Film review – Avengers: Age of Ultron

World’s Mightiest Heroes return to the big screen to defeat Tony Stark’s newest and worst creation. Avengers: Age of Ultron stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson and James Spader as Ultron.

Is it possible for Joss Whedon to top himself? Marvel’s The Avengers show that the dream of many comic book readers across the globe was possible. Whedon (known for Buffy, Firefly, X-Men comic books and even Toy Story) managed to give a superhero film suitable not only for fans of the characters but also to a wider and mainstream audience. The Avengers is arguably the best superhero movie of all time, or at least is up there with The Dark Knight, Spider-Man, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Iron Man. The first installment of The Avengers series and last movie in Marvel’s Phase One was a warm surprise that moved millions of people.

Now, Joss Whedon returns to writing and directing duties to bring a sequel for the World’s Mightiest Heroes with Avengers: Age of Ultron.

In the opening, we see the Avengers machine working at it’s best. This opening is a reminder of why we love to see these people. It’s not only about the action, or because these heroes have cool costumes. It’s all about the characters and how they bounce into each other. What is attractive about these scenes, is the way they interact.

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Forget introduction to the characters and the feeling many people – including me – got from the first movie, it felt that the actual flick started after the first 30 minutes. Age of Ultron starts full throttle since the first minute. The first act not only features the Avengers getting back together to fight against Hydra, also the new super powered additions are smoothly introduced during the first scene.

Things cool down after this first battle. The Avengers return to the HQ and Tony Stark comes back to work on his Ultron program, an artificial intelligence which is supposed to do the work of the Avengers. After Stark mess up, Ultron becomes self-aware and the robot decides that the only way to accomplish Tony’s purpose is to extinct all humanity and the heroes trying to protect it. Ultron wakes up in the HQ after the Avengers ended the celebration another victory and the rest is story (otherwise I would spoil essential plot points) Avengers: Age of Ultron is awesome.

Whedon delivers not only a great superhero movie. Age of Ultron works well as movie, period. The story is very interesting. The sequel has a lot of emotion and it’s very well written. Age of Ultron is a lot fun, but also a scenario where we see the heroes reaching the lowest point. Joss Whedon treats these characters like actual people. The Avengers are not rockstars, there’s a lot of things going on in their lives other than fighting what is ruining the peace on Earth. The flick features plenty of scenes where the team talk about news reports and how the people react towards the idea of having a team protecting the world. They’re damaged. Whedon does a great job at giving humanity to these characters, even to the main villain.

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Ultron is more than great, is the best villain that has ever been in a Marvel movie. The new addition to the Marvel’s enemy gallery is not only evil, he is also funny, smart and sarcastic. The title villain is just incredibly dangerous and very interesting especially during his last scenes involving dialogue. Only flaw with the new enemy is the fact that his birth feels too rushed. Ultron is created in three days and he just appears. It feels like they are some missing scenes about the creation of the artificial intelligence. Also, some comic book fans may feel that Ultron’s daddy issues are missing from the film. However, that gets forgotten after fifteen minutes because thanks to clever writing, great direction and James Spader. The villain has plenty of great lines, some of them could be really quotable. This new stone in the Avengers shoes is portrayed as real life bad guy, almost like a real life dictator. He feels more like a person than a robot. Ultron delivers.

The movie introduces other characters, like: Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and the synthezoid known as The Vision. The last one shines the most and has the potential to become a fan favorite. The Twins are great, especially Scarlet Witch. Only issue with these characters is the lack of explanation how they met Ultron, but a good thing about these two is that their motivations are well sketched. The metahumans are amazing when they’re working as the duo they are. Quicksilver in the other hand, is very comic accurate and one of the coolest characters that participate in the film. However, Aaron Taylor-Johnson by himself doesn’t have a lot to do with his character expect for having great scenes saving people and when he interacts Hawkeye. Pietro’s relationship with Barton is a big highlight from the film. They don’t have a pure friendship but they’re definitely not foes. These two hanging out bring some of the funniest and also lighthearted moments.

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Speaking of Hawkeye, he has a lot to do in Age of Ultron. Audiences will know him better and he turns into one the central characters of the movie. It’s hard to imagine Age of Ultron without Hawkeye. Jeremy Renner has many to offer in this film as Clint Barton. Renner’s Hawkeye is what keeps our team grounded into reality, especially during a scene where the team is recovering from the attack of Ultron, Pietro and Wanda.

Other characters have their moments as well, like Captain America who finally is asuming the role as the definitive leader of the Avengers. Chris Evans manages to capture the essence of the beloved Steve Rogers from the comic book pages. Vision, like it was mentioned before, has all the potential to become a fan favorite. The characters lacks in evil, the Vision is innocent and portrayed as somekind of perfect being. Paul Bettany’s new character is extremely powerful, but very fun as well. Thor’s scenes where he is joined the Vision are very funny, just like the scenes he shared with Hulk during the battle of New York. The Vision is simply astonishing and he completely steals the show, even if the synthezoid comes late to the party.

Also, hints to Civil War are made during this film, in scenes where Tony Stark and Steve Rogers are constantly arguing. That’s another good thing about Age of Ultron, they keep bouncing into another and the dialogue given to these characters is fun to listen. The action is there and it’s exciting. But what really makes an Avengers movie is the team dinamic they have and how they act when they’re in group. A movie about these heroes just hanging could be fun. Whedon is great at giving personalities to every character there is. Joss writes everyone like a different being, with their own qualities. These heroes are like ingredients carefully added into a mix to get a nice meal.

That being said, there’s a bit of romance that involves two members of the Avengers, Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff. The relationship doesn’t work fine in the film. While the couple works well when they are in the middle of a battle, a normal day in the Avengers HQ feels a bit awkward. However, that awkwardness makes sense, because this two characters had many dark things going on in their past and they don’t want to get involved with each other.

While young fans may enjoy this new romance -which didn’t work for me – it means some of the other characters have to be pushed to the sides to give screentime to the couple. Even if that screentime is not too long, However, the characters that are being shoved like Captain America or Thor deliver amazing action. Joss Whedon directed action moments. There’s so much better scenes that one where Thor slams Mjolnir into Captain America’s shield into a bunch of Ultron minions. That’s saying a lot, because that is a great moment in the movie.

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Age of Ultron adapts a darker tone than the first Avengers installment or any of the other films listed under the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the movie maintains the fun. While people may keep saying that this sequel is not as fun as the first movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a great time at the theatre. The party scene is very lighthearted, and the film keeps a nice atmosphere since the opening. It has just a great amount of drama, comedy, and action. The last thirty minutes involved the amazing fight everyone is waiting for. Marvel Studios bring something different that we have ever seen before and the heroes feel like heroes. The destruction is very well managed and, but what it’s important is how this battle makes them struggle. Their mission is not only to destroy Ultron, is to save everyone.

Joss Whedon, just like in the first movie, manages to write a great superhero flick that evolves into a wonderful third act. This time the movie is bigger and crazier. Fun. Exciting. The action scenes are amazing from beginning to end, while the dialogue is very good. There’s too much going on Age of Ultron, but it doesn’t feel convoluted. One scene takes it to another, and the story is very fluid and easy to understand even is some scenes that could explain more were cut from the final movie because the original film’s length passed the 3 hour mark. There’s way too many characters in the movie, but it’s nice to spend proper time with each one. Being with these characters for 2 hours and 30 minutes is a great ride.

Avengers: Age of Ultron gets a 7.8/10.

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