It’s been a long time coming, but Age of Ultron is finally here, there’s been so much hype and anticipation it was becoming overwhelming by it’s time of release. Nevertheless, Did the final product hold up to our expectations? I saw the film twice in cinemas, the first, I was a giddy fanboy and I honestly couldn’t take anything in, so I went again the next day and really studied the film from a reviewer, filmmaker or film student’s point of view.
Let’s start with the obvious question; Is this movie good? Hell yeah of course it is. The triumphs of this film come from the problems the initial story and director gave themselves, for example all these characters in one film. Plus all the set up and build up for other Marvel films in the future while not falling into the Amazing Spider Man 2 trap of making a 2 hour trailer.
Whedon did an excellent job of weaving in new characters; The Maximoff twins (Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch), The Vision and Claw into a story that already became too crowded. Each of the new additions add vital moments and plot points to further the film. The close brother/sister relationship between the twins was uncanny to the comic books, wonderfully they added a relationship dynamic completely new and their powers were quite a marvel to watch on screen. The Vision was visually astounding as well as being a complicated, interesting character. His birth/creation is a defining moment not only in the film but in the MCU as a whole. As far as characters go, Hawkeye was given his due in this film. I’m not entirely sure why you would have disliked him before but he became integral to the team in the second act, often having well written dialogue throughout too.
That’s where the film excels the most, it’s dialogue. It’s witty, fun and still honest. Conversations bounce around the room with natural ease, something Whedon is definitely talented at. However the writing on a whole becomes very iffy at times, the Hulk/Black Widow side plot was pointless to me and lead nowhere, most of the moments with them on screen felt forced and cringey as hell. It really dragged the film down and had me asking ‘why couldn’t they just be good buddies instead of love interests?’. Don’t get me wrong, Ultron is a great villain, but how different is he from Loki? It’s the whiny pettiness I’m talking about here. I did like how he was more human than robot, Spader does an excellent job but I was hoping for a for menacing performance like Tom Hardy’s Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. I’m fine with the way he was, but I feel his personality was too similar to what we saw before, despite his ideals of religion and evolution being a refreshing change. Ultron has zero character development too, in under 10 minutes he is created and in less than 30 seconds he’s gone from good to bad. Also minor gripes include the less than inspiring score, it sounded the same as the last one and I feel soundtracks would’ve been better suited to some scenes (science bros. montage). There was a distinct lack of down time in the film, action, action and more action.
Age of Ultron is quite a cinematic achievement, it’s a movie anyone can have fun with, if you’re someone who doesn’t watch movies a lot or even if you’re a film student who studies them in depth. The action and scale is ramped up to a whole new level compared to it’s predecessor. Due to it’s in depth look at characters and new additions to the team, it’s better than the first film in my opinion. I think The Winter Soldier, is from a technical stand point the best film Marvel Studios has made, and yes Age of Ultron is more fun and exciting but it doesn’t hit the solid script and emotional well filmed action set pieces that Captain America: The Winter Soldier offers. Whether it’s better than Guardians of the Galaxy is totally up to preference I think, I’m gonna go ahead and say that it is because of the villains and action scenes.
Overall yes, Age of Ultron is a great time at the cinema and an epic movie indeed, If you had to limit yourself to watching three movies this year this has to be one of them. And c’mon let’s face it, *Sokovian accent* you didn’t see that coming?
Words by Eddie Michael