I’m making a real effort to get caught up on my movie reviews here on the site. It took me damn near a year after I saw it to review Transformer: Age of Extinction but I got that one posted earlier in the month and I’m back today with my Avengers: Age of Ultron review. Just as a reminder, these days I review only flicks I see in the theater here on blog. If it’s a horror flick it’ll show up over on ScareTissue.com.
The last couple Marvel Cinematic Universe films I’ve watched and reviewed I haven’t been all that high on. Iron Man 3 was enjoyable but there wasn’t much “substance” there and I downright didn’t like Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I heard quite a few people compare this to Cap 2 by saying “Well, it’s good but it wasn’t as good as Winter Soldier.” This to me was a very bad omen. I was bored by the first Thor movie so I skipped The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy looked so silly that I cruised past that as well (though I may reluctantly go back and see that one just based off so much good press and so many positive reviews).
Thoughts & Recommendation
I’m happy to say that the “Its not as good as Winter Soldier” people were dead wrong. This is a far superior film to Winter Soldier in my book. At least I had a hell of a lot better time watching it. I went to the movies by myself (as I tend to do these days) and got there just in time for a 10:20 PM show. Not surprisingly, I was the only person in the theater as I went two and half weeks after it was released.
I’m not a 3D guy as I think it’s a rip off so I was happy to see the late showing was in 2D. $9.50 for a movie, $5.95 for a “small” popcorn and $3.85 for a bottle of water (because they wouldn’t give me ice water) and I was on my way.
I will say this… the flick is long. With a running time of 141 minutes, once you throw in previews and the obligatory mid-credits scene that Marvel has become known for, it was past 1:00 AM by the time I walked to my truck (which was the only one in the parking lot). That being said, I didn’t look at my watch once until I got out of the theater. There’s a shit ton going on here with a slew of characters. I won’t bother you with a plot summary. Check out Wikipedia or IMDB if you’re interested.
I was really happy to see the interplay between the team here. Black Widow and Banner / Hulk have a budding relationship which was a bit out of left field here for me as I thought she was into Hawkeye. But low and behold we find out he’s got himself a family. I thought for sure based on this new family we were going to see him be sacrificed to the movie Gods in a display of super hero karma. Sadly that spot went to another character which I won’t spoil. In the end, that character was cool but I won’t really feel the loss.
The one bad thing I’ll say about Age of Ultron is that there are too… many… characters. Not too many characters in a Spider-Man 3 sort of way necessarily. There’s just not enough time to have such a large team in a movie. What tends to happen with these big group movies is some of your (formerly) lead characters such as Iron Man or Captain America are forced to just sort of sit around waiting for stuff to happen while other characters such as Hawkeye, Black Widow and Scarlet Witch get their development. If it wasn’t for a very bizarre dream sequence that was straight out of Eyes Wide Shut I’d have forgotten Thor was even around for this installment.
Even though I’m not up on the Ultron arch in the comics I was very happy with this bad guy. Sure there was some head scratches with his motivation, but when you realize he IS essentially Tony Stark’s ego it starts to make sense. Major props to James Spader for playing Ultron himself. I wasn’t quite sure about this casting choice but in the end it was the correct one. I don’t know who the hell Vision is either and aside from his rather generic look of his outfit I was happy with him too.
And in a movie full of action sequences one stands out… and stands out big time. HULK BUSTER. The battle between an under the influence Hulk and Iron Man is a sight to be seen. It’s worth the ticket price alone.
Rotten Tomatoes says it’s, “Exuberant and eye-popping, Avengers: Age of Ultron serves as an overstuffed but mostly satisfying sequel, reuniting its predecessor’s unwieldy cast with a few new additions and a worthy foe.” That’s absolutely fair.
My one big concern with Age of Ultron isn’t with the movie at all… it’s with the universe. I’m honestly getting worried about just HOW MANY comic movies we’re getting. Yes, I know they make money ($1.36 billion for Ultron as of this writing). If you look at what’s been announced as coming soon from the Marvel Universe I’m starting to have concerns about over saturation: Ant-Man (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Doctor Strange (2016), Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017), Untitled Spider-Man film (2017), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 (2018), Black Panther (2018), Captain Marvel (2018), Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 (2019), Inhumans (2019), etc. I don’t know… that seems like an awful lot for me to care about, especially as they get further and further removed from comic characters and stories that I’m familiar with. However, as long as they’re as fun as Age of Ultron I’ll be there. I’d probably consider this one my 2nd favorite of these Marvel flicks behind only the original Iron Man.