Joss Whedon’s follow up to The Avengers, does it live up to the first one….?
Avengers: Age of Ultron stars Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, The Avengers), Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Rush), Chris Evans (The Avengers, Snowpiercer), James Spader (Boston Legal, The Black List) and is directed by Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Firefly)
Tony Stark and Bruce Banner attempt to create a peacekeeping program but things quickly go wrong and the evil Ultron is created. The Avengers must then band together again, to defeat Ultron and protect the world.
So I’ve had a lot of pleasant surprises when revisiting the MCU films for my Marvelous Monday reviews but unfortunately this one wasn’t so pleasant. I remember watching Age of Ultron in the cinema last year and enjoying the experience of seeing all the Avengers together, so I was looking forward to seeing it again but found it very hard to get through.
I’ll start with what I liked because there is a lot to enjoy in this film. All the returning Avengers are amazing. We know from the previous Avengers and other Marvel films, that these heroes have incredible chemistry with each other and are so much fun to watch on screen. Whenever these characters are put in a room together, you get endless hilarious dialogue, constant banter and with all that charisma it’s impossible to look away. Hawkeye gets some much need attention in this film and actually has some of the funniest lines. The relationship with Black Widow and Hulk was really interesting but as it seems Black Widows relationships don’t follow on to other films (seriously she’s had some sort of connection with almost every male in these films), I doubt we’re going to see that develop any more in the future.
Scarlet Witch and Vision were two new Avenger that I thought slid into the team and felt like they had always been there. They were both welcome editions to the Avengers and Vision in particular was really cool. Scarlet Witch was another much needed female presence in the team and she was played excellently by Elizabeth Olsen.
It almost seem redundant to bring up the action at this point because we know with a Marvel film, the fights are going to be epic but Whedon managed to top himself with the set pieces in this film. The opening scene alone, makes me smile and get excited every time I see it.
Just like it seems pointless to rave about the action, it’s equally redundant to mention that another Marvel villain wasn’t very good. I was super excited for Ultron after seeing the trailers, he looked terrifying and I thought he was going to be the villain that would equal Loki but he turned out to just be a metal version of Tony Stark. His first scene, that was in all the trailers is amazing but then he just becomes a wisecracking robot and he’s no longer frightening. From his design alone he has a powerful presence on screen but every time I felt any fear, it was erased by a funny quip. Ultron had so much potential and with James Spader’s awesome voice he should be a villain everyone is still talking about today but instead he was a throwaway, that we’ve all forgot about.
Ultron wasn’t at all scary and I think that was partly because this film has no edge to it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Marvel films bright and happy but Age of Ultron plays better as a comedy then it does has an action film. I would have liked this film to pull back from the constant jokes and banter, to develop a story or have some serious moments, so I could be invested. All my favorite Marvel films (except Guardians of the Galaxy), have a certain amount of darkness to them, that adds weight to what your watching and makes you care about the action that’s happening, Age of Ultron is just joke, after joke, after joke and it never slows down to take a breathe.
You can tell that Whedon was forced to add in scenes that setup future films because there are some really jarring detours in this film, that feel very out of place. Usually Marvel are subtle with their links to upcoming films but in Age of Ultron they felt forced and didn’t work at all. The Thor jacuzzi scene in particular, really stood out as something Whedon had no choice but to put in the final cut.
This film is very thin and didn’t hold my attention upon second viewing. I honestly was bored watching this film again and struggled to get through it. It’s way too long, yet moves at a fast pace and Ultron was a huge disappointment. There are aspect of this film I do still like but overall I don’t think Avengers: Age of Ultron is a good film.
Did you like Age of Ultron?