Avengers: Age of Ultron (Mild Spoilers)

Avengers: Age of Ultron is not a perfect movie by any stretch of the imagination. It is not Oscar material; it is, in fact, a flawed movie. But it’s amazing. The story begins with a raid on the last remaining HYDRA stronghold. It has been criticized for being very cluttered and a little bit confusing. I would agree with this; Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff are an item, despite The Avengers leaving them off as friends/colleagues, with no indication of romance as far as I could tell.

One of the things most Marvel Studios projects have is charm and a sense of humor. From the outset, especially having dived into the dark world of Daredevil less than a month earlier, I was very glad to see Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, and Jeremy Renner spouting some very charming, funny dialogue. The action sequence was very entertaining and comic-like.

Aside from the Banner/Romanoff thing, I feel another pitfall was the twins, Wanda and Pietro Maximoff. Not their characters, but the fact that they were written quite thin, I feel. There’s not much for them to do except ruin The Avengers’ day. There was a lot of wasted potential there that I feel could have easily been tapped into if the film simply had a longer runtime. In fact, I feel all of the issues I had with the film would most likely have been solved if Joss Wheedon had stuck with his original 3 and 1/2 hour runtime. That sounds long, (OK, that is really long) but would anyone seriously have minded? I certainly wouldn’t have. A lot of great movies are 3-hours long, I feel Wheedon could’ve easily cut out 20 minutes, and then left the rest, three hours 10 minutes is manageable, right? That extra forty minutes would’ve left a lot of breathing room, because I feel a part of the problem as a whole is that the movie never stops, ever.

Tony Stark and Banner discover Ultron, and decide to check him out. Literally the second they leave the room, Ultron wakes up and immediately decides in order to maintain order, humanity must be culled in true Skynet fashion. He escapes, and the rest of the movie is a chase from South Africa to Eastern Europe, with a small amount of character development brought out through nightmares and such.

Speaking of South Africa, another pitfall is the promising reveal and disappointing and confusing disappearance of the king of mocap himself, Oscar-winner Andy Serkis. The character of Ulysess Klaw seems extremely interesting, and I am psyched that he is most likely going to be heavily featured in the upcoming film Black Panther. You don’t get to see much of him in Age of Ultron, though. He shows up, a very intriguing, intimidating conversation with the Maximoff twins, and then just kind of goes away. That’s it. One of the most overlooked and talented actors in modern Hollywood, and he’s there for five minutes, not even.

So yeah, plot and pacing is not this movie’s strong suit, at least not in the theatrical cut. What it does have in spades, is straight up B.A. action, very well done CGI, charming characters (Granted, most of the characters were previously fleshed out over the course of the preceding ten films), easter eggs, and funny jokes.

The Hulkbuster vs. Hulk fight was great. I’d like to mention that one thing I’d really like to commend the film for is it’s acknowledgement of destruction and innocent bystanders. A big issue a lot of people had with Man of Steel was it’s attitude of “what civilians? They don’t matter!” In Ultron, it’s very apparent that the Hulk willingly causes probably billions in property damages and probably quite a few civilian casualties, an event that will probably come into play in Civil War that has a tremendous effect on Bruce Banner’s psyche.

The coolest part of the movie for me was probably The Vision. I will attempt not to spoil much about him for you, but I hope to see a lot more of him. I’ll leave it at that.

Despite a rushed and somewhat incoherent plot, the exciting visuals, promising and charming characters both new and old, and dialogue by the always sarcastic Joss Wheedon, I am happy to say this might be the most entertaining Marvel movie thus far. It’s not as “good” as The Winter Soldier, sure, but I feel it is a sight to behold nonetheless. Speaking of which, the Russo Brothers moving to replace Joss Wheedon as the “general managers” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a great move. The pair behind not only The Winter Soldier, but also Community and Arrested Development, have the potential to make Infinity War Parts 1 & II legendary films and possibly solidify the MCU’s place in pop culture

Summary

Plot: C
Characters: B
Script (Dialogue): A
Action: A
Acting: A
Fan Service: A
Final Grade: B+

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