Avengers Age of Ultron is definitely a spectacle of a film. Lots of action, character development, and fan service are what sums up this movie that Joss Whedon was tasked to do. I definitely wasn’t sure at first if I loved it more than the first Avengers film after initially seeing it. Though I do skip the first third of “The Avengers” film because of the silly superhero pissing contest and skip to the good part with the Battle of New York. The first has more challenging re-watchability factor for me going into the beginning of the film. I can definitely say with certainty I can watch the entire film without skipping a beat.
The character moments here felt great and not forced. Between Captain America’s “Language” bit, from Tony Stark saying: “Please, be a secret door, please be a secret door… Yay!” and Hawkeye mentioning its silly he’s fighting robots with a bow and arrow really help make the characters feel human. The lullaby moment between Banner and Widow was a great scene to open the film to show these two characters not only were in a “Beauty and the Beast” relationship, but that they had a strong connection other than being teammates. The brother and sister relationship seemed very real between Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron-Taylor Johnson, especially after being a married couple in “Godzilla.” The team dynamic overall seemed real as well. Their chemistry was very palpable on screen.
“You didn’t see that coming?” – Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver
The characters which I felt stood out the most and had the best character development were Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Vision and Iron Man. Each had their own poignant moments that evolved or de-evolved the character in moving the overall story forward. Wanda Maximoff had the best character arc out of the entire cast. She went from a woman who just had her brother in her life be the center of her world with her anger towards Tony for what he caused them so much pain, to someone who has lost her whole world and is on her own. Though I know a lot of reviewers pointed out that there was no duel/payoff between Wanda and Tony I felt that there was in the sense that Joss had set the pep talk scene showing that she realized she was no different from Tony in creating what would ultimately be their demise. Hawkeye telling her its her job to set things right and realize the bigger picture of the situation showed off her as a great character who is willing to move past someone that caused her pain to understanding it wasn’t their intention.
Hawkeye was giving a lot of things to do in the film. At one point you could say you could call this a Hawkeye film with other Avengers moments, but I wouldn’t say he steals the show — he mainly shows more value as a character and isn’t watered down compared to the other fleshed out characters in the MCU. His family is well established and used — Linda Cardellini was a great addition to the cast! I felt that this film with his motivations was great set up to be a goodbye to the character at the end, even though he will appear in Civil War. Quicksilvers death — now, I know I personally would love to get to know his character more and have it be explored in other films I STILL feel that can happen. His death was necessary and it helped Wanda become a better character in the long run for the MCU. With her known ability to manifest people back to life, I’m sure Quicksilver will pop up again as a flashback/ghost.
“I was born yesterday” – Vision
Vision’s introduction into the film didn’t feel forced and was cleverly done that it didn’t seem too unrealistic or believable in this established MCU cannon. His character of course was just set up towards the end of the film so they have only scratched the surface with this character. I’m glad that Paul Bettany has something to do other just ADR for J.A.R.V.I.S. The humor with the Vision is something fresh that the MCU needs. A unbiased look at humanity is what he ultimately represents and Joss did that beautifully. F.R.I.D.A.Y. is a refreshing voice for Tony’s new A.I. in his suit that I’m glad they went with, rather than going with another male.
I was surprised that Ultron was not as menacing as depicted in the trailers and was relieved to see him be more comedic than a flat character out to do evil. James Spader had some great lines in the film that made him an enjoyable character. Though his birth was rushed I was able to get over it so the movie wasn’t 3 hours long.
Quickly I wanted to add that Natasha/Black Widow didn’t shine as much as she did in “Winter Soldier,” but I’m glad that the backstory we got from both this film and “Agent Carter” really help round out her character. Her action sequence in South Korea was a great highlight. The overall theme of “being a monster” really resonated throughout the film. Everyone is their own cause of being something they fear and they all need each other to help stop them to balance out their problems.
“I already did — Thats what it felt like” – Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch
The action scenes were amazing in the film. Between the Hulkbuster in South Africa, the chase sequence in South Korea and both the opening and closing fights in Sokovia. I did have a little bit of action fatigue in the last half (but that probably was because I saw it in 3D) because it all became so much. I understood Joss had a lot to do and set up for future films with containing this story effective. I think he did do that well — even though some people didn’t like that Thor’s stuff was cut CONSIDERABLY, it got the point across. The Vision’s birthing sequence with Thor’s lightning made up for it all.
Finally I want to shout out to all the supporting characters I enjoyed. Helen Cho I felt was a great addition to the cast to balance out the international feel movies need to be in order to be successful and representational of a larger audience. I wished Falcon had been in the final sequence but I was glad that Rhodey was there to help. Maria Hill and Nick Fury were great additions that rounded out the story to which not being there would be not so great.
Overall I loved the film and even though it didn’t have as much depth as “Captain America: The Winter Solider” in messaging — it still was a great time and I enjoyed every minute.