Avengers: Age of Ultron
Director: Joss Whedon
Writer: Joss Whedon
Based on: the comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Sequel to: The Avengers
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, James Spader, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Linda Cardellini, Claudia Kim, Thomas Kretschmann, Andy Serkis, Julie Delpy, Stan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 26.04.2015
The Avengers – that is Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) – have become quite a team. In their most recent take-down of Hydra men, they managed to get back Loki’s scepter. Before Thor can take it back to his world, Tony and Bruce ask to analyze it and they discover a form of intelligence inside of the scepter. They decide to use it to try and create an AI as a defense program. They succeed and said program – Ultron (James Spader) – comes to life. Unfortunately he has his own vision of what a safe world looks like and the Avengers have to face Tony’s and Bruce’ creation.
I really loved the last Avengers movie, and this sequel has many of the same strengths. Unfortunately it also has a lot more problems than the first one, especially when it comes to plot and character development. Nevertheless I really enjoyed myself.
Avengers comes with a cool sense of humor, cool special effects (if you disregard that first fight scene which looked like it wasn’t entirely finished in post-production) and a great cast who really come together as a team. Whether some things they say or do are actually in character is an issue that is hotly debated in certain corners of fandom, but assuming that they are, the reactions of everybody else is always spot on. If Steve admonishes Tony for his language, you bet your ass he would never live it down. Whether Steve would admonish Tony for his language is another issue.
But it also comes with a whole lot of issues that I couldn’t laugh off so easily. Mostly that’s to do with Clint’s family (I didn’t mind that Clint had a family, but the way they are dropped on us, conjured in out of nowhere as much too sweet perfection, seemingly only to make absolutely clear that there is nothing beyond friendship between Clint and Natasha), and even more so with Natasha and Bruce. Which also came out of nowhere, went nowhere and they never really developed much chemistry. And the exchange of Clint saying “I’m a monster, so I’m infertile” and Natasha saying “I’m infertile, so I am a monster” is cringeworthy to say the least. I also had issues with the Maximoff twins (Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson) that started with the whitewashing (they are Romani-Jewish in the comics, not “just foreigners”, especially not foreigners collaborating with a Nazi organization, considering their family history that includes concentration camps) and ended with Pietro’s death that was so badly handled that I didn’t believe him to actually remain dead for a second (still don’t), which robs the scene of all emotional impact. [At least they killed him [maybe] and not Wanda.]
Finally, plotwise I also take exception to the “USAmericans have to save the poor country” imperialism. And they did way too little with the panic attacks induced by Wanda. There was a lot of potential there that was just squandered.
So, the film is not without problems (one of which, even if it’s a very small one, is the absence of Pepper and Jane who are only referenced as competition tools for Tony and Thor), but it is never boring and it is extremely enjoyable. The old characters they feature are still engaging and your relationship with them only grows (I also loved the many short appearances by supporting characters from the other Marvel movies). And the new characters they introduce are great. James Spader as Ultron is absolute perfection, but I also really enjoyed Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. And we finally get to see Paul Bettany as well, which is always a plus.
The excellent pacing, the sense of humor, the characters – they all work together to take you through the bumpy bits without much loss of entertainment value. And that is more than I can say of many other films.