Director: Joss Whedon // Year of release: 2015 // 141 minutes
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson…
Seen in April 2015
First of all, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, GO AWAY!!!! (But then COME BACK once you’ve seen it! 😉 ) I do not censor anything and therefore it is spoiler extravaganza.
Log Line (from 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.
My random rambly thoughts
There were a lot of things going through my head as I watched the movie, and once I was home after I had just watched it. Here they are:
• The opening scene. We’re thrown into the action right away. So much so that it took me a while to figure out what was going on. Whedon is usually quite good at action sequences, but this one was just too much for me. Everything was so fast (and the 3D was not helping), that I couldn’t figure out who did what and where.
• The twins. I was both very curious and very nervous about the way they would choose to introduce these characters. In the comics, Wanda and Pietro Maximoff are the children of Magneto (an X-Men, whose movies rights are in Fox’s possession) and in order to put them in the Avengers movies, they did not have the right, obviously, to talk about Magneto and, less obviously, say that they were mutants. So they ended up being genetically modified (“enhanced”) orphans. Okay.
Now, let me tell right away that I am not that familiar with either Quicksilver or Scarlet Witch in the comics, but I feel like this was quite of a let down. Pietro looks like a bad cosplay version of himself. Bad dye job, sweat pants and Adidas trainers… He looks like a Russian mobster’s kid. You know? Put a gold chain and watch on him and there you go: Eastern European gangster. I usually love Aaron Johnson, but what is he doing here? The role is not that interesting, he doesn’t even act very well… It’s like he’s waiting for it to be over already or something. I had so much hope for this. While Fox’s Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past had the best scene of the movie, I thought that the character was a bit too vanilla, that his “costume” was tacky and that he generally looked bad as well. But at least the actor seemed to have a bit of fun with it.
As for Wanda, well, she’s the winner here. I thought Elizabeth Olsen did a very good job and I liked what she did with the character. In both cases, not a massive fan of the accents though.
Also, am I just crazy, or do they NEVER say “Quicksilver” and “Scarlet Witch”. It’s always either Pietro and Wanda, or “the twins”.
• Quicksilver’s death. Ah. Yes. I guess I should have seen that coming. To be honest, the first thing that came to mind when he gets shot was “No problem, just put him through the Tahiti Protocol”, and then I realised: because of copyrights issues with Fox, they probably had to kill the poor guy.
• Hawkeye. Speaking of killing off characters, once they introduced Hawkeye’s family, I thought for sure that he was going to die. Really. You don’t introduce such a happy family in a messed up world like that to have a happy ending in the end. Guess I was wrong.
• Hawkeye/Black Widow/Hulk love triangle. And what the hell was that even about?? A family? When it’s been hinted for 2 movies that Hawkeye and Black Widdow have a thing? In Captain America: The Winter Soldier she wears an arrow necklace for crying out loud! Don’t put that in if you’re gonna have her be in love with Hulk in the very next movie. That romance between Natasha and Bruce made absolutely no sense to me.
• Julie Delpy. I’m very confused as to why she’s here. We barely see her face and she has one line. Why do you take an acclaimed actress and film-maker for such an insignificant role? If we were to have a Black Widow solo movie in the near future, I’d understand, but since we’re not getting one, I’m just very confused. Is she friends with Whedon and wanted some sort of cameo in an Avengers movie, or what?
• Thor. Where the hell was the guy?
• S.H.I.E.L.D. Where the fuck was it? Thanks to Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. we know that it’s not dead, neither is Coulson, and yet there is no mention of anything as to a possible “return to power” for S.H.I.E.L.D. They are going to bring back Coulson into the movies at some point, right? Or would that destroy the Avengers team that was built on their common loss of him?
• Wakanda. And no Black Panther tiny cameo? Really? You would have scored big time if you did it.
• The post credits scene. Seriously? Thanos? Again? Argh!
Now for the good stuff:
• Mjölnir. The scene where they all try to lift Thor’s hammer is hilarious and just what we like to see in an Avengers movie: all of them, together, bonding. Well, okay, we like to see them fight as a team too, but seeing how they become friends and develop their relationships is also very interesting to me. And the look on Thor’s face when the hammer slightly moves when Steve tries to lift it: priceless.
• Vision. I was not familiar with that character, and highly confused as to how and why it would be played by Paul Bettany when Paul Bettany is already Jarvis. But Oh.My.God was I not disappointed. That guy got style! He’s kind of a Mr Manhattan from what I can gather, and I really hope to see more from him in the next instalments, because he gave me chills! Paul Bettany is just so good in that role. (Sad to see Jarvis go though). Also, the look on everyone’s face when he picks up Thor’s hammer without even trying: priceless.
• James Spader. I guess this would be a hit or miss for a lot of people, because we basically got Red Reddington being Ultron, and some people might not like that. But I loved it. James Spader has an incredible voice and way of delivering lines, very cool and threatening at the same time. And I also liked the sassy remarks the character makes, like “Make your friends rich and your enemies rich, and then figure out which is which”, or “the most indestructible metal on the planet and they use it to make a Frisbee”.
• Hawkeye’s speech to Wanda. “It’s crazy out there, and I have a bow and arrow. None of it makes sense”.
• Hawkeye. I don’t like the “family reveal” because as I said, in previous movies they played a lot with the Clint/Nat relationship and so having his wife and kids pot up out of the blue was weird. But I get it. Hawkeye is the “normal guy” of the team, he doesn’t have any super powers, he isn’t a God, he doesn’t have super strength… The guy is just really good at aiming things (I’d argue that Natasha isn’t all that special either, but that’s another story). In a way, he is the link between the audience and the Avengers. Even though there has been a lot of hate against Hawkeye because he’s “useless” due to his lack of powers, he’s actually the guy that you can identify with. He is the regular dude who has to face extraordinary things and not get knocked down by them. The development of the character in that regard was interesting. In a way, he is also the person that keeps all the others grounded: his tells him at one point “that’s precisely because you are not like them that they need you”.
• Teamwork. I just absolutely loved the group shots and fight scenes. I like the fact that they seem to now know each other very well and come up with things without even having to talk to each other (cf: Cap and Thor who use the power of the hammer and the shield to knock down enemies).
Funny how you tend to remember the bad stuff a lot better than the good stuff.
Some more general/overall thoughts
If you were to tell me, after seeing this movie, that it was in fact the very last Avengers movie we would see, I would believe you. This movie, to me, felt like closure. Like they wrapped up everything from the previous movie, but there is no opening towards to next. Sure, we got the “next Avengers” team that Cap is training, but still, it felt like a decent end to a good run they had Phase 1 and Phase 2. Apart from the Thanos scene at the very end, there is nothing to suggest that the storyline would continue in other movies. If I didn’t know that Captain America: Civil War (oh, and there’s Thor 3 also, right?) was being made, I would have thought that this was the end of the Avengers as we’ve known them until now, and that the next movies would be all about a new team.
This was hella confusing. Why do wrap things up in a nice bow like that, if you know you’re gonna rip out the ribbon right after and probably won’t be able to wrap it up as nicely later on?
Overall, Avengers: Age of Ultron is still a good movie and I give it 4/5 stars. Obviously, there was no way that the movie could have lived up to the hype and the expectations of the audience, so it might be easier to find things that we don’t like so much about it, but it is still a good movie, very enjoyable.