I attended an expense paid trip by Disney to press events for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron (#AvengersEvent, #AgeofUltron), all opinions as always are 100% my own.
I have been awaiting the arrival of Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron for a long time and it was so worth the wait. It is out in theaters TODAY! May 1, 2015! Luckily I did get to see it a bit early, on my 41st birthday actually, and it was a spectacular birthday present. I’m going to give you my review of the movie and try not to provide you with any spoilers, as best I can. There are some major spoilers that have already leaked and I hope that you have been able to steer clear of them so far. I’m going to review based upon what we already know from the trailers here and what I learned from the many interviews with cast and filmmakers for the movie. If you missed those interviews they were.
- Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth
- Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen
- Joss Whedon
- Kevin Feige
- Jeremy Renner and Cobie Smulders – (dropping 5/4)
- James Spader and Paul Bettany – (dropping 5/7)
The movie starts right in the thick of the action. This isn’t some “My Summer Vacation by Butch Johnson” opening where we go here and there gathering the Avengers back to the fold. No, this is a team that has been in many fights together in the past. They are fighting like a well oiled machine. They are playing off of each other’s strengths and working together with each other’s powers. There are moments where they even combine their powers into a combo attack. These are moves that they have learned through closely working together many times.
Granted, when I was watching the film I was wondering to myself, “how did everyone get back together as a team?” I didn’t have to ask that of director Joss Whedon because he addressed that in our interview straight away. Whedon said, “instead just go boom, we’re back. This is what you love. Are you having fun? Good. Now we’re going to tear it apart.“. And that is exactly what you get. The team right in the thick of it kicking butt, big time. But, where are they and why are they there? This past Tuesday’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. leads us right up to where and why. It was a great little tie-in to the movie.
The movie centers around Ultron, an artificial intelligence super robot who has decided that in order to bring peace to the world that humans have to be exterminated. Tony Stark and Bruce Banner end up creating Ultron unbeknownst to the rest of the team. This is classic Tony Stark. He is so brilliant and he can build some amazing things but he does it so quickly and expects the world to catch up. This time his creation has bit him and the world in the butt. As he is saying that he wanted to build a suit of armor around the world I was thinking of the great lines by Dr. Iam Malcon (played by Jeff Goldblum) in Jurassic Park about creating dinosaurs, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Sure, Tony has a good reason for creating Ultron. He wants to keep people safe from the wider dangers out there. He’s still haunted by the events of the Battle of New York with the Chitauri and wants the world to be safe from these extra-terrestrial threats.
James Spader does an amazing job as Ultron. You don’t really see it from the trailers but Ultron is really funny. He has many very sarcastic lines in the movie and the delivery of Spader is excellent. I was expecting this robotic voice to be emanating from Ultron the entire time but there is a much more human spin to this diabolical evil robot. This movie has elements of a Frankenstein story (Iron Man/Tony Stark creating Ultron) as well as a Cain and Able (Ultron and Vision) story to it. Joss Whedon stated in our interview, “I mean, it’s a Frankenstein story as much as it’s anything else and the Frankenstein story is, ‘who made me? Why am I here? And I guess I’m kind of pissed about it’.”
One of the things that you see a bit in the trailer is a relationship developing between Bruce Banner and Black Widow. This storyline brought so much excellent character development to both of the characters. You get a much bigger insight into the minds of both Banner and Romanov. I enjoyed this storyline very much. It was sincere and well done. There was a lot of cross over between the people behind the super heroes. And what I mean is that the closeness of the characters and their bond wasn’t just off the battlefield but on it as well. Here is a featurette called Alliances that talks a bit about the relationship between Black Widow and The Hulk/Bruce Banner.
It was nice to see certain characters get a bigger story. We didn’t need a bigger story from characters like Captain America, Thor or Iron Man who are pretty much the A players on the team, The god, the super soldier and the billionaire, philanthropist, playboy, genius. These guys have had their stories and character development play out in their own movies. Iron Man alone has been in 5 of them, including Age of Ultron. With Thor and Cap close behind appearing in 4 of them. Technically Iron man was in 6 because of his cameo at the end of The Incredible Hulk and Captain America was in 5 because he was in Thor: The Dark World when Loki was shapeshifting. The point is, we know what is going on with these guys. Let’s learn more about the other three characters on the core team, Black Widow, The Hulk and my new favorite, Hawkeye. Yes, after seeing this movie you are going to love Hawkeye so much more. He gets a great expanded storyline that is a major surprise.
I liked seeing the strong females characters in this movie and I think that when my daughter is old enough she’ll enjoy them as well. Here is a quick featurette about the female characters.
The fights were over the top. The Hulk vs. Hulkbuster fight is not only a long one but it is intense and a spectacle. I’m not going to say why the two Avengers are fighting, but they really get into it and there are major ramifications from that fight. This scene also happened to be Chris Evans’ favorite scene of the movie. He told us that in the double interview with Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth. I can’t wait to go and watch the movie again for this fight scene.
One of the funnier scenes was the one where the Avengers are hanging out at the tower. They are having a little after party/wind down from a victory and the discussion comes up over Thor’s hammer. Some people are saying that it is a trick but many folks do give it a try and attempt to lift the Hammer. It was great to see the characters in this moment of downtime where they are debating one of those sorts of things that fanboys and fangirls have debated for years. This extends to later in the movie where the heroes are debating over what could lift Thor’s hammer. I enjoyed seeing the team discussing things like this like any one of use fans would and have over the years.
Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch Featurette
The newest additions to the series are Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. We had a great interview with Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson and their take on the characters. I enjoyed the characters for the most part. There were little things that stuck out for me and the more I talk with people who have seen it I have more questions. I will be excited to see this movie again on Monday night with my wife and other comic book fanboy, Uncle Mike. I like seeing the roster of the Avengers expand because as a team the Avengers shifts and changes all the time. People will rotate in and out in the comics and there are so many Avengers titles there is a near inexhaustible amount of people who will be on the team.
And then there is Vision. I’ve been reading from the Marvel library of comics through Marvel Unlimited and Vision is an interesting character. His origin in this movie is something entirely new. While there were hints and Easter Eggs in previous movies things don’t play out as you may expect. I liked Paul Bettany in this role. After meeting him and interviewing him I can see why he was chosen. The costume was excellent as well. Anything more and I’ll be spoiling your fun when you see the movie.
Is the movie worth your money? Hell yes! Is it entertaining? Damn Skippy! Will I see it at least 4 times in the theater? Definitely. One more time in regular format then maybe 3D and then probably IMAX. I enjoyed it that much!
Did you see the movie? What was your favorite part? Let me know in the comments below and please, no spoilers if you can help it.
If you want spoilers because you have already seen the movie then please check out Dad.fm Episode 29 where Adam Cohen and I talk about EVERYTHING in the movie.
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