A Forward by amaneatingpie…
Firstly, I would like to apologise for not posting a film review on here for a while. The whole end of EE Film–to put it bluntly–really screwed me over. I then had to take out insurance which meant I had to wait for it all to go through. I then had to wait for a letter to get the information to set up my Meerkat Movies thing. It was a massive ordeal and quite frankly, I don’t want to talk about it. It was just too stressful. It was one traumatising, cinema free period of my life I would rather just forget. (Sigh.)
May I also add that this review may contain spoilers. So if you haven’t seen the film and then you read this and then you get pissed off with me, don’t say I didn’t (say I didn’t) warn you. I will not be best pleased with the hate mail. Capiche?
Very much like a fat child with a box of chocolates The Avengers: Age of Ultron got right in there. The film began with Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, The Hulk and that other dude (Hawkeye is it?) crashing and smashing people in the face and into things. However, this isn’t necessarily a good thing as I thought it was confusing. I mean come on, we don’t know what is going on at all. We don’t know where they are, what the mission is, what they are doing or why they are doing it. What are they even doing all together anyway? Didn’t they disband after the first movie and all disappear into their own movie franchises? Wasn’t Tony Stark going to stop being Iron Man? I guess we are meant to just accept they are all together and not really question the back story. This annoyed me a wee bit. They could have at least come up with some sort of clever way of explaining the obvious time gap between the previous movies and now. I guess what I am trying to say is that instead of enjoying the movie from the off I was too worried about trying to figure out the back story, which ruined it a little.
The opening however, did set up a really funny joke. I don’t want to spoil it too much but a reoccurring joke planted at the beginning kept me and the audience laughing throughout the film. The thing which I liked about this movie, and many others by Marvel, was the comic timing. By getting completely different characters to repeat the jokes in high intense action scenes really enhanced the humour of the situation. There was a perfect balance of humour to action and action to humour. The smashy, fighty scenes were kept interesting through catharsis. Lets face it, fighting scenes over and over again eventually do become boring. Oh and Stan Lee’s cameo, as ever, was brilliant.
I also liked how humours scenes helped develop the storyline. I am sure you have all scene the teaser scene plugging the film wherein all the main characters are sat around trying to pick up Thor’s hammer. Well, I like how this short scene helps foreshadow the ending. While learning about films at university I was told that every part of a film is justified and is there for a reason. I honestly thought that this scene was there purely for comic purposes. However, I was happily surprised when it turned out to mean much much more. Who said comedy is only there to create a laugh?
One of the biggest things I was looking forward to was the introduction of new characters. I knew Ultron was a new character and I knew that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were also a big part of the plot. There is also another new character, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. As there is neither a Quicksilver or Scarlet Witch movie in the pipeline for the foreseeable future I was very disappointed with the lack of screen time and character development both characters had. I get their back story and I can see why they act the way they do to some extent, but they seem like indecisive shape shifters. One minute they are circles fighting for Ultron and the next minute they are triangles fighting for the Avengers. There seems to be very little method in their madness. I would liked to have learned more about them.
Another new character issue I had was that I didn’t find Ultron threatening. Hero films are often about binary opposition. The binary opposites are fuelled by threat and conflict. The conflict was definitely there as Ultron had a big bad motives. However, Ultron’s personality is very similar to Stark’s–after all Stark did create him. At times Ulton’s voice sounds very Stark like. I associate Iron Man with good and so when Ultron sounds like Stark, this makes him less menacing for me. Ultron’s lack of threat goes beyond his voice however. He has civil conversations with Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, he doesn’t kill everyone or blow anyone up like the Joker would. And to be honest, other than his motive to kill off humanity he doesn’t seem very scary at all. It is purely his motive which creates conflict. When Ultron first made his appearance, what with his head sort of titled, his body falling a part and the delivery of the strings speech, he really freaked me out. It is just a shame this creepiness was not maintained throughout.
However, even though we didn’t learn much about the new characters it was nice to learn about the existing ones. Hawkeye is very forgettable because as naff as it sounds, he is a less bad ass version of DC’s Arrow. In the first film Hawkeye gets possessed by Loki and so there isn’t much time for us to learn anything about him other than he and Black Widow are friends. Age of Ultron really builds on his character and I think it is clever that they play on the fact that even he himself knows that he is often forgotten. However, it is later reinforced that he is actually a big part of the team and is a big cog in the Avengers oiled machine.
Do I need to go into the strange Black Widow/Hulk romance story? No? Good, because I wasn’t going to. I really have no comment on the sub plot other than I think this whole storyline came randomly out of the blue. Weren’t Black Widow and Captain America getting chumming in The Winter Solider?
So overall the hype which was created around The Avengers, Age of Ultron as ever out shined the actual film. The film was publicised, talked about and marketed too heavily. There was no way this film was ever going to live up to my extremely high expectations which the hype had set me. I guess from this retrospective, it was a very disappointing film. However, I still thought it was a good watch. I don’t regret giving the couple of hours of my life to it and I know some people who really did enjoy it. If you are a superhero movie fan then this movie is worth a watch. Just don’t let the high expectations the world has set you ruin it.
Unfortunately the Hulk got into a bit of a rage and accidentally smashed one and a half of the stars to pieces. I give this film three and a half stars.