Thursday, April 23, 2015

Film Review - The Avengers Age of Ultron (2015)

The Avengers Age of Ultron is the 2nd Avengers film and also directed by Joss Whedon and this time Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) decides to dabble in creating what he calls a suit of armor around the world which he calls Ultron (James Spader) but Stark's creation develops a mind of its own and decides that there are no strings on him.

Going into this movie I was really excited mainly because of Whedon coming back to direct (I really liked his work on the 1st Avengers film) as well as the promise of a much stronger villain in Ultron which to date has been lacking greatly in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, could this dream team deliver the goods or were there strings to hold them down?

Very sadly I have to say the latter is more true as I found this movie to be a disappointment but before I go into that I want to go into what I did like and first off is that amazing opening action sequence that is expertly put together with the team working together and this really effective action editing and pacing, there's a real energy to that opener that grabs your attention.

The second is some of the performances, I liked seeing more of Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo in this film and I also liked seeing Paul Bettany (a vastly underrated actor) getting more screen time in this film as well.

But the first reason I feel this movie is a disappointment has to be Spader's Ultron as to me he didn't feel like the titanic threat he should have been to the Avengers and he also came and went throughout the film in the sense that he would appear and then disappear for a small chunk of it and also Whedon tries to make him menacing and scary but he stops one step short of embracing that darker side of the character and that I found to be a real shame as his quipping got a bit tiresome after a while.

The second reason is that this film is edited so tightly that when you get to the final climatic showdown it all becomes so grand with so many characters (and digital characters to boot) and so many swooping camera shots and bassy sound that it starts to resemble a Michael Bay film at this point and when it was over I felt exhausted and wished that it had been around the 150 to 160 minute mark as it would've allowed the film a chance to balance its story and action elements better than it does now.

And lastly there are some bad accents in this movie from Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen and Andy Serkis, the former 2 who play the Maximoff twins Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch do some pretty cheesy Russian accents while Serkis does a South African accent so bad I just started laughing in the cinema the moment I heard it and on the twins I liked them for the most part but in the case of Quicksilver I thought that while I liked him it fell short of the interpretation that Bryan Singer and Evan Peters created for X-Men Days of Future Past last year but the proper comparison I feel between the 2 will be the Quicksilver Peters gives us in X-Men Apocalypse next year where he will have a greater role in the action of that film.

And so the Avengers Age of Ultron was a disappointment for me with its underwhelming villain, too tight editing structure and lack of resonance for the new characters, hopefully Singer and Oscar Isaac can make it up with Apocalypse next year but even then I have my concerns, 2 and a half out of 5.

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