Remember the times when you were in awe of Iron Man? When you first saw how the mighty Norse God Thor raised his hammer sky-high and your eyes were permanently glued to the screen? Or when Captain America took on a small army just using his shield, his fists and a healthy dose of good-old American kick-ass attitude … and you could hardly sit still in those uncomfortable movie chairs?
Well … I’m here to tell you … those days are over!
The new faces who join in are so excessively overwhelming that the old ones are almost pushed to the background. There is the mighty twins. One is ridiculously fast whilst the other doesn’t need to be. She can tangle with anyone’s mind with a flick of her finger. And there is a special guest – one so powerful that he rivals the strength of Thor’s hammer!
Big. Bigger. Biggest. That is the game plan of Marvel.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is everything you’d ever want from an action movie … or superhero-movie … whatever you wanna call it!
It has so many likeable characters and heroic do-gooders running around that you’d have to see the movie twice just to make sure you’ve seen everything. Not since the latest X-Men was there ever a movie combining so many wonderful superpowers. It’s like feeding sugar to an already hyperkinetic child …
The story is both simple yet beautiful in its simplicity.
Iron Man a.k.a. Tony Stark creates a program to ensure the safety of the planet, but ends up breathing life into a thing called Ultron. Ultron is the deadliest robot to grace our inner child since the rise of the T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (though the latter one is still the number 1-awesome robot of all times, I think).
What makes Ultron so fascinatingly cool is that he isn’t just some dumb-ass piece of metal killing people for the fun of it, no, he does things with logic and perception. You see, Ultron has been blessed with artificial intelligence.
With an enemy as mighty as Ultron and his enormous army of fightin’, shootin’ and flyin’ killer-robots, it doesn’t take a genius to know that we would need a whole new batch of superheroes. Of course all of your favorite Marvel heroes have returned.
* The Hulk is still angry and smashes whatever passes his way.
* Thor is still electrifying when lifting his hammer and he too smacks anyone half-way across the galaxy with his thunderous hammer.
* Captain America is still the brave, goodhearted soldier who doesn’t walk away from a fight without saving as many civilians as possible.
* The Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson for the laymen amongst us, is still Lara Croft-sexually athletic and …
* Iron Man has a change of heart ánd mind in terms of what needs to be done to keep the world safe, irrevocably leading to the events of this movie and the rise of a new super-force.
Now you’re thinking: ‘Hey, you left out Hawkeye!’
No, I didn’t. Hawkeye – or Clint Barton as he’s often referred to in this movie – becomes far more important to the Avengers than he was in part 1.
Not only does he enjoy some of the best scenes of the movie, but he also has a human depth far greater than any other superhero out there. There are even a few emotional moments with him, moments that make him stand out as a character. Director Joss Whedon always had a soft spot for the archer, but now we know why. Barton or Hawkeye – whatever you wanna call him – isn’t a god like Thor or a nearly indestructible force like The Hulk. The performance of Jeremy Renner is spot on! And to make him a stand-out character between all the rumble and rubble is easily the best decision to help make the movie that much greater and more enjoyable … a true worthy feat!
And there is more!
Unlike most action movies, Avengers: Age of Ultron contains a few twists and turns you won’t see coming until it hits you in the face (especially if you watch the movie in 3D). It’s an intelligent blockbuster with its heart in the right place. You can clearly see Joss Whedon deeply cares for his characters. The director who gave us that brilliant first Avengers-movie, continues what he does best and combines a truthful storyline – albeit quite fantastical – with impressive action sequences.
Add to that a camaraderie between the Avengers which can only be achieved through an extensive amount of past great solo-movies … and you know that Avengers: Age of Ultron isn’t just a pile-up of superpowers, but a carefully balanced, character-driven storyline.
Is Avengers: Age of Ultron the best superhero-movie to date? Perhaps. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. In truth, there are two flaws that keep this movie from becoming a masterpiece.
One. The early fighting scenes (not the one in the forest) are beautifully choreographed, but sometimes a little blurry in terms of visibility on the screen. It goes too fast or you can’t quite make out who does what. That is never good.
Don’t worry, there are far better ones coming your way …
Two. Some pivotal moments seem a little rushed, especially Ultron’s rise to ultimate power. It’s understandable why. There is so much ground to cover, so many heroes to show, everyone wants a piece of the action, but perhaps it would’ve been better if certain scenes had been spread out a little more. After all, it’s not the action that determines the movie. It’s the characters running around and the storyline that drives them!
Don’t fret – Avengers: Age of Ultron is still a class-act of the highest order!
The end of the movie sets up things nicely for the future … for anyone involved. It seems henceforth each and every single Marvel-character has its own path to follow!
Which is why this second Avengers-movie serves more like a bridge between the first one and the third one, the latter which will definitely see some heroes perish, according to director Joss Whedon.
As far as the acting is concerned, pretty much everyone has grown fully into their characters by now. Stand out is the guy you don’t see. It is actor James Spader who voices the almighty Ultron, an actor you might best remember as the wild wolf counterpart of Jack Nicholson chasing the every so gracefully beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer in the movie Wolf or as the brilliant archeologist in the mediocre space movie Stargate. Spader does exceptionally well in this movie as he manages to give his robotic figure a character depth we’ve only rarely seen being given to a cluster of moving metal parts.
As mentioned before, the performance of tough guy Jeremy Renner takes a considerable step into the limelight to make his character Hawkeye an overnight fan-favorite. In terms of acting, he’s probably the very best in this movie …
By the way, did you recognize the teenage girl playing the role of the viciously mysterious Scarlet Witch? That’s the girl who can manipulate minds as well as a whole bunch of other party tricks. In case you didn’t know, her name is Elizabeth Olsen and she’s the younger sister of Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen.
Paul Bettany is also very good …
(sorry, I couldn’t end my movie review of The Avengers with something as dull as the Olsen-Twins).
did you know?
Captain America and Iron Man are disagreeing on a lot of issues in this movie and even have a fight. This is a set-up for the future where both characters have different superhero beliefs and eventually lead superhero armies against each other …
Give it to me straight:
Avengers: Age of Ultron is even bigger than the first movie. There are more heroes, more superpowers and the bad guy isn’t even a guy … it’s a deadly robot! A robot so smart it takes the Avengers-team to expand their numbers and include new folks to make them even stronger than before.
The acting as well as the vocal performance of Ultron are all what makes blockbusters like these immensely enjoyable from start to finish! Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye gets his moment to shine … finally!
As expected, the action is brilliant although a few times a little too fast in terms of fluency and camera points-of-view.
The characters, well, you care for them and within thát lies the real strength of Marvel. Unlike DC Comics (the people behind Batman and Superman), Marvel doesn’t just throw a bunch of superheroes in the mix, but they meticulously build layer on top of layer with each new Marvel movie. This results in a massive storyline that’s beginning to rival the greatness of the Star Wars saga. And what’s most important – they keep their characters human … or as human as humanly possible.