Possible spoilers ahead!!
Following the events of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Age of Ultron finds the heroes on a global campaign to destroy what’s left of Hydra and secure any alien technology before it falls into the wrong hands. The crusade brings the Avengers to the base of Baron Strucker – a Hydra officer who has been experimenting on Loki’s scepter in the hopes of harnessing its power.
In their assault on Strucker’s compound, The Avengers meet a pair of “enhanced” enemies, Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)– as well as a ton of scientific data that, when paired with Tony Stark’s own artificial intelligence advances, has the potential to protect Earth from any threats. However, in his effort to protect the world from future threats, Stark creates his worst nightmare instead: Ultron, a destructive A.I. force hell-bent on destroying earth, and seeking revenge on his creator.
Back for the fun are Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). The film’s villain is of course Ultron, played by James Spader (more on him later).
The latest Avengers team-up delivers everything that fans have come to expect from Marvel’s cinematic universe: globe-trotting adventures, epic CGI battles, future shared universe setups, plenty of comic book easter eggs, good old-fashioned character drama, and one of the more memorable Stan Lee cameos. So why are so many critics and fans unhappy with Age of Ultron?
Probably because this is one crowded movie! Although there’s been several films since the first Avengers in 2012, it feels like we’re just getting to know them as a team. But because Age of Ulton adds Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and the Vision, and it has a slew of cameos, we don’t get as much time with the core Avengers group as we’d probably like. But don’t get me wrong: I love the new additions to the team.
Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver is different enough from his “X-Men: Days of Future Past” counterpart that unless you’re a comic book fan, you’re not gonna realize they’re the same character. Elizabeth Olsen was a treat as the Scarlet Witch. She played the role with the right mix of innocence and power. Her scene with Hawkeye was one of my favorite’s in the movie. As for James Spader…
… It pains me to say this, but he was just okay. I think my biggest problem with him was that I couldn’t get “Red” Reddington from “The Blacklist” our of my head. Had Spader not played a charismatic villain for the last couple of years, his Ultron would have made more of an impact.
As you know by now, Age of Ulton is Joss Whedon’s swan song to the Marvel universe. I don’t have a problem with him leaving, this type of movie has to take its toll on a person. What I don’t like is the way he’s leaving. On his way out the door, the director has burned every bridge he had with Marvel/Disney.
Whatever happened between Whedon and the studio must have been major. But considering Whedon is now known worldwide thanks in large part to Marvel, I wish he’d leave with a little more class. But that’s just me.
Maybe the friction between the director and the studio hurt the movie, because the story in Age of Ultron could have used a little polish. But the movie is still filled with brilliant one liners and just damn awesome moments for us long time comic geeks.
The biggest surprise of the film is Clint Barton (Hawkeye) – who enjoys the most character development, and has the mos relatable role in Age of Ultron.
Whereas Barton spent most of the first movie as a mindless drone, he becomes a powerful cipher for the audience this time around. It was nice to see how a normal guy handles standing shoulder-to-shoulder with gods and enhanced super soldiers, risking everything, to protect innocent lives.
The character arc only works because of Jeremy Renner. He brought more life and humanity into Hawkeye (as well as the entire team) than ever before. The sequence at his house is one of the best in any Marvel movie.
While I had a couple of minor complaints, I still loved “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” It’s one of the better entries to he MCU, and its definitely better than “Iron Man 3” and “Thor: The Dark World.” I for one can’t wait to see what happens next!
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” final score: 9