Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ (2015) Film Review

 

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So by now many of you have already seen the blockbuster season’s first extravaganza Avengers: Age of Ultron.  However, for those of you who are still on the fence (why?) this review ought to help you out.  For this article I’ll be breaking down the most important elements that go into a movie like this.  The plot, the characters/acting, and the action/special effects.  So get ready to assemble true believers as I break down every aspect of this film and officially say goodbye to Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

 

The Plot

The overall plot to this movie, though not the most original, still holds up pretty well.  The main driving force behind the Avengers in this film is to stop to corrupted artificial intelligence known as Ultron from destroying the Earth (ya know, like in Terminator or The Matrix?).  This part of the film holds up pretty well.  More will need to be explained in the characters section of this article, but just know the whole “we need to save the world” part of the movie holds up.

Believe it or not, most of this movie tends to focus on the relationships between the members of the team, particularly with more of an emphasis on the characters who have not yet had their own solo films.  Namely, the subplots of the film focus more on Black Widow, Hawkeye, and everyone’s favorite rage monster, Dr. Bruce Banner aka the Hulk.  Though I don’t have any issues with them trying to make these characters seem more human or giving them more depth, certain aspects (that I won’t go into for the sake of spoilers) seem just a bit forced despite the fact that there may be a decent payoff to them.  It is because of all this that the parts of the movie where the Avengers are not fighting can sometimes drag.  However, by the time these scenes start to feel like they’ve overstayed their welcome, they’re over.

Overall, I’d give the plot to this film a 7.5. They could have done a slightly better job and improved on certain aspects of it, but it comes across well enough that it doesn’t have any real negative effect on the final product.

 

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The Characters/Acting

Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, War Machine, Falcon, Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and Jarvis.  By now you know these characters and the actors that play them.  I don’t think I need to tell you that all the previously established crew members kill it in their respective roles.  They’re still full of humor, fun, and of course ass kicking.  Everyone brings the same level of awesome they brought to their previous Marvel films.

But what about the new three?  The Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and the new bad guy, Ultron (James Spader)?  They all bring it as well, just in their own ways.  Both Olsen and Taylor-Johnson bring a fresh new pair of faces to the table.

Their take on these non-mutant twins is actually really well done.  Scarlet Witch, the manipulative magician, and Quicksilver, the mischievous speedster.  You’re able to connect with these two right from the get go and they play off each other decently. Quicksilver brings a whole new level of smartass that these movies may not have needed, but is welcome all the same.

And Ultron?  Well, Spader himself also brings it.  If there is one thing most people can agree on about the MCU, it’s that the villains have been, for the most part, forgettable (I mean, who did Thor have to defeat in The Dark World again?).  Sure, The Winter Soldier was fun, but mostly everyone sticks with Loki and Obadiah Stane (aka The Dude) as their most memorable baddies, and maybe the Red Skull.  Well, Ultron is charming, funny, and above all terrifyingly relentless in his pursuits.  Is he the best of all the villains? No, that still goes to Loki as he is the only one that hasn’t been killed yet and has a truly troubled relationship with his brother Thor.  However, he’s definitely a contender for second place.  The AI’s dastardly plans, methods in going about them and James Spader’s interpretation of the character will have you squirming with both terror and delight.  The characters, as well as the acting, get a solid 9 from me.

 

The Action/Special Effects

Just for the record, I saw this movie in Imax 3D and there is no added benefit to seeing it in this format.  Save yourself about $4-10 and just see it in its regular format.

That being said…does this aspect of the film really need to be explained?  It’s 2015 and they’ve been making these cash cows for almost a decade now, of course the action scenes and special effects are awesome!  Hands down the best part!  Slight spoiler: the Hulkbuster fight seen in the trailers goes beyond what I even expected from that scene. Overall, this movie is a non-stop action rollercoaster of fun and entertainment.  This category gets a 10!

 

Overall

I’m sure this isn’t the first article reviewing this movie that you’ve seen.  I’ve read them too and the big question is this, “Is Age of Ultron better than the first Avengers movie?”  My answer is that only you can make that decision for yourself.  As of now, I really can’t decide so I’ll need to give it another viewing.  Just know this, whether or not it’s better than the first movie, it definitely holds up on its own.  You need to go out of your way to see it in theaters before you miss your chance.

 

Final Scoring:

Plot = 7.5

Characters/Acting =  9

Action/Special Effects = 10

 

Total Score = 26.5/30 – A Must See