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REVIEW: Avengers Age of Ultron

filmgob filmgob This review contains spoilers!

When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go horribly wrong and it's up to the Avengers to stop the evil Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.

The opening action scene shows our heroes taking out a HYDRA base to recover Loki's sceptre. The reason i mention this scene is because it sets the style for what's to come. Visually this fast paced cg single shot felt messy and more comparable to a video game cut scene rather than a 250 million dollar Hollywood blockbuster. Later the Hulk and Iron Man's Hulkbuster cause city damage of 9/11 proportions, and not much discussion about the consequences. Also with the camera being so close to the lightning quick action, it was difficult to know what was happening with bodies and debris flying everywhere. The third act is centred around a city ripped from the Earth, with flying battles between Ultron's minions, Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D's hellicarrier (don't ask me where that came from after the events of Winter Soldier).

The character development in Age of Ultron feels inconsistent with the rest of the franchise. The events of Iron Man 3 and Winter Soldier seem to have been brushed aside as Tony Stark and Captain America look and sound better than ever, no traces of the doubt and confusion they went through. We spend some time with Ulysses Klaw in South Africa but it's all too short. Newcomers Scarlet Witch and her brother Quicksilver debut with accents and all. The brother's death is certainly emotional but fell flat considering Aaron Taylor-Johnson didn't grab my attention during his screen time. Paul Bettany's Vision is introduced late but to great effect, his power and abilities matching those of his peers.

The more interesting moments of the film was an attempt at giving some emotion and story to characters like Hawkeye and Black Widow, but the latter's romance with the Bruce Banner comes out of nowhere and feels rushed. Some hints at what's to come in Civil War are placed around the film that are absorbing, but aren't fleshed out despite over 2 and a half hours runtime. Any animosity we witness between Stark and Cap is pretty much ignored by the end.

Don't worry, there are plenty of quips and explosions for people who came for quips and explosions. Even James Spader's Ultron (at times menacing and intriguing as a robot planning to destroy humanity) is presented as a wisecracking (that's right, wisecracking) sentinel due to being born from Tony Stark's ambitions. Tense scenes are oddly interrupted with typical Whedon humour that begins to feel tiresome. The party scene early on is ideal for all that, and i enjoyed the banter among God like superheroes trying to be social.

It's 'turn-your-brain-off' stuff, the whole experience was more going through the motions rather than the spectacle i hoped for. It's still popcorn fun but predictable. Rather than moving forward, Age of Ultron feels like Marvel saying, "Nah, i'm ok here, thanks". With Joss Whedon stepping down due to his self confessed exhaustion and the Russo Brothers taking over for Infinity War, the time is right for change, because Marvel's cinematic universe shows signs of going stale.


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