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Age of Ultron

Movie Reviews

Avengers: Age of Ultron
Movie review by J.Scott Pittman
Final Score: 8 out of 10

I, like many others, could not wait to get to the theater to watch this movie, being the geek that I am. I grew up reading many comic books, and I am familiar with many of the Marvel universe characters. I enjoyed the first Avengers movie (although far from a classic), so I figured I would like this one as well.

I was not disappointed, the movie turns out a very typical high-octane, action-packed superhero movie that the comic book fans are sure to love. The movie was good. You should watch it. That’s the short version.

However, I do believe it could’ve been better. I will address some of my issues with the movie here. Warning! Although I don’t normally do it, there are spoilers (and lots of them) below. If you haven’t seen the movie, do not read any further.

Spoilers!!






Okay, you’ve been properly warned, so don’t feel bad if you read anything about the movie, or at least don’t direct your frustration in my direction.

Number one, they might have simply been trying to do too much in this movie. Characters are everywhere, doing all kinds of things, and some of them disappear (even in battles) for long periods of time. They keep introducing facets from other movies, like Loki’s staff, trying to interconnect these movies. Somehow it seems like too much. How can you possibly have any character development or worthwhile connections between characters with so much going on? Sadly, I don’t think this was the objective in this movie, to tell a great story (which should be the idea of any movie, right?). Everything seems like an excuse to push the story forward to the next big battle.

Secondly, there is some poor writing in this particular film. Need the heroes to fight each other? No problem, let’s just throw some mind control in there again - we had that last movie, should work again. Need the characters to realize an important clue? How about a dream sequence, the laziest form of writing in existence. I mean, I can write this kind of stuff in an afternoon, and I’m not a Hollywood writer. Character A needs to fight character B - so characters see takes over in his mind with a new type of cybernetic program, a chip placed directly into his brain after he was captured that the evil villain activates when he needs a diversion. See? Stupid. Don’t even get me started on Thor’s “pool of dreams” sequence, which I found incredibly out of place in this movie. Not to mention the person that brings him there is an archaeologist that somehow now has a degree in ancient dream pools. You’re going to give archaeologist time in this movie, but leave the girls out? See below for more on this.

Third, the characters seem to change from one movie to another. The whole movies did exist, whether or not we would like to admit it - and now Banner doesn’t seem to care about Betty? Why not? Obviously she is around, the VERIONICA machine introduced by start and banner seem to be a play on Betty’s name (Betty and Veronica were characters in an Archie comic book). But now, it appears that Dr. Banner has eyes for Black Widow, which seemed like an incredibly forced relationship in the movie. The Black Widow is attracted to Dr. Banner? She doesn’t seem like the kind of like the nerdy type to me. In any case, we all know that Dr. Banner and the Hulk are 100% faithful to the love of his life, Betty. I was very disappointed that this particular plot thread was introduced. On another note of the character changing from one movie to another, Iron Man was ready to call it quits in Iron Man III, I thought, but has a complete change of heart in this movie. I’ll bet his girlfriend is going to be really mad she gave up her superpowers and Iron man didn’t.

Speaking of which, where are all the women? They could have at least had appearances in the movies, give them one line each for crying out loud if you’re trying to make this big, interconnected universe.

Fourth, there is no character development. I know many people will say that that’s okay, character development took place in the other movies, but I disagree.

Okay, you did find out that Hawkeye has a little house in the middle of nowhere and a family. WHO CARES! Come on, really? THAT is the character development you want to give us in this movie? You have a chance to use that time to develop your villain, you know, the character the movie is named after. No one in the audience is going to remember or care about any of Hawkeye’s family.

On a side note, I say once again the Hulk is far too nice in these movies. He seemed perfectly in control except has mind was being manipulated, obviously now able to become the whole when needed and his girlfriend could make him snap out of it quickly enough. He asked during the movie if he should turn into the Hulk and help - well, why wouldn’t you say yes every time to the Mr. Nice Guy Hulk?

