So what can I say about Age of Ultron. Well, it’s not as good as the first movie, not by a longshot, but it’s a little tough to figure out why. Maybe it was because of the much more convoluted plot. Maybe it was the awkward pacing. Maybe it was this one’s far lesser ability to juggle all it’s characters than the last one. But at the end of the day it just didn’t feel as special. Somehow when the Avengers leap into a 40 minute long battle with a massive army of easily defeat-able identical looking canon fodder it just isn’t as exciting as it was the first time. Now, it sounds like I’m shitting on this movie kind of a lot, but I actually did like it. Vision was really really cool, I loved the Black Widow/Hulk romance, and I think Hawkeye actually ended up stealing the whole movie. Like I said tho, this movie does not do a great job balancing all it’s characters, and I kind of felt like Captain America and Thor didn’t have a lot to do other than hit stuff. Even Iron Man, who seemingly should be the emotional thrust of the movie having accidentally created the main villain, doesn’t feel like a huge presence during most of the third act. As for the plot, it was pretty goddamn convoluted. I feel like a lot of what held it back is the unnecessary inclusion of the mind gem. Yes, Thanos is out there collecting infinity stones, and I know Marvel likes their super long buildups, but we got so much of that shit in Guardians last year. We all know Infinity War is coming, you don’t have to try to smush all the crazy cosmic shit together what should have been a fairly simple and earthbound story about an evil robot trying to break up the Avengers. It really just makes it confusing for the non-comic readers. Hell, even I found it confusing, and I know all about this shit.
But lets’ talk new characters: first off, Vision. Fucking awesome. ‘Nuff said. As for the twins, I actually really liked Quicksilver. I mean he didn’t steal the show or anything, but he did a great job playing a pissed off young guy, and he had some pretty funny lines. And while it was no Days of Future Past sequence, the super speed effect was actually pretty cool. Scarlet Witch was pretty meh, tho. I mean, as a comic fan it bugs me that instead of giving her reality altering abilities they just made it telekinesis and telepathy, but I get why they did that for the sake of the audience. It’s more so that just doesn’t seem to have any real character of charisma. She’s just sort of moody the whole time. I guess maybe it’s just cause she doesn’t get enough screentime, but hell, who does in this movie. I guess maybe we’ll see a little more of them in six months when they release the extended version (which yes, they are doing, because apparently they cut out almost an hour). Also maybe we can find out what the hell the deal was with that whole Thor subplot that lasted two scenes and made no sense. But what about the man himself. Or, robot, I guess. Fucking James Spader. A big complaint about these Marvel movies, or at least the ones in this universe, has always been the lack of compelling villains. Most of them just sort of go crazy for no reason, usually resulting in them copying the hero’s abilities somehow. Even Loki, charismatic as he is, isn’t really a match for the Avengers. This movie came with the promise that Ultron would finally be an interesting, compelling villain for this super-team to go toe-to-toe with. And, well, they didn’t do a great job. I mean I wanted to get behind the idea that his flawed programming causes him to believe that the only peaceful world is one without humans, but every time he talks he just sounds so full of shit. He’s always going on about evolution and junk, and how people need to evolve to survive, and it’s like dude, you’re trying to wipe out all life on earth, that’s not how evolution works. And he goes out like a bitch near the end, anyway. Overall this movie is still super entertaining. There’s lots of fun Whedon dialogue (some have said too much, but I’m into it), there’s cool comic book action (the Hulkbuster fight is definitely a highlight, although I sort of wish it had held more weight in the actual story), and the way all the characters interact is really great. They really feel like they’ve been a team for a while, and I gotta say every performance is awesome. Btw, shoutout to Linda Cardellini, nice to see ya gettin work, girl. Overall, it kind of just feels like there was too much going on here to get all into one movie, and again, maybe the extended cut will fix that, but watching it today I kind of just wish they had cut back on a few ideas and tried to tell a simpler story. If you’re a massive marvel fan like me I would tell you to see it, although you no doubt already have. However, if you’re an average movie-goer looking for as good a time as you had watching the first Avengers, this isn’t really that.
Overall Rating: Ultron’s funny little robot eyebrows/10