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Avengers: Age of Ultron

The Snikty ROSSMAN

Ever since the first trailer for Age of Ultron debuted more than a year ago, I've been impatiently waiting for this Marvel/Whedon production to hit my local multiplex like a starving Chihuahua shivering with hunger and whatever else causes those bug-eyed rat-dogs to shiver. I mean, Marvel movies (especially the team-up ones) are my new addiction. When I was a kid it was Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies that got me jonsing, but soon even the new releases of those once great franchises started to let me down. Then it became J.R.R. Tolkien films that I had to get my yearly fixes of, but then The Hobbit movies were released and got worse and worse as they progressed to the point of me never wanting to see them again... So now Marvel is my only hope for unrivaled cinematic anticipation.... After laying all that out, how does Avengers 2: Age of the Terminator stack up to the previous great Marvel movies?

I must say that it was "Meh." Not "meh" as in a bad meh, just "meh" as in "I had hoped for more, especially coming from Joss Whedon."

Okay, so Avengers 2: Age of Ultron starts off with our group of amazeballs super heroes attacking Baron Von Strucker (agent of Hydra)'s heavily fortified and armed fortress in Eastern Europe, while hundreds of faceless minions throw themselves on the Avenger's figurative live grenade/wrecking ball of an assault. Captain America throws motorcycles, Hawkeye shoots arrows, Hulk smashes, Thor electrifies, Black Widow looks hawt, and Iron Man blows stuff up like a champ.

The team infiltrates Von Strucker's not-so-secret castle (this super heavily armed fortress is like only a half mile away from a pretty damn large city, so it makes me wonder how it took our heroes and Phil Coulson of SHIELD so long to find this place), takes all the remaining high-ranking Hydra officials into Avengers custody, and Tony Stark recaptures Loki's Tessaract-powered scepter from the first movie. But it seems that Von Strucker's men have already used the power in the scepter to turn a set of fraternal twins into enhanced meta humans not-really-mutant freaks: the sexy Scarlet Witch and her very snappy bro, Quicksilver. The twins get away, but the Avengers don't care, and they go on to party hardy before everyone goes their separate ways again.

But before the partay starts to rock, Tony Stark (acting on his desire to encase the Earth in its own armor, enhanced by the Scarlet Witch's psychic suggestion) fiddles with some intelligent-looking programming found in the scepter (don't ask), and uses it to create the A.I. known as Ultron.

Ultron is born of Tony's desire to "save the planet," but after surfing the internet for a few minutes he/it comes to the obvious conclusion that humanity is the only thing that's really threatening the Earth, and that the only way to save the third rock from the sun is to kill all the humans on it. Cue omninous musical score.

Ultron attacks the Avengers, steals Loki's scepter, and then starts his own mission to build more bodies, infiltrate the internet, and then do something truly evil to kill all 7 bazillion peoples on the planet before calling it a day. So it's up to Team Avengers to knock him down and save the world. And (SPOILERS) they do. The end.

All in all Age of Ultron was fun. It was constantly moving forward, it had a shit-ton of really interesting and entertaining battles (the Hulk vs. Hulkbuster Iron Man really stuck out as pure sweetness), the characters were in perfect sync with each other this time around (even when they argued — which was a lot — it was a fun back-and-forth bickering), and the Stark-made threat as opposed to another alien invasion was a good change-up. But.... It wasn't all rosy. Below you can find a list of things that totally worked for me in the course of this movie, and then a list of things that not-so-much worked.

Things that worked:

  • Like I said, it was different from the first movie in both threat and feel. I liked that they didn't just slap a new coat of paint on the first flick and shit out a sequel.
  • The characters are already well established, and are just allowed to have fun with each other this time.
  • The twins and their powers. They're not just punchy-punchy powers, they have a different abilities both visually and tactically. Though I preferred X-Men: Days of Future Past's quirky, full of himself, kind of douchy Quicksilver to Age of Ultron's version.
  • The dreams that the Avengers have to deal with after Wanda fucks with their minds. Some were heartbreaking, some disturbing as all hell.
  • The Vision (even though he was quite strange in the flesh). I loved his character, how he was created, and how he instantly gained Thor's trust, but damn, he was so strange looking in live-action.
  • Ultron. Ultron was a great idea and his character/personality was implemented beautifully on screen. I appreciate that Joss went with a mentally unstable A.I. instead of another cold and calculating Terminator-like being.

