Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) Review

director: Josh Whedon

writers: Joss Whedon

starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth

genre: Action | Comics

released: April 23, 2015 (Australia & Germany), April 30, 2015 (Greece), May 1, 2015 (U.S.), 

Excitement was at a fever pitch with this new Avengers film and it was to be expected. After an incredible first film where all the beats worked miraculously, we've arrived to the second installment expecting more of the same and to a certain point we did, just not with the same harmonious impact or effect.

story:

Following up the events of the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the demise of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the invasion of the Alien race the Chitauri. The Avengers are still on the trail for any missing alien technology and hidden HYDRA operations.

This will lead them to a secret HYDRA base which will have conducted human experiments and some unexpected research on artificial intelligence. Research that Tony Stark with Dr. Bruce Banner will find perfect to make the ultimate peace keeping force in their dream A.I. project called Ultron.

Once their A.I. program wakes up and doesn't see eye to eye with its creators. It manages to break free and put his own plans into fruition. Which is a certain rebirth of the world. The Avengers then will have to pick a fight with their evil child of sorts and see if its even possible to work as a team with so many secrets kept from one another.

thoughts:

Purposefully I kept myself away from most of the promotional material that the production put out. As I wanted the freshest possible experience to the film besides having seen a couple of the first trailers. Because its one thing seeing some the first trailers and another thing entirely in watching a boatload of clips that will just ruin your cinematic experience later on.

Hence my experience was a good one,  having not been spoiled of anything important and enjoyed to the fullest the group's fighting shots, to Ultron snarky persona and the small little twist and turns the story took. It was in all respect the most pleasing pop corn film that will be seen this year. Finding an incredible balance in all of its elements, but a balance that leads to that unfortunate feeling of "what was all the excitement about in the first place"?

Where as the first film was this unique experiment of sorts and a calculated risk on part of Marvel Studios. It's team dynamic, tense action, antagonistic proving of one's self as a hero and much more. Made it special as an action film and remarkable as a comic book film. On the other hand its sequel may have its moments with smartly devised personal character scenes and a fair amount of time for each of its characters mini arcs and action set pieces. However it just wasn't that fulfilling, significant or cunning as most would want it to be.

Now, I wouldn't go as far as to say that it was a lost opportunity. This event was to be expected, as not every film can be a stupendous occasion. However more could have been done with the material. Having an ego maniacal villain such as Ultron and not have him play off even more with the rest of the cast was a big dissapoitment. Because every moment he went toe to toe with the cast was an enjoyable one and not taking advantage of that was an incredible mistake. Also some of the action could have cut in favor of more character scenes were the team dynamic and problems could have been better explored and touched upon. 

Still I have to give it to Whedon for coming up with intelligent ways to show off character backgrounds and their emotional complexities through character powers and plot. For example Scarlet Witch's devious powers of mind manipulation that brings personal moments for the characters of Black Widow, Cap and a couple of others. Showing what the characters truly fear or care about. Even though this could have and should been explored a little bit further. Additionally Whedon did keep his promise in showcasing Hawkeye as a real character and being an asset to the team, instead of a joke.

In general the film is just pure fun. Ultron is a different kind of villain, being a devious mastermind but also quite clumsy and human at the same time. which is kind of unique. Also Spader's voice for the role was sublime. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver do a fine job and prove to be worthy additions. Vision's addition though even more was the best choice of all. As he brings a real dichotomy to Ultron's existence and his tranquil, but also bizarre presence is something new for movie audiences to experience.

Furthermore, based on some of the events of the film I do hope they know where there going with the future films and the movie universe as a whole. In the sense of how to handle character absences and actor re-casting. Cause that will soon come to be as much as nobody wants to hear or know about it. As well as having tight grip at the complexities of the universe and their individual character microcosms.

verdict:

Coming out of the film I wasn't as jettisoned as I was with the first, but to a certain extent that's okay. As it had enough comic book goodness to go around, took itself serious enough and is still the best example of how to do a team superhero film. Sure it's main target audience of adolescents make these films less violent and complex. But its all in the name of pleasing every demographic in order to make the greatest profit. Isn't that what we all want..

Personal Rating:

3.5 Stars.jpg

review by Paul Katsaros

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