Summer is here and so are the big-budget, high-grossing films that are typically associated with summer. This has definitely been the case for this summer’s earlier hit with Furious 7 and is now being continued with Marvel’s latest creation and second Avengers titled movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron (A:AoU). Rolling as a sequel to 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron is the eleventh movie in Marvel’s massive cinematic universe story line. With a massive budget of $250 million, the second Avengers movie is clearly on it’s way to the billion dollar mark with a world-wide total of $424 million the day after its domestic release on May 1, 2015.
While the “numbers” are definitely there, is it worth its weight in gossip? After all the anticipation and excitement going into this, let me review some of movie’s “pros and cons” in minor detail to help you determine if Avengers: Age of Ultron is for you.
PROS AND CONS
Before we get started, I will admit that I had very high expectations from this movie. Some people might say that is not fair but I feel like it is fair, not because Disney/Marvel has set the bar high in the past, but because they can afford great talent in all aspects of film making and considering their cast, I do expect a good, no great, film. So continuing, I was very excited going into this movie, as I am with most comic book movies. Considering the success of Marvel’s phase 1 team-up movie, the Avengers, I have been anxiously awaiting phase 2’s Avengers: Age of Ultron to see if lightning would strike twice (in no way is that a Thor reference).
*****POTENTIAL SPOILERS BELOW*****
1) Excellent cast/director:
- Ironman – Robert Downey, Jr.
- Thor – Chris Hemsworth
- Captain America – Chris Evans
- Hulk – Mark Ruffalo
- Black Widow – Scarlett Johansson
- Hawkeye – Jeremy Renner
- Nick Fury – Samuel L. Jackson
- Ultron – James Spader
- Scarlet Witch – Elizabeth Olson
- Quicksilver – Aaron Taylor-Johnson
- Vision – Paul Bettany
- War Machine – Don Cheadle
- Movie Director – Joss Whedon
2) Special effects: Thank you Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and other contributors!! You guys rock! Visually this is a fantastic film.
3) Film’s length of time: 2 hrs 21 mins… not short, not too long. I never mind a “long” movie if its in need of making the film better with more elaboration or clarity.
4) Character screen time: Each superhero and Ultron has ample screen time to highlight their best traits/skills. Some with great lines/dialogue.
5) Character depth: They really took time to expand on the characters who do not have individual films (Hawkeye and Black Widow). Thank you for that.
6) Humor: Like the first Avengers movie, the humor was “spot on”!! My hats off to the writers for creating some very laughable situations with some clever and hilarious dialogue.
The “Cons” section!!! OOOOOOOOHH…. haha… A lot of writers do not like to advertise this section because some movie critics and die-hard fan boys really care about the movies they watch. With that in mind, please keep in mind that no offense is meant. This is just my opinion after watching the movie once.
1) Poster boy tactics: I love Ironman/Robert Downey, Jr as much as the next guy. He is incredibly talented however, Disney/Marvel is overplaying his role in my opinion. Similarly, Fox Studios has made Wolverine their “poster boy” due to Hugh Jackman’s ability to fill theater seats. I get it. Money is always a factor but, for me, it gets old. I love the Tony Stark/Ironman character but, do feel they have built his character up too much. He is the smartest, richest, and now Disney/Marvel has made him the most unstoppable character in the Avengers. Fox Studios has notoriously done this with X-men: Days of Future Past (DoFP) with Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) and Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique). I love both these actors/actresses however, it was obvious to see that the movie was written specifically with them in mind. They even gave Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat) and ability she never had in order to find a way to give Wolverine more screen time. Also, Mystique is now this super assassin who is going to change the world’s future by killing Bolivar Trask. Never before has Mystique been so pivotal to any X-men movie or an X-men comic. They definitely amplified her character to give Jennifer Lawrence more screen time. Again, I get it, they sell tickets and movie studios are out to make money but it still isn’t right and the other actors/actresses in the movie suffer the loss of what could have been a larger, more profitable role. Meanwhile, fans lose what could have been a better story for one written for the love of money and not the love of the story and characters.
2) Hulk vs Ironman/Hulkbuster fight: Okay, the Hulk vs Hulkbuster fight was incredible but the Hulk should have won. The Hulkbuster suit is cool but to be capable of subduing or defeating the Hulk, the guy who defeats Onslaught himself (when every other superhero failed), is a bit of a stretch. For starters, Hulk rips off the body armor of Hulkbuster and then “Veronica” conveniently sends new replacement parts to “fix” Hulkbuster mid-fight is, for me, a bit of a stretch when Hulk literally just ripped those titanium parts off of the Hulkbuster suit. The new replacement parts would not be capable of attaching. The groves and such would not align since the previous parts were indeed ripped off. It’s just not feasible. I know, its just a movie but, come on. This is just another example of Disney/Marvel making the Ironman character too important and too powerful.
3) Creating conveniences: This is something common in many movies. When the story/director needs something they don’t already have in the existing story they create something to “fill the gaps” and make this convenient and easy. For this example, during the movie Thor leaves the group for a while after his mind was trapped in a “dream” created by Scarlet Witch. He then leaves the rest of the Avengers for a while to go visit a place called the “Waters of Sight”. For me, Thor did not need to do this. It was an unnecessary move used to bring in a character than really did not need to be in the movie (Dr Eric Selvig played by Stellan Skarsgard). Then Thor takes Dr Selvig to the Waters of Sight, a place never before mentioned in any of Marvels cinematic universe. For myself, it comes across as generic for fans to all of a sudden discover the existence of this clarity giving pool of water. Ultimately, Thor returns to the Avengers with the idea that Vision could be used to stop Ultron which was a decision Tony Stark and Dr Banner had already made and were trying to implement.
4) Baron von Strucker: The character, who was a notable villain in the comics at one time, was brought in the film bringing a certain level of excitement because of his appearance. However, the character only received like 2-3 mins of screen time. Regretfully, he is killed off fairly quickly and served little purpose in the movie.
5) Ultron: The big “baddie” of the film was all but that. Sadly, I really felt like the potential for this incredible villain was dropped. He is voiced-over by the amazing James Spader however, that talent was not put to great use as Ultron rarely feels like a villain of actual threat. He is very entertaining but at no time does he come off as evil. In comparison to the last Avengers film, Ultron’s presence feels about as threatening a butterfly would be to a lion (okay, maybe not that little, but still not much).
6) Hulk/Black Widow love story: This felt unnecessary and didn’t really add anything to the story except a couple funny lines. Ultimately, the “love story” aspect never amounted to anything by the movie’s end. If they expand on this in later movies I will be happy to retract my statement here but until then, it was pretty lame.
Overall, I still really enjoyed the film. Marvel usually delivers a fun and entertaining film and Avengers: Age of Ultron is no different. It is full action, exciting fights, special effects, and great humor. All while attempting to dig deep into some moral issues and some sci-fi “what if’s”. The movie is definitely worth the cost of the movie ticket and I recommend people go and see this big summer movie as it will likely be the biggest of all summer movies. Whether or not it deserves the highest grossing title or to join the “$1 billion club”, I’m not so sure. But I am a comic geek and it is a very enjoyable movie.
Well, I meant to keep this article about a thousand words shorter but… you know how it goes.
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
So that’s pretty much all I have to say about this film but what are your thoughts? I would love to hear them. Hit me back. I am all ears. Thanks for reading! – JDM