Avengers: Age of Ultron – {Review}

I should probably start off with a disclaimer… When I went to see the newest installment in the Marvel Universe, I was preoccupied. And that is putting it mildly. After dealing with some pretty intense crap in life, I was in need of an escape from reality when reality was just too much to deal with and the timing of the screening couldn’t have been better planned. With all that was going on though, I don’t know that I truly appreciated all that this movie had to offer and as such, I’m already making plans to be able to see it again with one of my favorite movie watching buddies. {I hope}

Avengers: Age of UltronSequels are rarely as good as the first one and when the first Avengers movie hit the big screen, I mentioned that they would be a tough act to follow. I was right. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, but it just didn’t have the same impact.  Maybe I’m desensitized… maybe my expectations were too high.  Maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for the film… or maybe it just wasn’t as good as its predecessor.

When Tony Stark jumpstarts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as they battle to save the planet from destruction at the hands of the villainous Ultron.

If you’ve watched any {all} of the trailers leading up to this movie, you already know the crux of the plot line but there was much more to the film than the trailer{s} allows.

There were absolutely things I loved about it –

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron introduces a romantic interest developing between Black Widow and Hulk that many in the theater thought was “mushy” and “over the top” and I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I actually enjoyed this aspect of the story line.  What can I say, I’m a sucker for the idea that there’s someone out there who can calm even the angriest parts of us if we will only let them in.  {I could easily write an entire post about this part of the movie and maybe I will someday but for now, I’ll save you.}
  • Seeing into the private life of Hawkeye beyond the time he spends saving the world introduces his wife and children in a lovely farmhouse in the middle of nowhere and exposes a softer side of the assassin.  This was a pleasant reminder that they are still human… enhanced, but still have human needs and desires and emotions.
  • The introduction of two new “Enhanceds,” Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch  really provided insight to the original Avenger crew and while I won’t give it all away here, I really loved that piece of the puzzle – being able to see into the individual psyches was fascinating to me.

In short, I loved seeing the human side of the super-human heroes.

  • As always, the brilliant writing and superb comedic delivery of lines made for several laugh-out-loud moments that we expect from Tony Snark Stark but he wasn’t alone in that.  The testosterone induced “pissing matches” between characters a few times in the movie were well done and to be expected.  Black Widow has her share of memorable quotes as well and the one liners were nicely dispersed throughout the movie.
  • James Spader {The Blacklist, Boston Legal, etc.} was perfectly eerie as the voice of a very memorable and interesting villain… and his rendition of “Got no strings” was haunting long after the final credits rolled.
  • One of the things I love about the entire MCU is how the stories are interwoven and indicative of a much larger… well, universe.  Bringing in other characters and sub plots along the way reminds you that this is simply one piece of the entirety and opens the door for so much more still to come.  
  • Stan Lee’s cameo was BRILLIANT – as to be expected.

But…. there were some things that I didn’t love… I’m sorry.

The opening scenes troubled me – it was too much going on too quickly with characters and movement all over the place.  It was overwhelming and I had a hard time figuring out what was going on.  Even still – the few slow motion segments were breathtaking and it didn’t take long before the movie found its foothold and felt more real and less… comic-book-y.  A lot of the action shots had parts that worked really well… and parts that didn’t to be honest.

That could be an indication of my mental state when I entered the theater.  It could also have something to do with the young boy (7-ish year old) sitting behind me who felt compelled to kick the back of my seat the ENTIRE 2 hours and 22 minutes run time. Or, maybe that’s just an area of opportunity for improvement. Who knows?

Even still – I’m a fan.  I love the Avengers.  I will absolutely see this again to see if my perception changes.  It doesn’t outrank Avengers but it was still a worthwhile contribution from Wheadon and team.

To keep up with the crew, like THE AVENGERS on Facebook, follow THE AVENGERS on Twitter or visit the official website

Marvel’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON hits theaters everywhere on May 1st! 

Genre: Action-Adventure
Rating: PG-13
U.S. Release date: May 1, 2015
Running Time: 141 min.

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