Today we welcome back our movie man Owen the Tonk with his latest movie review for Age of Ultron. Owen can be relied upon for an clear eyed and honest opinion – see if you agree.
MOVIE :- Age of Ultron
Dir: Joss Whedon
Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johasson, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, Samuel L. Jackson
(warning – videos are noisy – not for work use!)
The usual “Tonk’n Ranking” system applies:
See it: First Day, First Weekend, First Week, In Theaters, At Home, Don’t Bother Also I don’t see it for free so my reviews reflect if I felt if I got my money’s worth So, how does Marvel’s newest film stack up against its film library?
The Avengers assemble as one of Tony Starks/Iron Man’s creations poses a threat to Earth. The newest Marvel Film is similar to the first Avengers film, but lacks the energy of seeing these characters together on screen for the first time. I enjoyed the film, it’s a fun ride but I have a feeling of sameness creeping in. The plots aren’t carbon copies but follow the same blueprint. Major villain plotting to destroy Earth while The Avengers work together to stop them? Check!
I want to compare the Avengers films to the first two X-Men films. The first films both serve as an introduction to the various characters and how they come together to fight off a worldwide threat. The second X-Men film saw them come together to prevent the villain from eliminating the Mutant race with no Earth destroying threat in play. Where X-Men pivoted, Avengers stayed on the same path.
Does that mean the Avengers: Age of Ultron sucked? No, not at all. I enjoyed the film. I’m not gonna sit here and say so and so gave the performance of lifetime. This is not that type of movie. I will however say Mark Ruffalo deserves a solo Hulk film (Planet Hulk please!). Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye serves as the human element, he has no superpowers, just his deadliness with a bow and arrow. The rest all have various degrees of power, either through a suit (Iron Man), a serum (Steve Rogers/Captain America played by Chris Evans), experimental mishap (Bruce Banner/Hulk), or a Norse God (Thor played by Chris Hemsworth).
The movie begins with an assault on a Hydra base conducting human experiments. The Avengers defeats them and in the course of searching the base find Loki’s Scepter containing the Mind Stone, one of the Infinity Gems (6 gems that when combined can make its bearer into a god basically). Experimenting on the stone with Banner, they use it to try to create artificial intelligence. They fail numerous times before finally succeeding and inadvertently creating the villian of the film, Ultron (James Spader, who I will say did a good job but felt like a variation on his Raymond “Red” Reddington character from The Blacklist). Starks’ goal was to create peace in our time and Ultron interprets that as eliminating the human race. He teams up for awhile with two Hydra experiments – Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) Maximoff (Since X-Men rights are owned by 20th Century Fox they aren’t mutants like they are in the comics but termed “enhanced humans”).
The siblings eventually deduce what Ultron intends to do and side with the Avengers. At the same time Ultron is trying to evolve into something more and helps in the creation of (which Banner and Starks steals from Ultron and continue to work on) the Vision (Paul Bettany). The climax sees Ultron and his army do battle with The Avengers as he attempts to end mankind.
This is a fun film but like I said, its missing the excitement of the first film. X-Men was smart to take a different direction in its second film instead of following the outline of the first. There’s plenty cameos by various Marvel characters for you comic book nerds (said with peace and love) to spot. Plenty of action throughout but I feel as though there was too much joking during the battles. If you’re battling an artificial intelligence intent on ending the world a joke or two I don’t mind but to hear it constantly
(Downey/Starks/Iron Man – I’m LOOKING at you!) takes away from the seriousness of what’s going on, and everyone (except for Hawkeye) was guilty of it.
This wasn’t a major downer but I was like first time HA! second time eh third time ::groans::. Reminds me of when Family Guys beats a joke into the ground and you’d wish someone would pull Seth MacFarlane aside and say “Chill”. They needed someone to tell Whedon “Dude chill with the jokes. They trying to save the world and they’re performing 3 minute stand up routines!”.
I would like to add Romanoff works better in the Captain America films, I guess since its more in line with her character being a spy then being a member of a supergroup. She’s not a fish out of water but she’s bobbing her above it every now and then. A friend and I was talking once and we brainstormed a Hawkeye/Romanoff spy film and we both loved the idea. “Captain American: Winter-Soldier” came out and we saw a kinda realization of our idea. Again, I digress.
SPOILERS – READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
Other than that, I enjoyed the smaller plotlines they threw out that would obviously lead to something bigger:
*Captain America/Iron Man tension reminiscent of Civil War in the comics (Next Captain America film is subtitled Civil War BTW)
* Hulk disappearing at the end
* Hulk/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) romance?
* Thor bringing up the fact that the Infinity Stones appearing so suddenly (Thor’s films are the only solo Marvel films I dislike. They never appealed to me. If Downey Jr wasn’t so great at being Iron Man I would’ve avoided them as well)
* Did Vision really destroy Ultron or assimilate him?
* Vision/Wanda romance?
*New Avengers HQ and a new Avengers Team
This film is gonna be huge moneywise and it’s just as good entertainment wise. I didn’t go in with high expectations (except for no babies, talking, or cell phones going off during the movie but I digress). I wasn’t disppointed. I always say the sign of a good movie is that its going by faster then you realize. Avengers: Age Of Ultron is another solid addition to the Marvel Film library. If you’ve seen the others then you know what to expect, and you won’t be let down. However it’s similiar to the previous Avengers film and that don’t take too much away from it but I worry if the next one will try to stand out or will it fall in line the previous two?
Rating: See it First Weekend – I wanted to see it opening day but was fine with waiting till the weekend. It’s still a fun movie but not something that needs to be seen first day.
Agreements/disagreements welcomed. I can be contacted via Twitter: @OwenTheTonk