Sunday, May 3, 2015

Movie Review: Avengers - Age of Ultron


Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Action, laughs, character development, and a decent story
Cons: Feels a bit too long, but that’s a minor issue.
The Bottom Line:
Avengers are back
Fighting a villain Stark made
In thrilling sequel




“I’m Glad You Asked That Because I Wanted to Take This Time to Explain My Evil Plan.”

As I keep saying, what I don’t know about superheroes fills volumes of comic books.  At the same time, I am obviously a fan.  Just look at some of the TV shows I watch and how hooked I have gotten on the Marvel films.  So going to see Avengers: Age of Ultron was an obvious choice for me.  I am happy to report that the summer movie season is off to a great start.

As the film opens, we find the Avengers attacking a Hydra base in Eastern Europe.  When the smoke clears, they wind up with the scepter previously wielded by Loki.  Before Thor (Chris Hemsworth) takes it home, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) wants to run some tests on it.

While running those tests, Stark finds something hidden inside – an artificial intelligence.  He enlists Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) to help him find it and integrate it into Stark’s network, hoping he can use it to create a shield around Earth to protect us from further alien attacks.  Unfortunately, when Ultron (voiced by James Spader) does emerge, it doesn’t want to cooperate.  Can the Avengers defeat him?

I went in to the movie knowing pretty much nothing about the plot, and as I watched the set up evolve, I found myself rolling my eyes.  Really?  This tired old premise?  However, once the story got going, any hesitation left.  Once again, the story is fun with plenty of action to keep everyone entertained.  Those sequences were spectacular with non-stop thrills.  It might not have all been believable, but I was having so much fun with it, I just didn’t care.  And yet, the action supported the plot.  I never felt like the action was there just because this is an action/superhero film.

The story holds up, too.  Dealing with an evil robot can make for some eye rolling moments if not handled correctly, but I actually didn’t find anything that bothered me.  Joss Whedon did a great job of avoiding the typical pitfalls and creating a movie with a wonderful villain that left me wondering how our heroes would defeat him.

One thing that really impressed me with the first Avengers movie was the character development.  That’s hard to do in a movie with so many characters and so much action.  Once, again, the characters all get their moments to shine and grow.  While those with their own movie franchises might not have as much development, we got plenty of time for such characters as Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and the Hulk.  It really does make me care about the outcome more, and it really make the final fight more suspenseful for me.

Of course, the special effects are spectacular.  Did you have any doubt they would be?  The action is wonderful as well.  I believed everything I saw on the screen.  Likewise, all the actors were great.

And the humor from the first Avengers film is back as well.  There are some very fun scenes and plenty of one liners.  In fact, some of the lines made the audience laugh so hard we missed the next line or two of the film.

As a viewer of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I was wondering how they’d work that show into the proceedings.  While I did see a few moments early on that were connected to the show, there isn’t anything those not watching the show will miss.  I’m certainly curious to see how much of what happened in this film will be reflected in the last couple episodes this season.

Every time I see one of these movies, it reminds me how many of the connections I have missed.  I really need to have a Marvel movie marathon to remember all the connections, especially since it looks like they are still planning on building from here for future movies.  I can’t wait.

There is one scene during the closing credits, although it is near the beginning of the credits.  Once you see it, there’s no reason to sit through the rest unless you like to do that.

If I had one complaint, it is that the movie is a tad too long.  At two hours and twenty minutes, I felt a few of the scenes were filler and could have been cut.  I’ve already heard about some scenes that were cut, too.  But in the grand scheme of things, it’s a minor complaint.

So if you enjoy superhero films and are a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’ll definitely need to see Avengers: Age of Ultron.  But surely you knew that already.

2 comments:

  1. Great review, thanks!. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie too. I love how Stark's suit of armor has evolved to the point where it takes on a life of it's own. How about the scene where they try to lift Thor's hammer?...cracked me up...the dialog was so witty at times. I could go on and on. Can't wait for the DVD

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    1. The bit with Thor's hammer was even funnier when Saturday night I caught a rerun of the Big Bang Theory episode where the women tried reading some comics and started arguing over Thor's hammer and who could or couldn't lift it and what it would mean.

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