‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ (Film)

 

‘AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

The Avengers Return

If Marvel Studios ever did a TV series called ‘Avengers Zeo’, I would go for it! 😀

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is the sequel to ‘Avengers Assemble’ (or ‘The Avengers’ as the USA calls it). It features the return of our favourite Marvel superheroes that we’ve seen already in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ series. This also features the appearances of some brand new superheroes too.

I did see this movie at the cinema back in 2015 with my best mate Stephen. I believe I saw it to celebrate my birthday, although I have vague memories of seeing it when I came back to re-watch it for this review. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it at all. I did. It just didn’t leave a huge impact on me.

I didn’t purchase ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ on DVD/Blu-ray after I watched it at the cinema. It was when I purchased the film as a part of the ‘Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe – Phase Two’ DVD box set. I only saw the film once at the cinema and I guess the film did not have a huge impact on anyone else.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man; Chris Hemsworth as Thor; Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk; Chris Evans as Captain America; Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye. There is also James Spader as Ultron and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in this.

The film was directed by Joss Whedon, who previously directed the first ‘Avengers’ movie in the ‘MCU’ series. So what was it about ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ that didn’t make me feel excited about it as ‘Avengers Assemble’ did? Well, I suppose it is because I expected what it was going to be really.

It was going to be about our Avengers superheroes fighting in a mission to save the world from a deadly opponent and that’s it. Not that’s it a bad thing. I like our Avengers superheroes fighting the bad guys. It’s what we want. But I think it was getting predictable and there wasn’t anything original.

Also the film seemed to have a lot going on in it and there wasn’t enough breathing space to absorb each and every event that was happening. We go straight into the Avengers on a mission and no build up on how they got back together. It’s straight down to business which I suppose is okay really.

With the first ‘Avengers’ film, I like how all the superheroes met each other and interacted in order for audiences old and new to get introduced to them. I think the same was applied in this movie with reintroducing the Avengers even for those who come to this first time. But it wasn’t exciting enough.

There’s also something built upon with how the Avengers’ opponent in this movie – Ultron – is created because of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner experimenting with the J.A.R.V.I.S artificial intelligence to create a better new system. I think this aspect of the movie was weakly developed in setting this up.

It had something to do with Tony feeling regretful about letting the team down or something when Scarlet Witch caused him to experience a nightmarish hallucination or something. It wasn’t that well explained as far as I was concerned. I think more time should’ve been given to develop it more.

Anyway, the film has the Avengers trying to recover the scepter previously wielded by Loki at a Hydra facility. They encounter two new superhuman characters called Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. And like I stated, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner create Ultron to build a better new world.

But as a result, Ultron escapes and in his own mind decides to create a better new world by creating his own ‘machine empire’ (also why I included ‘Avengers Zeo’ video above) and eradicating all the humans. Can the Avengers work together as a team again in order to stop the Ultron’s evil madness?

I do like some of the interaction between the Avengers characters in this movie. There’s a party scene at Avengers HQ where the superhero characters interact with each other as well as some ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. members. There are even characters from previous ‘MCU’ movies that attend the party.

There are also a great number of scenes where the Avengers retreat to a hideout where Clint Barton/Hawkeye’s family lives. It allows for more interaction between the characters featured in this ‘Avengers’ movie, which I suppose you could say is a good thing as we do want character interaction.

The Avengers eventually have a showdown with Ultron and his machine army when they battle against him in the city Sokovia as it rises up from the ground into the air. The action sequences directed by Joss Whedon are splendid. It is amazing how this movie travelled the world to be filmed.

Robert Downey Jr. returns as Iron Man/Tony Stark in the movie. As we’ve seen him in previous films, Tony can comes across as rather arrogant, especially when he doesn’t consider the consequences of his actions in building Ultron with Bruce Banner. Also, how come he’s decided to be Iron Man again?

From the previous film, ‘Iron Man 3’, it was implied he might have given up the superhero identity? Did we miss something? He tends to clash with the likes of Captain America and Thor when they question his actions. He even laughs when things have gone badly wrong, especially as Ultron is out.

But despite that, Tony Stark remains to sticking with the team especially as they go out to save Sokovia and its people. It was interesting to see how Tony has carried forward his new technology from the previous ‘Iron Man’ movie into this one. He even has his Hulk-like armour to tame the Hulk.

Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor in the movie. After seeing ‘Thor: The Dark World’, I guess this is a progression of what he’s doing in saving the Earth and leaving Asgard behind him. Little is referenced to the events of that movie. Even his relationship with Jane Foster is briefly glanced over.

Thor continues to be the god of thunder helping the Avengers to fight the good fight. It was funny when Thor gave everyone a chance to try pulling out his hammer during the party scene and they failed miserably. In the end, Thor tells them all in a joking kind of manner that they are all unworthy.

It’s made clear in this movie that Thor knows about the Infinity Stones which have been a constant throughout most of the ‘MCU’ movies in its second phase. Sometimes Thor has to leave the team in order to find out more information when they can have a chance of defeating Ultron and his armies.

Mark Ruffalo returns as the Hulk/Bruce Banner in this movie. I feel sorry for Bruce Banner at this point, since he hasn’t had many movies in the ‘MCU’ series. The only ones the Hulk’s been in are ‘The Incredible Hulk’, ‘Avengers Assemble’ and one cameo at the end of ‘Iron Man 3’. That’s it so far.

I think Mark Ruffalo is a good actor to play Bruce Banner/the Hulk and he deserves his own movie. I like how this movie sees Bruce questioning his dual identity as a scientist and a raging monster. The film has the Hulk in action scenes with the Avengers as he’s smashing things and beating opponents.

It was tense when the Hulk got red eyed and out of control as a result of being in contact with the Scarlet Witch. It was even tenser when the Hulk became a raging monster in a city and Iron Man had to tame him. There’s a hint of a romantic connection between Bruce and Natasha Romanoff too.

Chris Evans returns as Captain America/Steve Rogers in the movie. In fact, I have to object. Why is Chris Evans fourth in the cast listing? He should be second! He was second in the first ‘Avengers’ movie! Why has been reduced to fourth? As far as I am concerned, the Captain is our team’s leader.

Anyway, Chris Evans delivers a great performance as Captain America here. He’s the decent good guy when commanding his team into action. He’s old-fashioned and often clashes with Tony Stark at times. It was interesting to see that continue from the first ‘Avengers’ movie and how it progresses.

There are times when Tony’s taunts to Steve on telling him to tone down his language got a little grating. It can also be argued that Captain America doesn’t have a progression of character in this movie. But I like how determined he is to keep on saving the world and protecting those from harm.

Scarlett Johansson returns as Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff in the movie. Natasha still doesn’t have her own ‘Black Widow’ movie at this point. She previously appeared in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’. It was interesting to see how she develops in this movie and more of her past gets revealed.

Natasha still remains the kick butt girl of the team and I’ve just realized she’s the only female member of the ‘Avengers’ in this movie. But that may change by the time this movie is finished. 😀 She also shares an interesting romantic connection to Bruce Banner. This I personally did not expect.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was nice to see a romantic connection formed between Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff. But I didn’t get the impression there was a romance developed between in the first movie. Also it seems to come out of nowhere as why she would have these feelings for him?

Jeremy Renner returns as Hawkeye/Clint Barton in the movie. Clint hasn’t had many appearances in the ‘MCU’ series so far. So far, he has a brief appearance in ‘Thor’ and mostly appeared in ‘Avengers Assemble’. He was also possessed and had been working for Loki for most of the first ‘Avengers’ film.

Thankfully that doesn’t happen in this movie, as Clint Barton gets to be the action man with his bow and arrow; a hero and there’s more development of his character in this. For one thing, we get to see that Clint has a secret family. This was something I didn’t expect to see when I watched this film.

Clint has a wife in Linda Cardellini as Laura Barton and two children, a boy and a girl. It was interesting to see Clint’s family in this movie and it adds a human dimension to his character as to why he does what he does to save the world. Thankfully nothing bad happens to Clint’s family here.

James Spader stars as Ultron, the movie’s villain. Ultron appears to be CGI character in the movie, depicting as a creature made out of living metal with a purpose built in by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner that got changed. Essentially Ultron is an experiment that went horribly wrong by scientists.

I have to say this though. I did find Ultron unimpressive as a villain. Don’t get me wrong, the metal exterior looks scary. It has a ‘Terminator’-look somewhat. But it didn’t help the dialogue that was being given to the character and James Spader had to perform it. Ultron seems to be pretty emotional.