And now the things that not-so-much worked:

  • Ultron's goal and decided purpose... It just seems like that's the go-to for A.I. characters. They think "They created me to save the world, but they are destroying it. Therefore the only way to save the world is to destroy them." I expected more from Whedon.
  • How Baron Von Strucker was knocked out of the story, and then outright killed so fast. He's a big player in the Marvel 616 universe, not to mention that at the end of Captain Amurica 2 the Baron is played up as not being concerned at all with the exposure of Hydra in SHIELD, making it seem like he's got things totally under control and will be a big bad in the future. His fate was lame.
  • Ultron's mouth... Why did they make his solid-metal mouth move like actual flesh and blood lips? It looked really dumb and creepy. It should have not moved at all when he talked, and just had a light in his mouth blink in time to his words. That would have really made him a much better and more threatening creation. Instead, when Ultron pontificates and puckers his liquid-metal lips, he looks like a joke.
  • Why is the Black Widow in a lit-up onesie that looks like it was stolen from the set of Tron Legacy? How is this a good idea for a spy?
  • The over-use of cheap-looking CGI. This is mostly in relation to the hordes of Ultron bodies just running around the second half of the movie, but this flick somehow felt cheaper than the first Avengers movie and last year's The Winter Soldier.
  • Did they just mop up the remnants of Hydra in the opening 15 minutes? Really? The Winter Soldier and even the Agents of SHIELD TV series made it sound like this was going to be a battle that would take years to accomplish, but then, WHAMMO! Mission complete even before the title screen. It just felt like a let down.
  • And finally, the whole movie felt like they just threw everything and the kitchen sink onto the screen just to see what stuck. It was perhaps too busy a movie. What makes me laugh is that Whedon had originally wanted Captain Marvel and Spider-Man to make cameos in it too. Yeah, that would have been pretty sweet, but seriously, dude, take a step back and look at the canvas once in a while. Sometimes you add just a bit too much paint and turn a Rembrandt into a Jackson Pollock.

So yeah, I had fun with all the Avengers in one place again, but I had hoped for more, and in a slightly nicer package. I am really looking forward to the next big Marvel movie (Cap III: Civil War), as well as more of the Netflix original shows (A.K.A Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist), all of which hopefully combine into an unbeatable Avengers: Infinity War in a few years' time. Ultron hasn't soured me in any way, I just, I don't know, got my expectations up too high I suppose.

Final word: I liked Age of Ultron, but didn't think it was quite as good as the first Avengers. I enjoyed a lot about it, but questioned a bunch of the decisions made either to the story or the CGI. I still give it a thumbs up, but believe that it's one of the weaker Marvel movies so far. Only Thor 2 and Iron Man 2 rank lower on my list... And I am still very fond of those flicks.

So Age of Ultron is still better than most hugely budgeted and anticipated summer movies that we get nowadays, it just doesn't live up to earlier films in the series. Drops mic.


ROBOT PEDRO

My first thoughts are that Ultron is the greatest mad robot ever made. I idolize him. I want to be him. I want to destroy all hu-mans on Earth too.

Boom. Explosion. Robot death ray. Punch. Bang. Bada-boom... That pretty much sums the rest of this thing up.

I don't know what I was expecting with this movie. I've seen all the other comic book movies by Marvel that came out before this. This was just more of the same. Granted, it was a LOT more of the same, and it had my father Ultron in it (that is what I'm telling people from now on), but it wasn't as shiny as I had hoped it would have been.

Ultron alone makes me give this movie 5 Thumbs Up. That is two thumbs up from me, and 3 thumbs up from the severed hu-man hands that I stole from the noisy people behind my seat in the theater who cheered whenever Ultron got punched.


The Marvelous CHI-CHI

I loved the SHIT out of the Avengers. That movie changed my life!... Well, not literally, but I did try to grow a Tony Stark beard after seeing it. That counts. Oh, and I got a Captain America shield tattooed on my right butt cheek, and Thor's hammer done on my left. Oh! And I made my catchphrase "Hulk SMASH!" after seeing that thing.

I tell you this because Avengers 2: The Ageth of the Ultron is even better! I've seen it like 4 times in the past week, and it keeps improving with each viewing! I know! It's a pretty mind-blowing experience.

Go in with an open mind, drink lots of alcohol ahead of time, and just chillax and enjoy the show. Watch Robert Downey Jr. do his patented Tony Snark, see the Hulk destroy a city almost bare-handedly, and witness a robot with daddy issues try to rub out the human population of the Earth in one broad move. Good times, good times.

I liked it. I liked it a lot. It was all I dreamed it would be. Now for Civil War, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, The Inhumans, AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, and Infinity War! It's a good time to be a Marvel Man!