Avengers: Age of Ultron

Age of Awesome

I went to see Avengers twice last weekend and there are 2 reasons for that. Firstly; all Marvel Studio films have become a sink hole that just sucks in everyone’s money away from other films so there were no other films of interest being released. Secondly Age of Ultron is probably the best superhero film ever made.

Now before you tell me I’m wrong let me just clarify that this isn’t the best film about superheros but it is the best superhero-y-ness displayed on film. Each of the Avengers really does feel like a superhero Thor fires electricity, Cap throws a motorbike, Hulk runs through a building, Black widow goes to town with some shock sticks, Iron Man is Iron Man and Hawkeye is… well he’s still not done quite right. 😦

On top of the fact that each of the Avengers is a bad-ass there is a real camaraderie between the actors that really shines through. The team really do feel like a team and this is achieved by the characters double/triple teaming enemies in fight scenes whether it be other people using or throwing Caps shield or Thor and Iron man firing lightning/repulsar beams at the same enemy.

This clique is also achieved by the – in places laugh out loud – banter between the cast. Nowhere is this more apparent than in a beautiful scene where Thor (Chris Hemsworth) challenges the team to lift his hammer. To those who don’t know; only the worthy can lift the hammer. Everyone tries to lift the hammer and fails but it’s the sublime look of fear in Chris Hemsworth’s face as Chris Evans (Captain America) tries to lift it thinking that Cap might be able to lift his Hammer and then the nervous laugh as he fails to lift it that is a joy to watch.

I’ve mentioned that the film is about a superhero-y as it gets so obviously the action is in the film is awesome but this becomes one of it’s greatest downfalls as there is often so much going on all the time that it’s kind of hard to keep up. If you try and keep up it starts to wear you out. Seeing it a second time had the benefit of being able to take more of it in and I have to say I found it as enjoyable the second time round as the first.

It’s not all action though. The writers have actually done something rather genius to still keep the storyline feeling fresh. Obviously we have had 3 Iron Man films some of which feature Black Widow, 2 Cap films which also feature Black widow, 2 Hulk films and 2 Thor films so we know all the main characters and their origins except for Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). This is exactly where the film lands it’s focus. So if, like me, are a Hawkeye fan you’ll certainly like where the story goes.

Even if you aren’t a fan of Hawkeye it keeps the film’s plot feeling fresh and entertaining which is always the worry with so many Marvel films over the last few years. Furthermore we see a few extra steps towards the ultimate goal that has been intricately and fantastically woven since the first Iron Man film. I’m pretty sure I mentioned it in a previous review but you really have to give Marvel Studios credit for such a well structured plan for their films which just go from strength to strength.

In Age of Ultron we have a few new characters which I have mixed feelings on. Firstly we have Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor Johnson) and the Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) who are twins. They weren’t given enough lines and or back story to really make a huge impact but they are a good addition to the film as their powers are so different to what we have seen before that it gives the action some additional breadth.

Then we have Ultron who is best described as a confused sentient robot who thinks that wiping out most of humanity is the best way to achieve peace. I started not liking the character but he grew on me as the film went on. His sociopathic tendencies interlaced with a strange naievity and innocence to the world is strangely fascinating. The biggest problem with Ultron is that he never feels threatening. You never think he could beat all of the Avengers or even any of them and that’s what the best superhero films have: a great villain.

Finally we have Vision who is part human tissue and part machine created by Ultron. I personally think Vision is fantastic they have once again nailed the casting, look and personality of the character. Vision is probably my favourite character in the film.

What has been assembled is another cracking Marvel film that not only plays to the strengths of a team movie complete with a fresh batch of heroes but a film that manages to avoid the pitfalls of a franchise incumbent with sequels. It’s not perfect but if you are looking for a live action version of an Avengers Comic this films lays it down with an iron fist.

Go See

  • Plot still feels fresh
  • Best depiction of superhero abilities in any film
  • Vision

Avoid

  • If for some bizarre reason you have no soul and don’t enjoy superhero films?!
  • There is a lot to take in – almost too much in some scenes
  • Ultron never feels like a real threat

Overall

4-5-stars

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