And hammy I might add. When I think of the leader of a machine empire, I expect Ultron to be cold and emotionless like a Cyberman in ‘Doctor Who’. I’m not sure if that’s how he’s supposed to come across in the comics, but he came across as a ‘Power Rangers’ villain. He did seem easily forgettable.

Samuel L. Jackson returns as Nick Fury in this movie. Nick Fury is now the former head of S.H.I.E.L.D. since the events of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’. I was wondering when he was going to appear, since he didn’t seem to be directing the Avengers on their mission from the film’s beginning.

He made his appearance with a bit of a surprise when Tony was asked to check the tractor inside the Barton’s barn. Nick helps the Avengers out of their predicament when they seem to be on the run and unable to find a way to defeat Ultron. He comes up with suggestions on how to defeat their foe.

You might easily think Nick Fury served no purpose in this movie. But thankfully he does as he with former S.H.I.E.L.D. members come to the Avengers’ aid with the aircraft carrier, the Helicarrier that was seen in the first ‘Avengers’ movie. Why didn’t we see that more often in this ‘Avengers’ movie?!

Don Cheadle makes an appearance as War Machine/James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes from the ‘Iron Man’ movies. It was nice to see him in this and for him to break away from appearing in just the ‘Iron Man’ movies. He attends the party scene with the Avengers and also assists with his War Machine armour.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars as Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff, the twin brother of Scarlet Witch who can move at superhuman speed. Wait a minute! Isn’t that Quicksilver from the ‘X-Men’ comics? So does that mean the ‘MCU’ is going to feature the X-Men at some point in the series. I’m not so sure.

Elizabeth Olsen stars as Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff, the twin sister of Quicksilver, who can engage in hypnosis and telekinesis. It was interesting how both Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver started off as enemies working with Ultron. They then switch sides over with the Avengers to defeat Ultron.

Paul Bettany returns to voice J.A.R.V.I.S, Tony’s A.I. companion in the previous ‘MCU’ movies. But Paul Bettany also makes his first appearance as Vision, a new superhero character who is an android first created by Ultron before he becomes an Avengers’ ally. He also has an Infinity Stone in his head.

Cobie Smulders returns as Maria Hill, who is now a former high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. working with the Avengers. It was actually nice to see her attend the Avengers’ party scene and be one of the gang. She still remains professional in her work, but it was a nice change to see her be friendly with others.

Anthony Mackie makes an appearance as the Falcon/Sam Wilson from ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’. Again, it was nice to see Sam Wilson attend the Avengers party scene with Captain America in this movie. Sam doesn’t get to be in the Falcon suit much in the film, but he does in the last scene.

Hayley Atwell makes an appearance as Peggy Carter, Steve Roger’s former love interest in the movie, albeit she appears only as a hallucination when Steve’s been in contact with the Scarlet Witch. It would have been nice had Peggy Carter actually appeared and returned in a love scene with Steve. 😦

Idris Elba makes an appearance as Heimdall, the Asgardian sentry of the Bifröst Bridge from the ‘Thor’ movies. Again, Heimdall only appears as a hallucination when Thor’s been in contact with the Scarlet Witch. With Thor’s hallucination though, he gets a message from Heimdall about something.

Stellan Skarsgård returns for a brief appearance as Erik Selvig, the scientist Thor met in his own movies. Thankfully Erik Selvig doesn’t go around stark-naked as he did in ‘Thor: The Dark World’. Nor does he get possessed by an enemy. His scenes involve him helping Thor to discover some answers.

The film also features Claudia Kim as world-renowned geneticist as Helen Cho and Andy Serkis (well-known as Gollum in ‘The Lord of the Rings’) as black-market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue. There’s also Kerry Condon as the voice for F.R.I.D.A.Y., the new artificial intelligence replacement for Tony Stark.

Like I said, there are some superb action sequences featured in the movie that are well-directed by Joss Whedon. Me personally, I enjoy a combination of action scenes and character drama in anything I watched. This film did have a fair balance, but it wasn’t anything like ‘Avengers Assemble’.

I did find the climatic sequence where the Avengers are battling Ultron and his machine army on Sokovia that floats up in the sky pretty intense. It was frightening when Sokovia was rising up into the sky and people are running for their lives to get off from their rising city with the Avengers’ help.

The CGI effects are pretty good, although I did feel that the climatic action-packed climax was a little long-winded. There was a lot going on and there was so much to absorb, but I did wonder if this was good enough to keep the audiences’ attention. Perhaps I am wrong on this, but it could’ve done less.

