Avengers: Age of Ultron Review
Avengers: Age of Ultron Review
Spoiler warning for Age of Ultron…
Worldwide, The Avengers is the third highest grossing movie of all time which demonstrates the dizzying heights its predecessor is trying to match. Although Avengers: Age of Ultron doesn’t quite live up to seeing Marvel’s impressive superheroes teaming up for the first time, it does provide plenty of stunning action, character moments and entertainment. The film’s plot revolves around Ultron, an artificial intelligence let loose by Tony Stark intended to protect Earth from any threats which turns against its original programming to attempt to destroy The Avengers and humanity.
In terms of action and sheer spectacle, Age of Ultron expands and improves on its previous entry. Action sequences take place in various localities from Africa to New York to Eastern Europe. Like the film’s story, the action is fast-paced and aided by new additions such as Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) whose powers add a new dynamic to the team. There are lots of examples of characters utilising their powers or abilities in combination with another Avenger creating some impressive set pieces. The choreography of the battles and sweeping shots of The Avengers taken on hordes of foes is spectacular to watch on the big screen. It all culminates in a final epic battle that goes down as one of Marvel Studio’s best to date.
Much of the screen time is devoted to Ultron, who quickly becomes Stark’s nemesis and is certainly one of the more interesting villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite being essentially a robot, Whedon manages to inject life into this film’s antagonist often through one-liners and quips previously reserved for characters such as Loki and Tony Stark. There is an interesting parallel between these two characters who are more alike than either wants to admit, although it would have been nice to see this addressed more fully in the film’s finale. Ultron’s ability to practically be anywhere his robot army is presents a new challenge for The Avengers and the film takes on a much darker tone than the first film. Ultron also keeps upgrading himself to be more formidable making the threat that much more difficult for the film’s protagonists. A fantastic new addition to the team includes Quicksilver and particularly Scarlet Witch whose mind-altering powers gives the audience more insight into the past and fears of our Avengers especially those of Black Widow. If anything the film could do with more of these two new additions but it is perhaps forgivable given the complex nature of the film.
Unfortunately, where Avengers: Age of Ultron is let down is in its jumbled and crowded plot. The film feels in a rush to make sure everyone has their moment and the story suffers from a lot of jumping around. This is partly due to set-up for future movies which may please some Marvel fans but for many might feel a little excessive. For example, the team’s excursion to Wakanda to secure vibranium feels like an excuse for a fight rather than necessary for the story. In addition, Thor who is curiously absent for a chunk of the movie only gets a handful of scenes, many of which involve exposition and teases for the next Thor film but in the context of Age of Ultron these scenes are confusing and aren’t explained very well at all. Add to this numerous and fairly unnecessary cameos as well as a strange love story between Black Widow and Hulk/Bruce Banner and the result is a story that feels bloated. Overall, the story just feels too crowded, lacking the tightness of the first film and the interesting ideological debate at play in The Winter Soldier. Having said this the film does pick up towards the end and the introduction of a new character that won’t be spoilt here improves the dynamic considerably.
Despite being a lot of fun for fans and some stunning action sequences, the Avengers: Age of Ultron is let down by a crowded and meandering story which stops the film from really flowing. While Ultron is a worthwhile villain and the addition of new characters like Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch add a new dynamic to the team, the film is prohibited from being up there with Marvel Studio’s best by its story issues.