humor and one-liners. He has shown a little more care toward those characters that may have not seen as much depth recently. IE: Black Widow, Hulk, and Hawkeye. Age of Ultron is a movie to pull on some emotional attachment as well as see the team overcome adversity in the team with a larger, more intuitive, antagonist. Simple enough.
Age of Ultron contains a perfect moment of all Avengers relaxed lounging around the room with each other, joking and teasing one another with it almost feeling as if we truly were just watching them on break. The scene alone has brought that moment we have all been waiting for, and it was oh so glorious. Sadly, for story progression this had to be broken up, but it wouldn’t have been much a movie without it. It’s kind of that inciting incident after all that gets the ball rolling.
The synopsis is something pretty simple, but it’s the small sub plots that really set this movie apart and make it feel as something more than the first in the series. Our friend Tony Stark has decided to take artificial intelligence into his own hands, and we know how well AI works in action movies, but his version of artificial intelligence derives directly from him bringing us a little bit of snark and sass into Ultron. This guy is basically everywhere, in every computer or electronic device throughout the entire globe. Needless to say he is one tough bad guy.
That would be pretty cool alone, but it’s his personality that makes the film actually quite refreshing. Upton is played by the almighty James Spader, who plays a perfect off-kilter Robert Downey Jr., and is actually comical. This tough, scary, unstoppable robotic beast has some wit and Whedon has blessed him with every bit of his comedic style. You try not to laugh out loud and get back to me with how you did.
Ultron definitely requires the team to work together, which creates a few cheesy bits lead by Captain America, but lets face it, WE ARE WATCHING A MOVIE BASED ON SUPER HEROS. Always good to bring that back in before you start talking about how unrealistic scenarios may be, but fortunately Avengers excels at suspending your disbelief. The movie doesn’t take anything too far and the battle scenes, while insane, are within the whelm of the MCU. Hell, at least we stay on Earth in this flick.
In order to even compete though, we do see the addition of two more Avengers; Scarlet Witch, (ELIZABETH OLSEN) and Quicksilver (AARON TAYLOR-JOHNSON). They are both welcomed additions and are introduced seamlessly. Although, apparently Scarlet Witch can do basically anything with her powers, which got me a little irked, but I guess in a super hero movie I have to let something go.
So what are you really reading this review to really see? The effects are brilliant as always. I did see it in 3D, and while I don’t think it’s a must, it didn’t hurt. It really helped the many action sequences come alive without any forced 3D or the projection feeling dim.
Many films as of late have suffered by frankly too much action. It becomes dull and tired, but Avengers finds that balance of dialogue, comedy, and action. Above all else though, the film is downright fun and never lulls. Any movie around a 2 1/2 hour length can make you think about how long it is while watching it. It’s not like we really just forget about time when watching a movie, but it’s more about flow. Age of Ultron flows, never dies out and never had that “Oh if they just ended this movie at this point” moment.
What is a must in a review for a movie pretty much everyone slightly a fan will end up seeing is to confirm that you wont be choosing poorly by seeing it. You wont! This is Marvel at it’s best and while lacking any real crazy plot, we still see an advancement in character development and a sense of direction for the Avengers team.
While I wont get into the technical aspects or actually well-acted parts, I do want to mention that Danny Elfman’s score fits perfectly. The tone of this franchise doesn’t try to be darker than it should. It’s still a super hero flick in the end and the audience gets exactly what it wants in the end. I don’t see any reason not to see this in the theater, but better make it a big screen if you can!
Don’t miss our exclusive interview with the cast of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Click here to meet the cast!