The movie ends with most of the Avengers seemingly leaving or spilt up from each other. The Hulk seems to be inside a ship after having rescued Natasha; Iron Man seems to be leaving the team and Captain America has assembled War Machine, the Vision, the Falcon and Scarlet Witch in the team.

The DVD special features of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ are as follows. There’s the ‘Global Adventure’ behind-the-scenes featurette which looks into how ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ was filmed across the world in many varying countries. This includes behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew.

On the Blu-ray for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, as well as ‘Global Adventure’, there’s also an audio commentary with screenwriter/director Joss Whedon; some more making-of featurettes; deleted scenes and a gag reel.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is not as good as ‘Avengers Assemble’. But I still enjoyed it. It’s the action-packed superhero team movie that you could wish for and it has some exciting stuff as well as character-driven scenes. I just don’t feel it left a huge impact on me as the first ‘Avengers’ movie did.

There’s a mid-credits scene where Josh Brolin as Thanos makes an appearance. Thanos previously appeared in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. Ah, so that’s where the connection to that movie is. 😀 Thanos is unhappy his pawns have failed. He dons the Infinity Gauntlet to recover the Infinity Stones.

‘THE AVENGERS WILL RETURN!’ Oh! That’s nice! Again, when is that going to be?! 😀

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ rating – 7/10


The previous story

For Iron Man was

For Captain America was

For the Hulk was

For Thor was

For Black Widow was

For Hawkeye was

For War Machine was

For Falcon was

For Scarlet Witch was

For Quicksilver was

The next story

For Iron Man is

For Captain America is

For the Hulk is

For Thor is

For Black Widow is

For Hawkeye is

For War Machine is

For Falcon is

For Vision is

For Scarlet Witch is

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2 thoughts on “‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ (Film)

  1. Completely agree Tim you summarized this film perfectly my friend, I’ll tell you why this film ain’t as good – Joss Whedon, he moaning the original film took lot of him & i don’t think his heart was in making this film, in interviews he complains how tiring the ordeal was with this sequel & the studio should have gone with a fresher director who was interested in making a epic Avengers movie, the action scenes never had me in awe or gave me goosebumps it felt overcrowded & several characters are just sidelined especially Thor who had a lot scenes featured in trailer cut out from the final version.

    I actually think a extended cut of this movie could improve it & give it time to breath, the Thor sequence in the cave had lot more than what we get to see & the film leans towards Tony Stark as leader than Captain which i don’t agree with, Cap should always take the lead.

    It’s not a bad film it just didn’t connect with me emotionally, i thought Ultron lacked menace & while the climax was good i thought Avengers Assemble was better, i remember leaving the cinema with my cousin & we were both feelin underwhelmed.

    I’d rate this a 3/5.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Simon.

      Glad you enjoyed my review and pleased you agree with my thoughts on ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’.

      Yeah I can see how Joss Whedon must have found a struggle to direct the sequel to the first ‘Avengers’ film. He only did ‘Avengers Assemble’ and ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ as movies for the ‘MCU’. I agree, this film needed a fresher director as I found this sequel underwhelming compared to the first film. I enjoyed how the first ‘Avengers’ film introduced and set up the characters, but this second film felt like a underpar follow-up and there wasn’t much time to breathe and appreciate what was going on. Thank goodness the Russo brothers took over directing duties for the following ‘Avengers’ films.

      I agree, an extended cut of the film on DVD/Blu-ray would benefit the film a lot. It would be interesting to see more of Thor, especially since he started a new relationship with Jane Foster which doesn’t seem to have gone anywhere since the end of ‘Thor: The Dark World’. I always get annoyed when Chris Evans doesn’t get front cast listing whereas Robert Downey Jr. does. I know he was the first character we saw in the ‘MCU’, but I agree. Captain America should get better and be at the forefront of any ‘Avengers’ movie since he’s the leader of the team.

      Like I said, this movie didn’t leave an impact on me as the first ‘Avengers’ film did. I forgot most of what this film was about when I came to revisiting and reviewing it in a long while. I know I saw it in 2015, but it wasn’t spectacular on me and didn’t leave me an impression.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this movie, Simon. I hope to get onto seeing and reviewing ‘Ant-Man’ next very soon.

      Tim. 🙂

      Like

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