On another side note, if the Hulk is part of the Avengers because he is the strongest hero, why would you introduce a suit of Iron Man armor that can out power the guy? You don’t need the Hulk anymore, just build a bunch of those suits of armor.

Then you have the final battle, which has a few issues, although it is certainly fun. Once the island was so high up in the air, wouldn’t the people there have trouble breathing? Would it not be incredibly cold, and I believe windy? No one seemed to have this problem, however. The vision seemed to be defeated, only to disappear for about 20 minutes and then suddenly reappear, as if nothing had happened. On a side note, the SHIELD carrier shows up, and War Machine comes out to help. With this not have been a perfect time to also include Falcon as well? I mean, he can fly to, and as part of SHIELD.

Finally, we come to the villain, which has to be good if the movie is going to work. Ultron was incredibly entertaining, but I found him to be incredibly dumb when he was supposed to be of an unbelievable intelligence. As soon as he is free from the stone (or was he? Did Tony Stark duplicate the program inside the stone, remove it somehow, or modify it, or remove it and modify? I was confused about what was going on with this program) shows his hand to the heroes. Why not act like the protectors you are programmed to be and let Tony Stark cover the world with these robots, then reveal your evil plan? It seemed kind of strange to me. How about setting a bomb to go off and destroy the place before the heroes ever even knew you existed? I mean, you probably wouldn’t kill Thor, but it’s a good bet most of the other characters will die in an explosion that was a complete surprise (Tony Stark, Hawkeye, Capt. America, and the Black Widow would probably all die instantly). Why would you bring all of your bodies to one remote location? Wouldn’t you leave at least one robot with all of your memories and abilities in another location, or even spread many of them throughout the world? Or incredibly sophisticated, artificial intelligence that came from one of the infinity gems, Ultron wasn’t that great of a strategic genius.

More importantly, Ultron mentions his hatred for his “father” Tony Stark, which was a great story arc (maybe the robot is trying to impress his father, or rebel against him like a teenager might?), but alas, we noted to see that story played out, which was a huge disappointment to me personally. I would’ve liked to have seen Ultron take over an entire city and enforce peace upon it and then ask Tony if he was not proud of his “son”. Something like that, maybe even having Tony Stark tried to trick Ultron by playing on these feelings, and when Ultron realizes he’s being tricked, he decides to exact his revenge. Again, these ideas off the top of my head, but they have deeper meaning than anything we saw in the movie, which was simply Ultron trying to destroy the world. He mentioned once or twice a religious aspect to his thinking, a hatred for Tony Stark, and a fascination with destruction and rebuilding. Exactly which line of thought is our villain taking, or if it’s a combination of all three, could you please explain it to me? Ultimately, Ultron was a great villain, but he could have been so much more with just a few lines of deeper dialogue instead of all the jokes.

And jokes, we get plenty! Throughout the entire movie characters, and I mean all of them, joke endlessly. Do we have to and every scene with comedy? Do we have to make a smart remark at every point in the movie? I love the comical, human side of these characters, but more than once in this movie I thought “that’s enough”! Realistically, when these characters stopped in the middle of an ongoing battle while their friends were in mortal danger in the world was about to die and make jokes, and a lot of jokes? I’m beginning to think maybe we sent the wrong superhero team to save the Earth, they might not take it seriously enough.

Whew! With all that out of the way, remember I said I liked this movie. The action is solid, most of the special effects look good (I did see one or two I was disappointed with). The music is good, the acting is fine, blah, blah, blah. I just wish that this movie would have been something other than the special effects and battle smorgasbord we thought it was going to be (and it was). Give me a surprising death (know, the one in the movie was not surprising) of a major character, a deeper emotional impact, something. Altogether, I give the movie a high rating for being purely entertaining and having a villain with one of the best voices you could have hoped for.

Final Score:
8 out of 10

 
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