Random Thoughts on Avengers Age of Ultron

Avengers Age of Ultron 1

Avengers Age of Ultron is sure to delight most fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie has everything that made the first Avengers movie incredibly popular — fantastic special effects, awesome action sequences, and snappy Joss Whedon dialogue. As a lifelong comics nerd, my usual pet peeve with comic book movies is deviating greatly from the source material. To my surprise, I really liked the major changes made for the movie.

While I greatly enjoyed Avengers Age of Ultron and will definitely see it in theaters again, there were a few things about it that bugged me. Below is the customary RPadTV binary breakdown of the film. As always, I’d love to hear what you have to say about the movie, so after you’ve seen it, kindly share your thoughts in the comments section. Now turn on your spoiler shields and let’s get avenging!

Ultron Owns (Good): I’m a big fan of the comics version of Ultron. Since the movie version is very different, I was worried about this incarnation of the robotic bad-ass. The original was created by Hank Pym (Ant-Man, Goliath, Yellow Jacket, etc.) and based on his brain patterns. The movie version was created by Tony Stark and based on his personality. That made for a highly entertaining baddie. Whereas comics Ultron is a megalomaniac that’s hellbent on wiping out organic life, the movie version is like a warped version of Tony Stark with the “sardonic dick” dial turned to 11. Like the original, movie Ultron is powerful, ruthless, and brilliant. Unlike the original, movie Ultron is hilarious and witty. Despite the fact that movie Ultron wants to destroy humanity, you kind of want to have a drink with him (yes, I know he can’t actually enjoy liquor, but still….).

Some of the early reviews of Avengers Age of Ultron criticized the movie’s villain, saying that Ultron wasn’t nearly as good as Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. I could not disagree more. Even though he was very different from the comics version, I thoroughly enjoyed the Ultron character. James Spader had fun material to work with and he rocked it.

Incredible Action (Good): This aspect of Avengers Age of Ultron was completely expected, but enjoyable nonetheless. I loved the blend of CG special effects and melee choreography. The effects — there are just so many cool ones to choose from. As for combat, there were a few Captain America scenes that made me utter a Keanu Reeves, “Whoa.”

Black Widow and Hulk (Bad): While the first Avengers movie was very Iron Man heavy, Avengers Age of Ultron was far more of an ensemble effort. The movie gave more characters time to shine than the original did. Unfortunately, it also gave us plot lines like the romance between Black Widow and Hulk. This bit did absolutely nothing for me. It felt forced and unnatural; going into the movie, I couldn’t imagine these characters having a romantic relationship and the actors/script did nothing to change that. This plot was a waste of time — a poor excuse to give Scarlett Johansson more screen time.

Hawkeye Surprises (Good): To my surprise, Hawkeye had a lot of screen time and great material to work with. As one of the “normal” humans on the team, Hawkeye’s mortality and fragility help make him more interesting and easier to identify with. I enjoyed how Avengers Age of Ultron played on the fact that he’s just a guy with a bow that’s hanging out with Norse gods, gamma irradiated powerhouses, and dude’s with billion-dollar self-defense suits. Showing that Hawkeye has a normal family life in addition to his insane Avengers life, was a fun touch.

Captain America’s Mighty Magnets (Bad): I hated Cap’s magnetized gauntlets, even though they make his unbelievable shield-throwing somewhat more believable. This is a total fanboy complain and I’m well aware of this, but I love Cap’s ability to ricochet his shield at impossible angles, hitting multiple targets, always having it return to his arm. While magnetized gauntlets that help the shield return to his arm makes sense, I preferred Cap’s shield-throwing being one of his inexplicable abilities.

Whedon Witticisms (Good and Bad): Some of the early reviews of Avengers Age of Ultron said that Whedon’s dialogue seems tired and dated. I respect that opinion, but disagree with it. As a fan of dense and witty dialogue, I very much enjoyed the movie’s script. While some called the snappy dialogue tired, I found it familiar and entertaining.

Quicksilver (Bad): Seconds after Quicksilver was introduced I thought, “Wow. Kick-Ass got a crappy costume and an even crappier accent.” Although I enjoyed how Quicksilver’s storyline ended in Avengers Age of Ultron, I thought he was mostly lame until his resolution.

Elizabeth Olsen big

Scarlett Witch (Good): Sure, the movie version of Scarlett Witch basically had Phoenix’s powers — a combination of telepathic and telekinetic abilities. Given how vague and ridiculous her “hex” powers in the comics are, I understand the change, even though her powers were awfully convenient in several scenes. All that said, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Chase Olsen is beautiful and I’ve been ready for ascent for nearly two years. She made the Scarlett Witch how in Avengers Age of Ultron.

Vision (Good): I enjoyed the movie version of Vision. He was cool, calm, and collected character. His power’s special effects were fun to see. Vision had one of the most enjoyable “Wow!” moments of the movie when he handed Thor his hammer. A more subtle moment (that totally got me) was when he checked out Thor’s cape, admired it, and grew himself a cape. Out of all the new heroes introduced in Avengers Age of Ultron, Vision was my favorite. I’ve enjoyed Paul Bettany’s acting and the character’s special effects were slick.

