Marvel have created such a complex cinematic universe since its humble beginnings with Iron Man in 2008 which now spans an impressive 11 movies. Due to this, everyone is going to have their own ideas about what will make a good Marvel movie, which characters to include and focus on, what other films to reference etc. Therefore I believe that much of the success of Marvel’s movies now relies on personal preference. If I’m honest in the weeks leading up to Ultron I wasn’t excited, if any film was over promoted it was this one meaning that my expectations weren’t that high at all – just the way I like it though.
Firstly I will take you through some of my own preferences and slight issues with the movie. Naturally the films have to become more complicated as the phases continue but I definitely prefer the more simple outings. Each movie in the MCU has had a very distinctive tone/feel to it however I feel that AOU was a mix of everything that came before meaning that it could risk being forgettable, only compared to other Marvel outings though. There was a lot going on in this movie, a lot of characters and a lot of information to take in at times, this was largely handled well but some aspects could have been improved. In terms of the characters I would have wanted less War Machine and Agent Hill and more Pepper and Falcon. There were some new characters and storylines that I haven’t quite decided how I feel about yet, however, I am not a fan of change so this was only natural for me. All this set aside though I thoroughly enjoyed Avengers Age of Ultron.
Let’s talk about the title character – Ultron. What a fantastic villain, for me he equals The Winter Soldier as the best villain we have seen so far in the MCU. Ultron was sinister, funny, a physical spectacle and he felt like a real threat. James Spader brought a lot to the film through his voice performance and the personality and character of Ultron felt so believable which I enjoyed. My only complaint was that he didn’t get enough time on screen, his very first scene was special and was probably my favourite part of the whole movie. As well as Ultron we were introduced to two new characters, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver – or the twins. Both of these characters were unreal additions to the cast, I had concerns about them but both delivered way more than I expected. Quicksilver stood out for me and I loved Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s portrayal of him, easily my favourite new character to be introduced to the MCU. Ultron actually managed to be menacing too, combined with the Scarlet Witch there actually was a few moments of fear thrown in which was something I had never seen before in the MCU. Something else that I hadn’t seen much before in the MCU was some really emotionally engaging moments but here we are treated to some in the shape of some characters pasts. These moments were touching and created a nice atmosphere for the film. Hawkeye received more of the spotlight than usual, he actually felt like an Avenger this time round and they really did a good job at making this character more likeable.
As is expected with Marvel movies now, the action was fantastic. The action scenes were solid throughout and they made for some really nice shots. I actually thought the individual elements within the action scenes were better than the scenes as a whole, I really appreciated some of the fight choreography and stunts. The finale as a whole is suitably impressive though. Hand in hand with the action comes comedy, and much to my pleasure Avengers Age of Ultron got it spot on. I have felt in the past that some Marvel movies have been too funny taking away from the films as a whole (Thor 2, Guardians) but here the balance was perfect and the humour perfectly enhanced the movie. There were some great comedy scenes, the gang trying to lift Thor’s hammer and then of course some really funny running jokes.
So as the MCU continues to develop it continues to become more complicated, naturally this means new characters and new plot points and whilst all of these don’t seamlessly mold with the content in place there is enough of what we already love to get away with it. If a film is only as good as its villain, Age of Ultron is something special. The twins add a lot to the movie too and the banter between the already established team is the best it’s been. With new aspects of characters and themes explored Age of Ultron manages to move forward and all amongst some fantastic action sequences. I suppose there is one ultimate test to rate an Avengers movie by, did it make me want to be in the team? Hell yeah it did – AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!
Rating – 9/10