Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Let's Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron

It can be near universally agreed upon that the first Avengers film was an astounding success. The plans for Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe went off perfectly and culminated in one of the greatest superhero flicks of all time. That said, the hype for Age of Ultron could not have been higher. While I feel as though Phase 2 as a whole had a more disjointed plot with the buildup not necessarily being as clear as Phase 1, getting to see all of the Avengers back together again is certainly something I would look forward to. So did the sequel meet the hype of the first? Let’s review Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The Negative

Now I’ve been told that I have been picky about CGI in film in the past so I decided to check on the opinions of a few of my friends and they agreed with me. The CGI in this film was downright awful. Now it wasn’t every scene but it was rather obviously where their time and effort had been placed. The opening in particular is awful to look at. The scene looks like a poorly edited green screen mash up than a team action sequence. The interaction between the real world and the CGI was equally awful. There were many scenes between the Hulk and Black Widow where the two touch hands but it is glaringly obvious that she is holding her hand up to nothing. I do wonder if the film was pushed forward in order to meet the release date and they just couldn’t fix up the scenes to the perfection they could have been.

I think this film could have done much better had it been 5 hours long. I think the film was trying to handle way too much plot that it just couldn’t handle in a 2 and a half hour run time. The story just felt like it was rushing through every moment in order to reach the proper plot points it had to in order to be done. Now I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing as I was thoroughly enjoying the entire story I just feel that a little breathing room to give every character their moment to shine would have been nice. This was something handled very well in the first film, but not so much here.

The Positive

I think the film’s greatest success is its depiction of Ultron. Ultron is just a mere child and his personality as well as his actions reflects that. Ultron ultimately reflect his creator in that he mostly acts like the bratty child of Tony Stark. This depiction really threw me off though it was an absolute pleasure to watch. One of the great things the film provided was the contrast between Ultron and Vision. Both of them realize that humanity is doomed but whereas Ultron sees that destroying them now would save them all, Vision views it as a privilege to stand by humanity until the very end. The two represent the extremes of Tony Stark’s own personality and the struggles he is dealing with moving forward with the Avengers. Ultron represents death whereas Vision represents life. Moving forward from this film I look forward to seeing how they handle Stark’s character progression.

I am a big Hawkeye fan and if you were like me then you wondered why there has been such a drought of Hawkeye in any of these films. He certainly is there but he is also certainly the least developed member of the team. This film goes out of its way to correct that by having massive Hawkeye development moments. He bizarrely brings a sort of real world view to this realm of superheroes and it’s a rather fantastic performance. Hawkeye got just the right amount of character development he needed that he was sorely lacking in all of the other films.

I honestly loved the plot of this film especially the character development given to the massive amount of cast members. As I stated early I just wish the film could have been longer to allow these character moments to breathe a little more. As an example, I felt like Thor really acted like Thor from the comics for the very first time in this film. He is a king from a supernatural realm, he would obviously act accordingly to the visions granted to him by Scarlet Witch and go seek council about what he saw. This plot thread gets very little screen time but was one of my all time favorite moments in the film. I just wish there was more time to expand out these moments a little more.

In Conclusion

I think after I saw the movie and walked out of the theater I honestly hated it. I told you I am fairly nitpicky about my CGI in films, but after sitting on it a few days I really got the chance to mull over what I really liked about the film and came to realize that I actually had a really great time with this film. I don’t think it’s better than the first Avengers film, but I doubt many things could outshine the planning put behind that. I highly recommend seeing this film especially since my only real complaint is that I wish it had been longer. 3.9 out of 5.