Bottom Line: Aside from the banal and insipid romance between Black Widow and Hulk, I only had minor complaints about Avengers Age of Ultron. I very much enjoyed the movie, will see it again in theaters, and watch it dozens of times after it’s available digitally. It has everything I want from a summer movie — great action, snappy dialogue, and fantastic special effects. While I understand why some people won’t enjoy Avengers Age of Ultron, I think those people enjoy killing fun. If you’re any kind of comics nerd, go see this movie now!

For another take on Avengers Age of Ultron, check out the PaulSemel.com review.

  • I enjoyed the action very much – including the special effects heavy single no-cut action sequence at the start. While not as organic as the many in Children of Men, it still showed some strong technical chops.

    Black Widow and The Hulk: I thought it worked, although it is an obvious cliche (big giant monster tamed by beauty).

  • Good: Ultron was suprising really good. I enjoyed the Raymond Reddington treatment of him.

    Good: Hulkbuster!

    Good: Thanos easter egg.

    Bad: Scarlet Witch was very predictable in the arc and to me came off as an annoying character.

    Bad: They didn’t do a very good job explaining why Thor was instrumental, if at all, in creating Vision. I still don’t get it.

    Bad: Widow/Hulk romance. This was as cheesy as Padme and Anakin in Episode 2.

    Bad: Not enough Ironman. He’s the coolest Avenger and Downey just steals most scenes anyway.

  • I will not be seeing this. Seems like more of the same and I HATE the first movie.

  • I feel the need to see this movie again before I can truly pass judgment on it. That said, I do have a few takeaways.

    – Maybe it was just because I was sitting too close to the screen, but I really, really dislike the shaky camera being WAY too close to the fighting scenes. Half the time I can’t tell what the hell is going on in the visual chaos. I get it. Fights are chaotic and it’s being shown as such, but I didn’t like it in Batman Begins and I still don’t like it now. Pull back the goddamn camera and stop shaking it so damn much. Alfred Hitchock invented the stedycam for a reason. Use it!

    – Widow/Banner romance was wrong on so many levels. This thing did not belong in this movie. Why does Hollywood feel the need to insert a romance angle in places where it doesn’t belong. I get it. You want to “humanize” the characters. You want to get the “non-action” chicks that promised to see the movie with their boyfriends interested. This is the wrong way to go about it. Besides, what about Betty Ross? Did the MCU conveniently forget she exists? Did Natasha forget that she was completely traumatized by the Hulk in the previous movie? I’ve heard about women being attracted to men with power, but this is ridiculous.

    – I’m still slightly disappointed that Pym wasn’t the creator of Ultron (especially since one of the previews was for Ant Man!) but I get it. It makes more sense having Ultron be a product of Tony Stark for the MCU, so I was OK with it. Since I never read the 2013 “Age of Ultron” serial (and from what I’ve heard, I don’t think I ever want to), I didn’t have any preconceived notions about the movie (unlike Days of Future Past).

    – I liked the philosophical divide. The first Avengers movie was basically an introduction of the characters and a reason for them coming together. With that out of the way, we get to have more character development. The movie did pretty well with this, especially with the “nerds vs. the jocks” undercurrent of “just because we can doesn’t mean we should” moral/scientific debate. If nothing else, it seems that this movie was sowing the seeds for Civil War.

    – I honestly thought Hawkeye (or his family) was going to die in the movie, mirroring the comic book. Why else would the movie introduce and spend so much screen time with his family, I thought. How I really, really, really, really, really wish that he’d just once refer to his wife as “Mockingbird.” I would have had a nerdgasam right then and there.

    – Pym and Dyne (Antman and Wasp) need to be part of the team for the next movie or I’m going to throw a fit.

    – I like the “new class” of Avengers at the end. Not so much the members, but the promise of a rotating cast of characters as being Avengers (as it should be).

    – I’m not happy with the deus ex machina powers they gave Scarlet Witch. Although, in her defense, her traditional powers may not be a far stretch from that. But still, what the hell is up with the psionic blasts and mind warping and emp blasts? It’s as if the producers read the character description of her powers from the comic books and said “fuck it, she’ll do what we need her to do,” which is stranger considering her counterpart/brother’s powers were spot-on. Just once, I would have loved to hear her give the fans a bone by having her twiddle her fingers and say something like: “Stark! If there’s an alternate reality of a piano that’s being dropped on your head, I’m going to find it.” It was a total missed opportunity with her as she could have altered the statistical probabilities of a big scrapyard magnet conveniently located in a path that Ultron was walking by.

    Hopefully, I’ll be able to see the movie again to get some better bearings on it. If anything, this movie makes me look forward to whenever Thanos gets around to annihilating the planet and Civil War (and Spider-Man).

  • Taipan

    @Iceman, yes you should see it again. I saw it twice and second time. The 2nd movie plot is actually not simple like the first one so u will realize some things u miss, such as how Thor has the vision about the stones, mind stone which led to new creation. I thought Scarlet Witch was interesting – the way she speaks and looks (she dyed hair black and i tht she was teh 2nd korean there. She is an upcoming actress). The arguements within the Avenger team brought up to a new level. Their human elements shown. New avengers. Will the 3rd one get even better (?) i heard so.

  • Taipan

    @12eatnik. Actually this movie is not like first one (which was a good introduction to avengers, and fun too). 2nd movie is better with more character development, plot is not simple and good visuals. In fact, I believe they deliberately make this movie different, by shoiwng less of Nick Fury and SHIELD spacecraft carrier (because they already appeared a lot in first movie and Winter Soldier). Hence the setting is less bright, and the plot has a dark side.