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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Movie Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron

What do you do when your best intentions lead to the worst of actions? In May 2015, all Stark wanted was to protect the world, but now his plans of peace maybe humanity's downfall.

Directing this 141 minute action/adventure/sci-fi is Joss Whedon.

Suiting up in this one is: Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksliver, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Paul Bettany as Jarvis/Vision, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and James Spader as Ultron (voice). With an appearance by (as always) Stan Lee!

The attack on New York still weighs heavily on everyone's minds, especially Stark's. After  the Avengers pull off a successful mission, Stark acquires the means to finish an old project that got put
on the shelf. When finished, Stark's project could protect humanity in a way the Avengers couldn't. A global defense program called Ultron. Unfortunately, Stark's Ultron project takes a direction that no one saw coming. Ultron doesn't see humanity as something that needs protecting, but rather... eradicated.

Well superfans, it's time for another Marvel movie injection. This makes the 11th installment and the second to last film in phase 2 of the Marvel film plans. Fans have been impatiently waiting for the Age of Ultron to come out. Mainly because after watching The Avengers (2012) people knew something awesome was coming with a sequel. Also because this was another building block to the greater picture in the long run. For those that don't know (people that live under rocks... and non-superhero fans) all these movies (Thor, The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy etc.) are leading up to one big blow out called The Avengers (3 & 4): Infinity War (part 1 & 2). Now, each of these films have their own storylines, with hints to the coming war or to other films. In this case we see a bit of  a lead for not only Infinity War but also for Captain America (3): Civil War. So hopefully you're not getting bored with this whole MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) because it's only going to get bigger with tons more films to come out. 
                                                       


The  story was written by Joss Whedon, which is based on The Avengers, written by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. After the first Avengers film Whedon had a lot of pressure to make something bigger and better this time around in every way possible. Well, breaking even isn't a bad thing is it? Don't get me wrong, it's in no way a bad film. It's just for one thing, the main battle was very reminiscent (visually) to the first film. Remember the attack on New York from the first film where aliens are coming out of the wood work with civilian lives on the line and the Avengers abilities being tested to not only survive, but win? Now take out all the aliens and replace them with tons of look-a-like Ultrons (no spoilers, we've seen it the trailer) with a few new faces during the confrontation and you have Avengers 2. Not really bigger in my book, but really cool none-the-less. Another problem was that I wanted more Ultron scenes. I felt like Ultron was used more as filler to move the film along instead of using him to his full movie potential. However, the storyline was great! Not only did we get to see some old faces like Warmachine and Falcon, but we get a few new mutant... sorry, "people with powers" introduced along with some deeper insight on the Avengers themselves.

The playthrough was right up there with the first movie. It has a really good pace that keeps everything highly entertaining. Tons of gamma powered action that ends up making some cool looking fight scenes. As usual, somethings that comic fans are more familiar with were changed to help move the story along like character origins etc., but nothing that hurts the film or standouts to any non-comic fan. Like I said, the story was great. Quite a few conversations between the characters wind up showing a different side of them than we've seen before or give us a better understanding of what drives them to do what they do.
                                                         


The cast did great. One thing I was a little worried about was the introduction of Vision. He's one of my favorite characters, but I have to say, I think they did a really good job bringing the Vision to life and Bettany was a great choice for the role. Unfortunately, I wasn't too impressed by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen's showing of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Part of that could have been due to not having a lot of lines or air play. So when Taylor-Johnson and Olsen got their big chance it was like... hmm ok, they do some cool looking stuff, I guess. Upside, the choice for Spader to voice Ultron was perfect, he made evil sound freaking cool. 

Effects wise, everything looked really good. From the costumes to all the CGI work, everything blended together smoothly and helped make some killer scenes happen, which Ben Davis caught while doing the cinematography.

Overall, should you catch this one on the big screen? ... um, YES! Will the kids enjoy this one? If you took the kids to the first one, then yeah you're good for this one as well. There's a few scenes that are kind of creepy, but they're over pretty quick.

It's rated PG-13 for violence.

4 stars

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