Avengers: Age of Ultron

Published on May 3rd, 2015

All Images Copyright Marvel & Disney Films

Grade: B

The highly anticipated Avengers: Age of Ultron hit theaters this weekend to crowds of giddy fanboys and fangirls, all excited to see the next chapter in some of our favorite heroes stories. Like it’s predecessor “The Avengers,” this one also has Joss Whedon overseeing and directing. Now I know every comic book fan, geek, nerd, etc etc whatever we are calling ourselves these days, will go to see the film. I’m not huge on giving away spoilers, so no worries there. But did I like it? If you’re a casual fan of these films, will you enjoy the movie.. that is the real question I am striving to answer.

The film wastes no time plopping us right down into the middle of a huge action sequence. Complete with explosions, Hydra, and our introduction to the twins aka Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Who at this point, aren’t exactly friendly with The Avengers or America for that matter. I found myself wishing I had watched Captain America: Winter Soldier as a bit of a refresher course to be honest, though it’s not really necessary. It just felt like too long between seeing the two films that kind of work in sequence with each other.

Our villain Ultron is created by Tony Stark who is trying to create something to protect the human race. But ultimately with all Artificially Intelligent machines, they quickly decide humans are the real problem, and then we face extermination. It’s all very Terminator like.

The cast of the film is all top notch, you would expect that with Hemsworth, Downey Jr., Evans, Ruffalo, Renner, etc., and even the new additions were great. However they are all given very little time to shine or make much of an impression. Well except Spader as Ultron of course, and then there is Renner as Hawkeye.. and that’s a whole other monster.

The film felt like it was struggling hard to spotlight the characters that aren’t given their own films. Thrusting into the spotlight, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Bruce Banner. Which left me a little disappointed. Disappointed that the whole team, ensemble, everyone together on screen thing wasn’t played up more.

 

Jeremy Renner returns as Hawkeye. All Images Copyright Marvel & Disney Films

But mostly disappointed that Marvel has such little faith in the Hawkeye property, (which mind you the comic book is doing quite well) that they haven’t given him his own film, or a combo film with Black Widow. Especially when it’s clear the film plays up their friendship. Especially the stuff with the farm house. It just baffles me. I love Renner, I love his scenes in the film, they are great, I would see a Hawkeye film in a heartbeat. I just didn’t find it fair to have him showcased so much in what was supposed to be the celebration of using a team to defeat what one hero can not fight on their own.

So instead of seeing super cool team up stuff. We spend way too much time delving into Hawkeye, Black Widows past, and Bruce Banner’s obliviousness to Black Widow hitting on him. None of the other cast gets the kind of screen time these three do. We barely spend time with Captain America. Only what was necessary to add tension for Civil War. There is a scene with Thor that involves talking to Norse Gods, that gets edited down to a miniscule bit that leaves the audiences wondering what just happened.

Robert Downey Jr. with soon to be Ultron. All Images Copyright Marvel & Disney Films

Oh but you bet there’s time for lots of mind numbing action! Story.. who needs story! We have a Hulkbuster vs Hulk fight! EXPLOSIONS! THOUSANDS OF ROBOTS! FLOATING LAND MASSES!

It just wasn’t what the first film was. The best parts of the film, were the subtle in between moments. The fun get together the group has, where everyone take a shot at lifting Thor’s hammer. The farm house was great, super heroes thrown into a really average, normal person scenario.

I also enjoyed the dark imagery when Scarlet Witch gets into their heads and exploits their fears. Every hero has a dark side. However, I don’t think every hero has to be dark and brooding, like some other folks seem to believe. So in my mind, I wonder if that is just included to satisfy that dark hero agenda the film studio’s seem to want to push.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver & Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch. All Images Copyright Marvel & Disney Films

So obviously I feel very middle of the road about Avengers. It’s certainly not the worst film. But it’s not their best by far. When a studio hires a director on, they should have a certain amount of faith in that director. To make a great product that fans will love and enjoy. When you strangle that creative freedom away from them. You lose the magic. You have to have faith in your film makers at some point. Especially when they made the previous film which succeeded above and beyond their wildest dreams.

I would probably watch it again, but I’m not running back to theaters to see it for a second time.

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