Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Darker…slightly confusing.

2015 is bound to be a crazy ride…starting now. Picking a “most-anticipated” film of the year proved to be a bit of a difficult task for me, but I eventually settled on Star Wars. As far as summer films go, I think Avengers: Age of Ultron took the cake, though. The first movie was just so epic that it changed the way movies were made…in a way at least. There was nothing like it, and we were promised several more years of the same…that’s insane! So, saying I was excited for this film would be a bit of an understatement. Did the film do my self-inflicted hype justice? In a way, absolutely, and in a way…not so much.

Avengers: Age of Ultron starts off with the Avengers already working together – attempting to locate Loki’s staff. Apparently, they’ve been trying to take down Hydra since the last time we’ve seen them. Loki’s staff, of course, contains an “infinity stone”, which is something so powerful it basically thinks for itself. So Tony Stark decides to create artificial intelligence in a continued effort to save the world – however…that backfires on him as Ultron is born. A version of Tony’s suit that can think for himself, and unfortunately decides hostility is the true way to save humanity from themselves. The only people that might be able to stop him are the Avengers…along with newcomers Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch.

YEE WHOO! The Avengers are back, but are they better than ever? I don’t think I can say that right now, but I can at least say it’s another great time at the theater with some of our favorite heroes – and that fact alone is almost enough to just leave it at that…but blast it…I can’t. This long-awaited super sequel took a plunge into a surprising depth of darkness that was a little dry on the comedic side of things that we’re used to seeing from this group. That doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing, of course, so I’ll ignore that. What I instead want to talk about is the complexities of this film that seem to be more apparent than the first film.

There’s actually quite a bit of side-stories for our lesser focused-on characters like Hawkeye and Black Widow – but every single character had their own internal agenda and motivation behind exactly why they are an Avenger in the first place, and why they will continue to fight to continue their journey as heroes. At the same time, these stories ultimately get to be a bit of a hassle to juggle. Every character has their own stories, including the two newer recruits and Ultron himself. There’s just so many stories going on at the same time, and it gets to be confusing at times.

However, part of the reason you watch these movies are for the majestic teamwork and choreography – how these guys function individually, in separate teams, and as a whole. That takes a lot of creative thinking, and I think Joss Whedon has done it again as far as creativity goes. But alas, there are a couple of things that I can’t help but mention.

First thing’s first. I love James Spader’s voice, but I’m tired of his attitude remaining exactly the same as to every other role he’s ever done. The more Ultron spoke, the more I heard Spader, not Ultron – and that’s just because of those tiny little remarks James Spader always adds at the end of conversation…either out of humorous sarcasm or otherwise…and for some reason I didn’t like that with Ultron. Secondly, didn’t Tony Stark quit the Iron Man thing in Iron Man 3? Remember the clean slate program? Did I miss something, because suddenly he’s Iron Man again, and we just accept that.

The Good:

Hey, let’s not nit-pick. This is The Avengers, and that fact alone makes this movie entertaining. I also have to give it to this film by making it work perfectly as a direct sequel to the first Avengers, as well as the second Captain America, and as an addition to Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. All while maintaining an independent movie experience.

The Bad:

All in all, as fun as the movie was, it wasn’t as good as the first movie. The darkness of the film dulled out what could have been really funny moments, the artificial intelligence taking over the planet has been seen before, there were a lot of stories going back and forth, and in the beginning – there were too many villains. It’s great and I’d still buy this as soon as it comes out, but I think it got caught up in the curse of the first sequel.

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