Avengers: Age of Ultron officially opened in Philippine cinemas last April 22, 2015. The movie, which is sequel to the original Avengers film that hit the big screen last 2012, features the return of Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk), Jeremy Rener (Hawkeye) and the debut of cast members James Spader (Ultron) , Elisabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) and Aaron Taylor Johnson (Quicksilver).
I had a chance to view this movie during opening night with fellow Wheninmanila.com writers and friends from the site. After watching the movie, a question did dawn on me: was this movie as awesome as it’s hyped up to be or just average? Here are my thoughts on the film: Avengers: Age of Ultron.
SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains SPOILERS. If you don’t want to be spoiled in any way/shape/form, please leave this article now. Go read some other nice wheninmanila.com articles instead. Thank you.
The Hulk Vs The Hulkbuster Armor
This was by far my favorite one-on-one battle in the film. Imagine The Hulk squaring up against Tony Stark’s biggest armor yet. It wasn’t a one-sided affair, dear readers. In fact, this might be the most ‘even’ fight you’d see the The Hulk have against anyone in the movie-verse (sorry Mr. Blonski). Whedon tapped into his inner-Michael Bay and the gore and destruction here was abound. Watch out for the ‘homage’ to the previous Avenger film near the end of the fight.
The Battle Between the Avengers vs the Ultron Army in Sokovia
This was another big fight scene that had ALL the hype in the movie trailers for Avengers It starts with all the Avengers holed up around a circle formation to await an incoming swarm of Ultrons. What happens next is a combination of kick ass camera techniques and slow motion hits that would Zack Synder proud. The first few moments of the fight sequence was spectacular but this is 2015 and we have seen the abuse of the ‘Snyder Cam’ slowmotion editing in a lot of films and this was one of them. It wasn’t as abused compared to films like Wanted or The 300 Film Series, but it did lose some luster by overusing it on this scene.
That Stan Lee Cameo
One word of advice: Always expect Stan Lee to appear in a Marvel Movie. Be surprised if he’s NOT in a Marvel movie. His cameo in Avengers: Age of Ultron is nothing short of brief but HILARIOUS! Yet again Mr. Lee shows his wit and humor on the big screen. Excelsior!
The Hawkeye Factor
The previous Avengers film showed Hawkeye’s character as a guy who was mostly a support character. This time around, the film gave us a glimpse of Clint Barton’s hidden life outside of the Avengers. It was a rather refreshing take on the stoic and reliable archer of the group that viewers might enjoy seeing. Let’s just say I did NOT expect Clint to be such a family man. Family secrets aside, his lines in this movie also made him one of my favorite characters to watch in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Thank you Whedon for making me root for this guy. That kinda worked for me. Now let’s talk about something that didn’t…
The Hulk X Black Widow? Shipping ahoy!
As of this writing, one of the story arcs that this film pushed was the relationship between Dr. Banner and Black Widow. I had to admit that it was cute at first, but as the movie dragged on it was a bit too tiresome for me. Call it a personal preference but the movie just pushed it/shoved it way too hard. So instead of me caring about their relationship, it just made me roll my eyes near the end of the movie. The characters would be better served if they focused more on the moral dilemma of Banner after Stark pushed him to create Ultron or shed more light about the origins of Black Widow.
The Ultron Conundrum
Ultron is the big baddie in this year’s Marvel film. Ultron’s initial exploits in the Age of Ultron movie worked: an AI that has over-zealously commuted itself to maintain peace…by using destruction. Ultron was the villian who seemed knowledgeable about what it takes to secure peace. However, as the film went by, it seemed like the creation of Tony Stark got infected by his wit as well. That’s where the question conundrum (the hard question) kicks in: Should I fear this guy or laugh at him? Last I recall, this was an action movie..not a full on comedy film. While the selection of the villain was top notch, how they handled him was slightly off-putting for me and other viewers. If he was a secondary villain such as Michael Rooker’s (of Walking Dead Fame) Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy, it would WORK! Sadly, Ultron is the MAIN bad guy. He’s no Loki, who can pull this off since Thor’s brother has established himself in a prior film to have that personality.
Now, let’s talk about the twins: Pietro and Wanda. I loved their action/fight sequences throughout the movie. Their motivation and characterization were there and I really found them entertaining. The ONE THING that I found rather disturbing was their accents. I can understand why they had it, due to the fact that they live in the countryside that’s the setting for this movie. The accent was rather bad for Pietro that at one point…I was starting to think I was in a bad Adam Sandler movie (or that Zohan joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe). Everything for these two were going great. I just hate that the bad accents almost destroyed these two characters for me.
The Mid-Credit Scene
One does not simply leave the cinemas after the credits roll. However, in this movie, there is ONLY a mid-credit scene. Take it from Whedon:
“There is nothing at the very end. And that’s not a fake-out. We want people to know so they don’t sit there for 10 minutes and then go: ‘Son of a b***h! I’ll kill them!’”
The mid-credit scene is worth the 2-3 minute wait. But after you see that scene, you’re all free to leave your seats. Seriously.
Avengers: Age of Ultron might not be one of THE top 5 films for 2015, but at the same time, it’s not so bad that you have to stare at a certain cast member’s biceps to get through it. It was good enough as a sequel. So yes it was just right, just an average comic book movie. I have to admit, I did say I didn’t get to enjoy certain parts but the Marvel geek in me still cried for joy about the majority of the film thanks to certain mentions of Wakanda (hi Black Panther), the Infinity Gauntlet, and other Marvel Easter eggs. But as mixed as my feelings are for this movie, I’m still down for a second viewing. Why? Maybe I am a ‘mark’ for marvel movies or something like that. I don’t know really, but let’s get to the point here…
Is this movie still worth watching? Yes. The only reason you’ll regret watching this is if you have VERY HIGH hopes and expectations that this sequel will blow out the previous one out of the water. If you just want a fun and entertaining film, you’d like this. Really. But at the end of the day, don’t expect a great movie, just expect a movie that will continue the narrative of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that is good enough. Let me put this in dated pro-wrestling terms: Don’t expect a Ric Flair 60 minute classic, but a decent main event that’s either not memorable nor horrible in the same respect. This might be called the ‘sophomore slump’ movie for the Avengers series and maybe it’s true. But don’t forget, there will still be a sequel to this, and maybe the next slew of Marvel movies might just be better (or worse, for the cynics out there).