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MOVIES: Avengers: Age of Ultron - Review: "Fun With Flaws"

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     “There are…no strings on me.” The last words of the first teaser trailer for what is sure to become one of the highest grossing films of all time, teased a much darker story than what actually occurs in Age of Ultron. While I must note the disparity between the trailer and the actual film itself as a tad disappointing, Age of Ultron is an undeniably fun movie. To kick off this review, let’s start off with the things I really enjoyed about this film, of which there are plenty.


     Most Avengers fans would be lying if they said that they weren’t mostly looking forward to all of the inevitable ass-kicking (no Aaron Taylor-Johnson pun intended) that would be taking place in the course of the film. At this point, Marvel has this concept mastered and they performed this section very, very well. From the opening battle to the Hulk vs. Hulkbuster sequence and all the way to the destruction of the last Ultron body, this movie did a fantastic job at showing the fans exactly what they wanted. All this being said, this film did not feature one of those “rewatch it in amazement 300 times” scenes like the first Avengers New York battle or even the elevator scene in Captain America: The Winter Solider. In Guardians of the Galaxy, when Star-Lord reaches for the infinity stone, the entire audience is mesmerized in the drama of it all. It’s a fantastic scene that Age of Ultron, unfortunately, did not come close to meeting. Simply put, it’s not like I’ve never seen any of this action before, but I certainly wasn’t sad that I got to see more of it.

     I can already say that my favorite Avenger of the new Avengers team is Vision. Vision is, without a doubt, the absolute best part of this film. Having never read any of the comics, I had no idea how his character would come into existence, but was really impressed with the way the writers pulled this part of the story off. Instead of Ultron’s attempt to build himself a body being a complete waste, we get this entirely new and different element to the story. On another level though, it’s quite ironic that Vision is born from Ultron’s hubris. As the invention of Tony Stark, Ultron repeats the same mistakes of his creator. Where Tony Stark fails in creating Ultron, Ultron fails in creating Vision. On top of all of the irony behind it all, Vision is just a cool character. Being the only character besides Thor that can pick up Mjolnir (Thor’s Hammer), Vision has an immediate level of wisdom and respect both from the original Avengers team and to their successors. He’s the only person, as far as we know, besides Thor that is capable of picking up this weapon of immense power and responsibility. As a result, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that he will not only be an amazingly awesome addition to the Avengers lineup, but also leading the junior Avengers team.

     Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were extremely different from what I originally expected. They were both fantastic characters that served multiple purposes for the film. Their origin story created a great example of the demons that Tony Stark is forced to grapple with and also gave us a reason to care about them as characters. The inevitable comparison between Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Evan Peters was not even a contest in all honesty though this was no fault of Johnson’s (Evan Peters was just extremely well used in Days of Future Past). While I enjoyed Quicksilver and Hawkeye’s “You did not see that coming?” back-and-forth banter, I felt like the movie needed more of Quicksilver in action. I had read the rumors about Quicksilver’s death long before walking into the movie theater, so I was not surprised to see him depart the franchise so early, but I was a tad disappointed because I felt like there was a lot more to his character than this movie gave him. In all fairness though, someone had to die in this movie and getting rid of Quicksilver now will certainly make it easier for Fox to bring Evan Peters back (Fox, if you’re reading this: Please do that!). Scarlet Witch was equally as impressive as her speedster counterpart, however. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the next Marvel phase has in store for Scarlet Witch, especially what she will be up to in Captain America: Civil War.

     Now onto the stuff I didn’t care for so much about the movie. Starting off this section of my review is the dullest romance the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever thrown at us (Yes, this includes The Incredible Hulk’s Betty Ross + Bruce Banner romance). A lot of the public reaction to Black Widow and the Hulk’s pairing has been mixed because nothing like it ever occurred in the comics. I have never read an actual comic book, so my complaint with this romance is not due to an inconsistent adaptation. My problem with the romance is that it just didn’t make sense for this movie. It makes total sense for the two characters involved: Banner, the damaged super scientist and Romanoff, the damaged super spy, should totally get together! I mean why not? They're both great characters so it should totally work! The problem is that within the context of Age of Ultron, the romance simply did not fit well. Every time these two characters met up, it just felt like Joss Whedon had said, “Ok, Hulk & Black Widow should have at least X number of scenes together so fit them somewhere.” As a result, it never formed a cohesive narrative and as much as I did enjoy the movie, that’s not something I can look past easily.

     Now, Marvel comic book readers please do not tear me apart mercilessly in the comments section for my next complaint: the humor. One of my favorite parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the not-so-serious tone. It fits the stories and the over-the-top action sequences perfectly so I always welcome Marvel humor with open arms… except in the case of Age of Ultron. For me, the jokes were simply hit and miss. Captain America’s “Watch your language” complaint grew old fast and by the time the movie was over I was ready to start swearing just because of it. Other jokes hit just like they should. Stan Lee’s comedic cameo was well placed and hilariously executed and Vision’s “Well, I was just born yesterday” fit in very nicely to offset the massive amount of destruction from earlier in the film. A decent amount of the jokes worked well, but a large portion of them just felt out of place. The worst joke of them all came from Ultron. In response to Thor’s claim that no one needed to break anything, Ultron responds, “Clearly, you’ve never made an omelet. “ I know the goal in including this cheesy (pun intended) line was to point out that Ultron has some of Tony Stark’s characteristics, but I can't even imagine Iron Man saying something so silly. It just felt offbeat to me. I know a lot of people could disagree with me on this though, so if you do, please leave a comment below and I’d love to talk with you about it.

     My biggest problem with this movie was its pacing. A lot of fans, including myself, admit that the original Avengers had some pacing issues, but Age of Ultron made zero notable improvements. If anything, it was actually worse in this category. The team’s big break at Hawkeye’s family home felt completely unnecessary except to slow the movie down and to show us that Hawkeye had a family (and thus further justify the unnecessary romance between Hulk and Black Widow). Outside of this, I was at a complete loss as to why our heroes were spending such a huge chunk of the middle of the movie camping and fixing tractors.

Rating: 8.1/10 - Overall, Avengers: Age of Ultron was not better than its predecessor, but it was another enjoyable part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Considering it along with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe I rank it at #6. Below is my complete ranking of Marvel movies for those who are so inclined. Be sure to let me know how you liked the movie in the comments and rank your favorite MCU movies.

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
3. Iron Man
4. The Avengers
5. Thor: The Dark World
6. Avengers: Age of Ultron
7. Captain America: The First Avenger
8. Iron Man 3
9. Thor
10. Iron Man 2
11. The Incredible Hulk

About the Author - Brandon Rowe
Brandon is a Computer Science major at Fresno State University and has been a SpoilerTV writer since his sophomore year in high school. He enjoys watching an extreme amount of television and movies and is currently reviewing The Americans, Falling Skies, and True Detective. Brandon also managed the "In the Hot Seat" competition here on SpoilerTV in 2012 and is planning on doing it again in early 2015. Feel free to use the Facebook, Twitter, or G+ links below to contact him.
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