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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Review: Avengers - Age of Ultron (spoiler free)

Title: Avengers - Age of Ultron
Rating: 12A
Cast:
Robert Downey Jr. ... Tony Stark / Iron Man
Chris Hemsworth ... Thor
Mark Ruffalo ... Bruce Banner / Hulk
Chris Evans ... Steve Rogers / Captain America
Scarlett Johansson ... Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
Jeremy Renner ... Clint Barton / Hawkeye
James Spader ... Ultron (voice)
Samuel L. Jackson ... Nick Fury
Don Cheadle ... James Rhodes / War Machine
Aaron Taylor-Johnson ... Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver
Elizabeth Olsen ... Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch
Paul Bettany ... Jarvis / Vision
Cobie Smulders ... Maria Hill

Summary (IMDB): When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.

First off let me say I really enjoyed the movie. I was entertained the whole way through and it didn't screw up as far as my head canons go, which is always nice :). However, I wasn't blown away. With every MCU movie including and since Avengers, I have walked out of the cinema wanting to walk right back in and watch it again - not so with Age of Ultron. Oh, I have it on pre-order, but I was not overtaken with the desire to see it again immediately.

The dialogue is brilliant, the characters are superb, the action is well done, the special effects are awesome, however, for me, the plot falls down.

First of all the good stuff. The dialogue in this film is magnificent. It is, in places, hilarious. The timing is perfect and the one liners are brilliant. You can tell this cast know each other well and get on like a house on fire, even when they are in conflict. The script, when it comes to interactions between the characters, is flawless.

I love the characters and where they have been taken. They are all a little bit broken, and that is very important and yet they are strong. The interpersonal relationships really come through and where they took some of the characters was awesome. I really liked all the directions Joss took it in. They were unexpected and, for me, perfectly done, but I suspect some people are grinding their teeth :). The reveals that happen were great and the reactions of the other characters to certain reveals was really nicely done. I also loved the new characters.

The action sequences are exciting and engaging. I've seen some films recently (Jupiter Ascending for example) where I thought some of the chase scenes etc were too long, not in Ultron. I thought everything was put together very well. The film starts with a bang and keeps going.

The special effects are wonderful, as we have come to expect. They defy reality and make you believe what is going on.

The cast is marvellous. I love, love, love seeing Paul Bettany rather than just hearing him. James Spader had the sexiest voice ever, even when he is being a psychotic machine. Everyone else is brilliant. They all pulled off what they were asked to and I love them all.

BUT ...

The plot was messy, bits just didn't make sense and it felt to me as if the film should have been another hour longer to make sense of everything. Thor has his own little part, that just felt silly, Yes, thank you for the gratuitous shirtless scene, but that whole sub-plot needs at least another half hour to make sense. I suspect if you are familiar with the comics it's fine, not so for me. There are also things that happens to several characters where it felt very meh.

Unfortunately, to me, this felt like a fill in film, one that is a bridge rather than being utterly wonderful in it's own right. I never had that sense with the Avengers - yes it was all about bringing the team together, but it was still an awesome story all of it's own. This had Ultron, but it still felt like a stepping stone to The Infinity War arc, not it's own entity. I think that's because it tried to cram in too much.

Don't get me wrong, I honestly, really, really enjoyed it and I recommend it to all fans of the MCU, but I don't think it's as good as those that have gone before.

15 comments:

  1. I haven't written any reviews anywhere (other than a couple of quick lines on Facebook right after I watched it) because there was something I couldn't quite put my finger on and I think you exactly get it here. I enjoyed it, I laughed lots and I'll see it again (maybe even one more time in the cinema since I have a subscription card and there aren't any new releases I'm waiting for until the end of May), but didn't quite... connect as well as some of the others. Thor's sub-plot felt ridiculously rushed, and a bit more of Natasha's would have been nice as well. I've seen rumours starting (based on some email from Amazon) that there's going to be an extended edition that has some of the deleted scenes Joss would have liked to have kept intact still in their place rather than in a deleted scene reel, it makes me curious since this is oddly a movie where I feel like less editing might actually make me enjoy it more.

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    1. If there is a directors cut (it was long anyway, so I suspect it was cut for time a lot) I am so there. I think there were huge bits missing in the plot. Thor's bit could have been done with one scene with what they gave us so I suspect they shot more which would make it be worth more, if you see what I mean.

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  2. I'll probably go see this opening weekend. It's one of the movies I've been waiting to see this year.

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  3. I probably won't see this until it's released on DVD. So I have a long wait. What's strange in one version quicksilver and Scarlett witch are supposed to be magnetos kids, but I don't think they went there.

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    1. They had to negotiate to get them from X-men and they didn't negotiate for Magneto, so they couldn't go that way. They had to "create" them a different way.

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  4. Boo, Blogger is misbehaving again and not letting me comment. In any case, great review, thank you for making it spoiler free! (I'm looking forward to seeing where the characters go from here on out!)

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    1. You're welcome - I like to try and make reviews free of spoilers and then chat about the actual happenings of a movie in other posts - it seems fairer. Sorry you're having an issue with Blogger.

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  5. I'm so glad you made a review of the movie. I'm planning to go watch it soon and I guess I was just a little anxious of having too high expectations and being disappointed. Awesome post.

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    1. You're welcome - it's a very enjoyable movie :)

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  6. I saw it yesterday, and really enjoyed it. The fight scenes are always impressive, but practical me always wonders about the costs of clearing up a city street fight with Hulk :-)

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    1. Me too :) This one was very destructive wasn't it.

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  7. I haven't got into the Avengers. Sounds like the first movie would be the place to start!

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    1. Have you seen any of them? Iron Man is the place to start :)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_Cinematic_Universe#Films

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  8. A very fun movie. However, the superhero craze is starting to get a tad bit over-done now. Nice review Natasha.

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