Friday, May 1, 2015

Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)


       'Avengers' Assemble To Deliver The Amazing Yet Expected Goods

     Sooo.....when does Ant-Man come out?

       Avengers: Age of Ultron follows the story of the famed Marvel superheroes: Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, as they battle a new enemy in the form of an advanced artificial intelligence named Ultron (voiced by James Spader) who enlists the help of two superhuman twins named Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen) to destroy the Avengers and potentially the world.

      I'll start off with the cast. Like in the first one, they all work so well off of each other and have such rich chemistry. I also loved how both Black Widow and Hawkeye are fleshed out more, especially Hawkeye who was quite underused in the first one. The new additions to the cast also do a fine job. Elizabeth Olsen is quite terrific as Scarlet Witch and proves herself to be one of the most talented young actresses in the business. While Aaron Taylor-Johnson doesn't quite measure up to Evan Peters' Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past, he was still fine. But the real scene stealer is without a doubt James Spader as Ultron. Thanks to his portrayal of Ultron, Ultron is perhaps the best Marvel villain since Loki.

      I also loved the way the action sequences were directed by Joss Whedon. Much like in the first one, a lot of the focus in those sequence is on the characters and there aren't a lot of jumpy cuts that leave the viewer confused.

      While I personally find the first one to be better, one area in this one that surpasses the first is how it is slightly more humanistic as it delves into the theme of fear. After Tony Stark has a vision while under Scarlet Witch's spell in the beginning of the film where he sees his fellow Avemgers dead, he becomes more compelled to create the peace-keeping Ultron to prevent that from happening.

      Interestingly, while I enjoyed Spader's portrayal of Ultron, I found the character itself to be pretty flawed. I thought his introduction was too rushed and he kept saying how he "has no strings" and that got under my skin pretty quick.

     Plus, while I loved the action sequences, I still didn't really feel a "wow" factor as they took place, even though I saw it in 3D. It might be because I expected them to be as amazing as they were. Not only that, but despite the cast having amazing chemistry, that was also expected and it all makes the film seem like a rather serviceable sequel.

     Overall, Avengers: Age of Ultron is an ambitious and action-packed yet serviceable sequel that doesn't quite build up to its predecessor. The action is good and the cast is amazing, but that is all sort of expected.

     Would I Recommend It?:
     If you are a fan of Marvel movies, then absolutely. If you haven't seen the previous films, you might want to do that so you don't get confused.

Grade: B- (Pains me, but it's my job as a film critic to be as honest as possible)