Title – Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Director – Joss Whedon (Serenity)
Cast – Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, Samuel L. Jackson, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle
Plot – The Avengers must once more assemble when one of Tony Starks (Downey Jr.) latest experiments goes astray, creating the world threatening Ultron (Spader).
“No matter who wins or loses, trouble always comes around”
Review by Eddie on 24/04/2015 – for Jordan’s Take click here
I don’t believe many would argue against us being a spoilt generation, a generation that expects a great deal and expects it better and faster each time. It’s a mindset that encompasses most of our everyday life, whether we are waiting for our next coffee or our next parcel of goods ordered over the internet, there are countless aspects of our everyday life that we now merely take for granted, a state of being that has stemmed to most facets of our life including our movie watching tastes and expectations.
In the ever increasing world domination of the Marvel universe, comic book lovers and superhero loving cinema patrons have been treated to a plethora of big screen spectacles over the recent years, particularly within the last decade. In that time we’ve been witness to arguably the greatest ever molding of characters and material with the incredibly popular and rightfully well-loved The Avengers. The Avengers was everything you could want from a movie featuring men in tights, angry green beasts and an archer with a never-ending supply of arrows, and us being the generation we are wanted more, we wanted it faster, better and more mind blowing so how does Age of Ultron satisfy the needs of its fervent watchers?
It was always going to be an extremely tough task for Marvel and director Joss Whedon to top the first Avengers and many will ask as a first point of call if Age of Ultron is as good or better than the first and to answer that straight up you’d have to say no. A no answer is anything but bad news however as Age of Ultron still possesses the quick-fire wit, the stunning imagery and fantastic comradery between the film’s many stars that made the first such a memorable adventure. Suffice to say, much of the film’s original novelty value of seeing the crew of heroes assemble for the first time is now largely gone but there growing relationships and angst that comes from time spent with one another is an interesting and well developed aspect of this new tale. There’s potential love, pent up anger and some great double teaming of bad guys within the crack team and with Whedon’s assured direction and scripting, Age of Ultron continues to be a step above other comic book movies in virtually all aspects. With seemingly all great elements of the first Avengers intact here again what makes Ultron a lesser affair is sadly in it titular bad guy.
Loki became the perfect foe for our first outing in the Avengers movie, with Tom Hiddleston’s great performance and some great lore behind his anger; he made for a thoroughly dastardly villain and one you couldn’t take your eyes off whenever he was on screen. In James Spader’s Ultron we have a “big bad” that initially looks to steal the show only to become a character that is less the sum of his parts due to murky motivation and some seriously questionable quick production times on his evil plans. Spader does a great job of both his motion capture and voice work and is what I’d imagine a fantastic incarnation of the comic book favourite but there is something severely lacking in his progression in the film that holds this 2 hour plus story back. In other minor quibbles it feels as though both Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver are underused in what feels like an arc that would’ve benefited from these new additions more, whilst being the spoilt cinema goers we are it does feel as though our grand finale is a little lacking, especially when compared to the city levelling joys of the first outings showpiece or even this films incredibly fun Hulk rampage at the half way point; Hulk by the way is an ardent fan of Beats by Dr. Dre, who would’ve thought?
With expectations high and with pre-hype at all new boisterous levels, Age of Ultron has some mighty goals to meet and while it doesn’t feel like the home run of the first it most certainly is a hugely enjoyable big budget blockbuster that’s wittier than countless so called comedies and more original than many of Marvels recent diminishing adventures. We all know what the cast here can deliver and they’re all sufficiently on song and it’s with great pleasure I can say Iron Man doesn’t dominate every scene as his been known to do in the past, so the load of quips and funnies is shared mostly evenly between our rag tag group.
Regardless of what one says about Age of Ultron, its going to make Marvel and its parent companies a huge stash of money and as long as Marvel keeps producing Avenger films to this quality no one will begrudge them their success even though chinks in the previously untouchable armor are starting to show. So with that, we farewell Whedon you good sir, it’s over to you Russo Brothers, we’ll see you in a few years!
4 suspect zucchini references out of 5