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Avengers Age Of Ultron Review


When Joss Whedon raised the bar in 2012 with Avengers Assemble, he used a crane to raise it. To say the anticipation for the sequel of the third highest grossing movie of all time, is at fever pitch, is an understatement. While Whedon is in the crane cab one more time raising bars, can he out raise the 2012 behemoth. No, is the answer. But he’s not far off the mark with Avengers Age Of Ultron.

The main cast return with Iron-Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) all doing what they do best, saving the world. This time round, it’s Ultron, a Tony Stark creation, that brings the problems, in vast quantities. Lining out with Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), Ultron rains down destruction upon our heroes as he attempts to quench his thirst for complete annihilation of the human race, not to mention Tony Stark.

By all accounts, this was a tiring shoot for Joss Whedon, and with more characters on the table, Age of Ultron is an even bigger balancing act than the original. Safe to say, Whedon balances all of this, but only just. A few parts to the story, serve little purpose and are either irrelevant or not revisited and only serve as fodder for a few minutes. A rather pointless romantic side plot between two characters is neither developed or engaging. Whedon has said his original cut was over 3 hours, and it shows here as the movie has been fairly heavily cut, with some scenes, while seemingly quite important from trailers and clips, are now nothing but an after thought. Thor in particular seems to suffer here, especially in the much touted “cave” scene. And let’s not forget, Andy blink and you’ll miss him Serkis. In fact, parts of Ultron seems a tiny bit disjointed as it just jumps from scene to scene in places, with little or nothing linking them.

It’s also not as accessible as the last one, or previous Marvel movies. While hard core geeks will relish what happens in places (provided they get out of the basement in mommy’s house) average cinema goes may find themselves a bit overwhelmed with a bit too much exposition. And it’s this same exposition that may have worked wonderfully in a three hour cut, just doesn’t work here in what remains of a movie that seems like it’s missing quite a few things. While these may sound like major gripes, in the overall scheme of things, they’re not as problematic as one would think.

Visually, Age Of Ultron is incredible. Joss Whedon has upped his game here immeasurably with some absolutely jaw dropping set pieces, coupled with some phenomenal slow mo scenes and wonderful chase cam pieces. The opening alone will knock you on your ass The Avengers go on one heck of jaunt whilst firing on all cylinders. And once you get up off your ass, you’ll be flattened again (and you’ll lose your jaw too) with an epic standoff in a ship yard which leads into one of the greatest action sequences of the last five years, involving Hulk and the absolutely phenomenal Hulkbuster. Words can’t describe how insane this sequence is, and just when you think it can’t get any crazier, it does. And then some.
Another bunch of incredibly realised action scenes thunder on screen as the movie reaches it’s pretty insane finale.

The cast are as we’ve come to expect with the regulars like Downey Jr. and Hemsworth. Nobody else can really play these characters, and while Tony Stark has lost much of his spontaneity and smart ass remarks, he’s infinitely watchable.  The new kids on the block, Aaron Taylor Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen struggle to keep their accents and while both are watchable, Taylor Johnson is the weaker of the two here as he looks a bit unsettled in the role. Olsen on the other hand, shines through and towards the finale projects some incredible on screen presence, granted her red whispy magic, get’s a bit repetitive.
Ultron (voiced wonderfully by James Spader) is a fantastic piece of work, however, he’s not as menacing as one would think. Which is surprising, considering he’s pretty intent on some serious destruction. As he evolves, he seems to lose much of the passion for hatred he had at the beginning. Paul Bettany looks to be relishing the role of The Vision (once he turns up) and like Ultron, is complemented by wonderful visuals.

Age Of Ultron misses the mark a few times. The story lets it down by being disjointed in places and suffering from far too much exposition elsewhere. Ultron is far from the evil piece of metal he could have been and there seems to be no sense of urgency or impending doom throughout the movie, as one would expect. However, those are really minor gripes as The Hulkbuster sequence alone is worth the price of admission. The good far outweighs the not so good here. Avengers Age Of Ultron is still one helluva ride, a whole lotta fun and comes highly recommended. And yes, there is a mid credits scene.

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The Movie Bit: Avengers Age Of Ultron Review
Avengers Age Of Ultron Review
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