Avengers: Age of Ultron (12)
Director: Joss Whedon
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans & Mark Ruffalo
Running time: 141 min
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.
An alarming amount of people have been asking me if the Avengers: Age of Ultron was good, genuinely nervous that it was going to be underwhelming. Considering what fabulous work Disney have done so far, if this film was bad it would’ve been like watching my country of choice falling to Hydra. Fortunately the film wipes the floor with every one of the previous films. Starring Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner , James Spader and everyone else as you expected, Avengers : Age of Ultron was glorious.
Going in, all I knew about the movie was that Ultron was a program created by Banner and Stark to protect the world so that they could “end the fight and go home”. This backfires in the most extraordinarily apocalyptic fashion, grounded in the decisions of the two scientists, but certainly encouraged from outside forces that we’ve seen before, Ultron replicates and decides to wipe the human race off the earth so he can start again.
As I sat down to watch the film I suddenly got a feeling in my stomach. I’m not particularly afraid of flying, but as soon as any plane I’m sitting in starts to leave the ground I start to fear for my life for just a second, but as soon as I heard Tony Stark speak, I knew everything was going to be ok. I can tell you now that Age of Ultron is funnier, better paced and more gripping than any of the previous films, or ten films depending on your view, and was more satisfying than anything I’ve seen in a long time.. and I had just finished watching Daredevil.!
I can now say that my default emotion for anything under Disney’s protection is complete trust. If Kevin Feige decided to announce that Spider-man would be faced off against the ridiculous villain ‘The Wall’, which is a guy that is literally just a bit of a wall that falls over, I’d still pay to see it before writing it off.
Thank goodness I’m into Marvel Comics and not some dangerous cult.
Avengers : Age of Ultron starts with a bang and relentlessly grabs you by the pleasure glands and drags you right into a petit mort and, unlike the previous film, where everyone was at each other throats, AoU explores the relationship between the Avengers now that they are, essentially, the greatest band in the world. During my first viewing of the original Avengers film I was engrossed, but in hindsight there is a lot of the first act where very little happens. Ultron begins mid-battle and sets the scene and dynamic instantly; I felt like I’d woken up half way down the world’s greatest waterslide.
Peppered with Infinity War and Civil War foreshadowing, I was shown the Avengers at their best and their worst. Author John Yorke has said that characters aren’t characters if they don’t have a massive flaw, and Joss Whedon knows characterisation like nobody else. The insecurities of avengers new and old, Ultron’s genius sees him moving through earth shattering speeches in the barbed silk that is James Spader’s voice. Ultron switches from speeches on morality that would’ve caused me to change sides in a second, to childish tantrums that I should expect from a day old eight foot metal genius.
Fans of Hawkeye will be happy to hear that Jeremy Renner’s character plays a much bigger role this time round, but it miraculously never drops in pace, as the history of each of the characters is explored in a very clever way. Joss Whedon, legendary plate spinner, manages to move the action along with one handful of people, while developing flawless rhetoric or drama between everyone else.
The already infamous Hulkbuster/Hulk battle is the first time the world has seen the Hulk at his worst, both contextually in the film and from a audience perspective, watching Banner fall victim to the next level mind games that Scarlet Witch can throw at him causes one of the most destructive scenes in the MCU history but it’s almost like watching Marvel through the eyes of Tchaikovsky, fluid perfectly executed ballet that could level a city.
I don’t know a lot about octane but the levels in this are certainly high, the action is overwhelmingly beautiful and I nearly wept like a proud father out of pure joy. I would’ve gone straight back in and watched it again if I was allowed. Oh and fans of The Vision, Paul Bettany has nailed it so you can relax.