Review written by Anthony Tyson on 5/2/15
When the first trailer came out for "Age of Ultron", the collective excitement from everyone, myself included, was at an incredible high. Hype level to the max, pundits everywhere were announcing this might break all current high records in the movie industry, and nothing short of greatness was expected from Joss Whedon's second film. One thing remained clear however: outdoing and improving upon the first Avenger's movie would be a tall order. As we approached the opening scene, the audience's energy in the theater was almost overwhelming in excitement. As the final credits rolled however, the reaction among everyone was slightly mixed. I wasn't sure myself about my own thoughts, as I processed my overall enjoyment of the experience, but there was this feeling of slight disappointment. It took me a while to figure out exactly why.
The true success of any good Marvel movie largely resides in great character development. The thing that's most scrutinized in the other main competitor, DC, are the characters. Marvel heroes are usually very well rounded and likable characters. Each have their own idiosyncrasies and flaws that help you relate to them, even if they have almost godly abilities. "Age of Ultron" does not disappoint in this regard, and all of the characters reprise their roles with large success overall; the stand outs for me being Hawkeye, Vision, Cap, and Tony as always. Their is also a bit of romance in this movie between Bruce Banner and Natasha, which I enjoyed. Though I did often hear many say that it felt forced and drew away too much focus from the film.
The plot is really interesting as well, as the theme of AI becoming aware and deadly is something I find I always enjoy. With Ultron being the large crux of the movie, the story also seems to have a lot to do with building up character development for Marvel's upcoming Civil War movie. A great surprise, I know. The way in which they handle this however, is actually quite clever. Two new characters Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver end up joining with Ultron, and the foremost of which has the ability to manipulate minds with hallucinations of the future or past. These largely have a huge part to play in the psyche of each individual Avenger, and what their innermost fears are. It's great for not only character development, but also for building a set price for what is likely to be the most explosive Marvel movie to date.
The only large fault I find with this movie is in the overall tone of the story and the surprisingly sarcastic and funny Ultron. For a robot who basically plans worldwide genocide, he sure does crack a good joke. One liners served with maliciously evil intent is great in one way, but is bad in another. When I find myself incapable of taking Ultron completely serious, and his actions are doused in comedic relief, the tension I was expecting to have with Ultron just isn't there. The only truly suspensful moments with Ultron were the scene where you meet him for the first time, and eventually when Vision and he talk for the last time. I was hoping to have him make me believe that the Avengers could possibly fail and loose people, and there in is my final point.
Look, the movie is good overall. Badass fighting, characters you know and love, witty banter, and plenty of fan service for comic book fans of all ages. I just think that this movie fell a tiny bit short from my, admittedly, lofty expectations. Go into the movie with a clear head, kick back, and just enjoy the great battles, as the animators are to lauded for their efforts. I do hope for the fans like me, who were hoping for something to completely surpass the first Avengers, that the blu-Ray release of the film with the extra hour of scenes can really surprise and exceed expectations as the first movie did.
You have probably seen the movie already, so just go see it again I guess. For the extreme few who haven't, don't try to rush to the theaters, but do watch when you get the chance.