You might have noticed that we’re in the middle of a Superhero craze. Marvel started the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) in which some of their biggest heroes such as Iron Man and Captain America are brought to life on the screen. DC created Man of Steel and are following that with Batman vs Superman before moving on to the rest of the Justice League. I’m a massive superhero fan and when the second Avenger’s film Age of Ultron was released I was among the first in line to buy my ticket. At the time I enjoyed the film, I had a few problems with it but nothing major. Earlier this month (October) it was released on DVD so I watched it again. Interestingly I didn’t enjoy it as much and it wasn’t because I knew the plot.
Warning this review contains major spoilers for Avengers: Age of Ultron. If you haven’t seen the film, watch it first before reading this review.
Hulk vs Hulkbuster
I’m a huge fan of the director Joss Whedon and the cast members, there are lots of fantastic moments in this film. For example Hulk vs Hulk Buster. Any fight with the Hulk is going to be great. Any fight with Iron Man is going to be great. Put the two heroes together and you get this little masterpiece.
Likewise the protagonist of the film, Ultron, is amazing. Voiced by James Spader, Ultron is an artificial intelligence brought to life by Iron Man and the Hulk who downloads the internet and decides humanity should be destroyed. Ultron is manipulative, powerful and terrifying, everything a super villain should be.
Black Widow and Hawkeye
All of the original members of the team had a sole film prior to the first Avenger’s film with the exception of Hawkeye and Black Widow. True they had made appearances before, Black Widow was introduced in Iron Man Two and Hawkeye was in Thor but they were hardly developed characters. Even in the first film they were over shadowed by their team members, Hawkeye spent most of the Avengers brainwashed! Black Widow has the advantage of having sex appeal and being in Captain America’s second film the Winter Solder but the two are finally fleshed out in Age of Ultron. It’s revealed that Hawkeye has a family he loves and cares for and we discover that Black Widow can’t have children and sees herself as a monster. Ouch.
“He’s fast and she’s weird”
The newest members of the Avengers (and antagonists for a large part of the film) are twins Quick Silver and Scarlet Witch. Quick Silver has super speed while his sister can… it’s never really explained what she can do. We see her brain wash people, perform telekinesis and create spells, for lack of a better word, with her hands. Quicksilver dies in the final battle (superheroes are known for coming back from the dead so I doubt it’s the last we’ll see of him) and Scarlet Witch is allowed to join the team despite having powers of unknown capabilities and harboring a grudge against Iron Man who was involved in the death of her parents.
Tony’s Grand Plan
Tony Stark is a very intelligent guy, he built the Iron Man Suits, funds the Avengers and, somewhat unsuccessfully, continues his father’s business empire. He also has a bit of a track record for building something and having his creation used against him. In Iron Man one he built an Iron Man suit which was later used against him in the form of the Ironmonger. In Iron Man Two he built an expo centre, the setting of the final battle and gave advice to the captured villain earlier in the film on how to improve his own weaponry. He builds robots to police the earth before the Age of Ultron but they’re swiftly hijacked and used to terrorize the planet. Ultron also owns his existence to Tony Stark. I can’t believe Tony wouldn’t have had some defense against his creations being hijacked by now and if he did, to have a better defenses. Although this might be addressed in a future Marvel film (more than likely in Captain America: Civil War) it irritates me that it wasn’t mentioned or dealt with in this film.
Vision is a great character created by Ultron and brought to life thanks to Thor. He even proves capable of holding Thor’s hammer, a task only capable of those who are deemed worthy by the power of Odin, Thor’s Father. My problem with Vision is that he is too powerful and can single-handedly deal with any problems the Avenger’s will face. He also has some ridiculous powers. I understand super strength and flight but how can he create a golden cape for himself? Why would you ever need to do that?
The Ugly (Other)
Should of killed them when I had the chance…
Apart from characters arcs there are two moment that really bothers me. Shortly before the final fight, Ultron has Black Widow held captive inside his base. The Avengers are on their way to stop him, we know there is going to be a big fight. There is no reason Black Widow is kept alive other than so Bruce Banner can rescue her. Why didn’t you kill her when you had the chance! Also, near the start of the film Scarlet Witch gets the drop on Iron Man. Instead of killing him there and then she brain washes him into seeing his team dead. That’s scary to watch, sure but wouldn’t it make more sense to kill him?
There is a good continuity between all the films in the MCU. The events of the First Avengers film are mentioned in various other films as throw away comments and visa versa. You don’t need to have watched the other films to understand this film. What I don’t like is the references to other forms of media that are still cannon. For example Agents of Shield the TV show. I didn’t watch the TV show so the references to it and the plot holes solved by it went over my head. It didn’t ruin the film for me but it did lessen the impact.
This might just be me nick picking but was it really an age? The events of Ultron take around a week. Granted, the Week of Ultron doesn’t sound nearly as cool but calling it an age is pushing it.
I understand how much effort has gone into making the film and the pressure the cast and crew must have been under. Despite my issues mentioned above I loved the film and would happily watch it again. It’s good but like many things it doesn’t live up to the hype that surrounds it.
I give Age of Ultron 7 out of 10