A couple of weeks ago, Ayoub Khote saw Avengers: Age of Ultron and wrote a spoiler-free review. This review on the other hand will dip into spoilers a little bit, so if you want to go into the movie knowing absolutely nothing I suggest you go read Ayoub’s review.
Still here? Okay, let’s dig in. So after Joss Whedon in 2012 makes every Marvel fan’s dream come true and puts the World’s Mightiest Heroes on the big screen for the first time ever, how do you top that? The apparent answer is: you don’t, but you still make a fantastic movie that is a joy to watch.
Leading from a tip given to Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) by Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) after a mission from the Dirty Half Dozen (if you’re watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – which you should be – you got that reference), The Avengers attacked a HYDRA base to collect Loki’s scepter and the prize inside. I like the fact that this movie started with a lot of action. No supposition, just getting right into the team doing what they do best.
Whedon again shows just how good he is dealing with ensemble casts and witty dialogue, expertly giving just about every character their time to shine, particularly Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), which makes up for his altered mental state in the first movie (there’s actually a joke about that in this movie, which I appreciated). The exception to this rule is Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who we never really got a chance to explore.
Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff on the other hand was great. First of all it was nice to have someone whose primary power is something other than “hit things really hard,” and I always have a thing for villains-turned-heroes. We also got to spend a lot of time with Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), who to my surprise were love interests in this movie. An unexpected pairing certainly, but it made sense in its own way.
And then of course there’s Ultron, brilliantly brought to life by James Spader. Loved the character, but I do wish we would have seen more of him. The same can be said of Paul Bettany’s Vision. One of the things that felt off to me about this movie is that so much time was spent setting up things to come in MCU Phase 3 that some aspects of this movie seemed to take a backseat. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) flat out leaves the rest of the team at one point to go on a sort of vision quest, the effects of which won’t really hit home until the Infinity War. We also meet Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis), who is primarily a member of Black Panther’s rogue gallery and thus helps set up that movie.
While we’re on the subject of my gripes with the movie, let’s move on to the appearance of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). No, I’m not upset that he was in the movie (in fact it really wouldn’t be the same without him), but in the third act he shows up with a damn near literal deus ex machina that makes no sense whatsoever, particularly if you’ve been paying attention to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this season. [Editor’s Note: Okay, in the MAoS episode “Scars” it’s revealed how this makes perfect sense. The point still kinda stands however as it becomes increasingly absurd that the Avengers team still has no idea that Coulson is alive even though his actions played such a large role in this movie.]
While the new car smell of seeing a bunch of heroes on the silver screen might have worn off in the past three years, Avengers: Age of Ultron still stands as a fun movie that old fans and new should enjoy, and while we’re still waiting for DC to show us what their Cinematic Universe is capable of, this sets the stage for Phase 3 of Marvel’s Universe which I’m very much looking forward to.
In memory of Spill.com, I’m giving this movie a Full Price. Are you going to the theater to see this movie this weekend? If you already have done so, what did you think of it? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to join the Geeks of the Round Community for further discussion on this and much, much more!