Monday, May 11, 2015

The Avengers: Age of Ultron Review

In Front (Left to Right): Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner.  In Back: Not Really Mark Ruffalo.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron is solid family entertainment.  Kids

were echoing throughout the auditorium, viewing films like these are almost as fun as straight comedies.  There’s nothing like a lively audience.  I must confess that I didn’t take notes and I saw this over a week ago, so where details are missing it’s because the film failed to make a lasting impression in those moments. 

Ultron (Voiced by James Spader).
Ultron (Voiced by James Spader).
The film opens with lots of mayhem as The Avengers are on a mission in Eastern Europe.  During this mission we are introduced to Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).  They have vengeance in store for Tony Stark (his arms dealing days coming back to haunt him) and are determined to destroy The Avengers.

Left to Right: Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr.
Left to Right: Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr.
Eventually, The Avengers are back in New York, mostly successful.  Tony Stark discusses his artificial intelligence solution to Earth’s future defense with Bruce Banner in secret.  This is the first time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films when a hero creates their own villain.  Ultron is voiced by James Spader, which is neat since he hasn’t played a villain in quite some time. 

As usual, Tony Stark’s responsibility for Ultron’s creation is the cause of in-fighting once the rest find out.  Ultron believes that humanity is the antithesis of peace, so it believes peace can only be achieved by the extermination of mankind; machines can then dominate the Earth in perfect harmony.

Hulkbuster Armor
Hulkbuster Armor.
This is a messy, chaotic, overblown film.  However, there are great moments.  Many great moments of humor involve Thor’s hammer.  The Jarvis-sounding superhero, both machine and divine, Vision (Paul Bettany), adds much needed life and interest to an ironically flat group dynamic.  Nick Fury makes some memorable and grand entrances.  War Machine and Falcon have some fun.  Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor is introduced, which is something I’ve been looking forward to for awhile ever since my younger brothers mentioned it.  New alliances are formed.  And, of course, the film looks marvelous even when it doesn’t play marvelously.   

Who needs drinking games when there's Thor's hammer lifting game?
Who needs drinking games when there's Thor's hammer lifting game?
I didn’t watch it in 3D in theaters.  I plan to watch it once more, in 3D, at home when it’s available; I think it will be just a little more satisfying with the extra immersion.  Other than that, I think The Avengers: Age of Ultron is one that will age relatively poorly unlike the more timeless Iron Man (still the tightest and most memorable story of all Avengers-related films).

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