It was the best of times, it was the worst-okay I’m just going to get straight into it. Age of Ultron could not beat out the first Avengers movie. That spark, that shot of them in the circle ready for the final battle, creating that again is hard. We could see it in Infinity War when more characters are in the story (more characters we’re familiar with at least) but in here, it just wasn’t the same.
*spoilers, of course*
Top Five Best Parts
(or six, we’ll see where this goes.)
- The characters lead the show. Even Hawkeye got more than two lines! But seriously, the characters are great. It’s nice to see Steve lighten up a bit (especially after Winter Soldier.) All of the relationships have grown and their chemistry is better than the first movie. You believe they’ve been fighting together for some time and have inside jokes. Stark and Banner are science bros, Steve and Natasha are closer, and Hawkeye is more of a person this time around. He even gives that motivational speech: “You step out that door, you are an Avenger.” To which I proceed to step out my front door and call myself an Avenger…
- Ultron is a great villain. Sure he’s AI and we’ve seen it before, but the sass gives him personality. Sure we’ve seen the whole: the world is sick and I need to cure it by destroying it, but at least you can like him. Him and Loki are some villains you can easily like. They are more than Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy who spews shit and is so serious all the time. Plus, James Spader’s voice is kind of creepy.
- The fighting has kicked it up a notch. Oh there are plenty of more fights scenes here than the Avengers, and it looks better too. The Avengers work in sync, using others abilities. At one point Thor uses his hammer to hit Steve’s shield and fend off a bunch of robots. They work off each other and help each other out more. Okay some are longer than others and don’t need to be, but at least it looks cool.
- Vision is so cool. Not only is Jarvis inside of him, but he’s good. He even lifts Thor’s hammer. Plus there’s a damn infinity stone sitting inside his head. He seems pretty literal (he reminds me of Castiel when he first appeared on Supernatural,) but in time his own personality could come through. Plus, he’s Jarvis! And Jarvis deserves it more than anyone.
- The humor is there despite the darker tone presented. When the trailers first came out people were saying how much darker this movie will be, but with the characters we have, how could it not still be funny? From the scene where everyone is trying to lift Thor’s hammer (so close Cap, so close) to the moment we find out about Hawkeye’s family, it’s not forced. There was humor in the last movie and it’s still there.
- Bonus round: Setting up for future movies. Okay I know we hear a lot of criticism about movies just setting up for a sequel, but it’s not as obvious here. We get that glimpse of the infinity stones (that you should know about if you watched Guardians of the Galaxy,) Thor’s vision of hell setting up his next movie, and the bickering between Steve and Tony. Civil War is coming up next and you can totally believe them getting into a fight. Oh and there’s Thano’s cameo at the end, but we all know he’s just going to sit on his damn chair for the next few years. (At least until the Guardians of the Galaxy 2.) I like those kind of things that show a glimpse of what’s to come (even though some people don’t.)
Alas all good things come to an end.
Top Five Worst Parts
- Natasha and Bruce, need I say anymore? Okay I will. Why? Why did they need to have a thing? Did Natasha’s character need it? Okay it could be the whole: she’s such a strong female character she can still have a crush on someone. If she’s so damn strong she should have her own movie by now….The scenes were awkward to me. I didn’t believe it. We all know we thought her and Hawkeye were together, but they had to give him a family so the audience knew they weren’t, which gave way for Natasha to like Bruce. Also, where did it come from? When did we see them get closer? Bruce isn’t so sure about it at first, but eventually has those feelings.
- The length starts to hit you. Trust me I’m fine with long movies. I’ve sat through all the Hobbit movies, but for some it can be tiring. Once that Hulkbuster scene comes, you realize, “There is still so much movie left.” Some things were added that I feel were a waste, like the part where they learn about Ultron finding the vibranium that also made Steve’s shield. It’s almost 2 1/2 hours, which is probably why there’s no end credit scene.
- The Twins were meh. I like Quicksilver and his sister is alright. I know we need to expand the universe, but I hate that they weren’t mutants. Obviously Fox has that right, but they’re just experiments? I want Magneto to reconcile with his children. Sure you felt for them after their parents are killed, but the whole “revenge on Tony” thing was meh. Of course they’re on Ultron’s side, until the end.
- The mental breakdown was a good way to give the team that “broken” feeling, but in the end it wasn’t all that necessary. Sure they all have to face their past or their worst fears or visions…how does this work? Is it their worst fears? Because Natasha was just going through a memory. Does that still scare her? And the only person to be effected by this is Thor. Well Tony too, seeing that he created Ultron because of his vision, but Thor does something about his. And what was the Hulk’s? Did he have a vision or was he just being controlled to cause destruction? Is that his fear…in the end did it really make a big difference on the overall plot? Not really. They needed to be shaken up and spend some time going over things.
- Ultron is still AI. I know I praised him earlier, but he’s still a little cliche. He’s artificial intelligence so of course he wants to destroy the world. We’ve seen it before. He thinks the world is sick and wants to cure it, we’ve seen it before. The part about wanting to evolve was cool, and it gave us Vision, but in the end Ultron still had too many cliches going for him.
- Bonus Round: killing Quicksilver. I just said he’s the better twin so when he died I was pretty upset. How did he not survive that? Time is practically standing still for him, he couldn’t just move the bullets away (it was possible in Days of Future past don’t say it isn’t!) I thought Hawkeye was going to die, when he went after that stupid kid and blocked him from the shots. Also the whole thing about introducing his family and promising to come home…it made more sense to kill him off. I didn’t want anyone to die and I like Clint, but which death seemed more obvious?
I said it before: that spark the first movie had just wasn’t here. That first time you see the Avengers all together is awesome, that shot of them in the circle was sort of replicated in Age of Ultron, but let’s be honest, it wasn’t the same.
I still enjoyed it a lot! I love the Marvel universe, I love the Avengers, and I can’t wait for Civil War.
All in all, the best outweighs the worst.