Avengers strike again: “Age of Ultron” is a hit

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Movie review by Derrick Baptise

“Age of Ultron” is the sequel to Marvel studios 2012 mega-hit Avengers. Directed and written by Joss Whedon, the movie kicks off when Tony Stark tries to jump start a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from bringing his plans to fruition.

I’m not going to lie, I really enjoyed this movie. I am a huge fan of what Marvel studios has done with their cinematic universe and this was an awesome example of what they can do. Age of Ultron has solidified itself as one of my favorite superhero movies just edging out The Winter Soldier. From beginning to end I was enthralled with the story to such a deep extent that I was honestly upset that it ended. For example: the first scene of the film is one of the greatest scenes in any comic book movie, period. I was grinning like a madman through the whole thing.

I think the main strength of the Marvel movies in general, but especially the Avengers, is the strength of the characters, and boy did this strength shine here. I think having so many well developed, diverse, interesting characters helped the movie. Arcs from previous movies continued for old characters and new characters got a chance to shine.

I don’t think any character was sidelined in the film when it came to development. Ironman’s God Complex is developed as well his and Cap’s friendship/rivalry. Hulk and Widow by far get the most character development and their romance feels natural. Thor takes it upon himself to hunt for Thanos. The Twins hatred of Stark and The Avengers is justified.

Ultron was simply fantastic. The fact that he didn’t immediately think that humanity needed to be exterminated was refreshing and seeing his progression from trying to protect the world to trying to destroy it was great. I also liked that he actually had emotions and wasn’t a monotone piece of metal that hated humanity. He was equal parts menacing, sympathetic and funny sort of like Kingpin but more homicidal robot.

Speaking of Ultron he was definitely a different take on the character from the comics, bit less of your standard robot megalomaniac, but more like a child. Many critics disliked his humor but I rather enjoyed his quips, as they served to connect him to Tony Stark which was made explicitly clear throughout the film. These are the reasons why Ultron is my third favorite Marvel cinematic universe villains after Loki and Wilson Fisk. Because he is this child (much like the Vision) and somewhere inside of him something is broken. And it can’t be fixed.

I thought it was a fantastic take on the character – and adds some meaning to his quips as well. (The classic cliché of laughing to hide the pain).

There was a surprising amount of themes and symbolism. The Son of the Father, Vision being a pseudo Jesus, the Gods and Monsters motif. Lots of parallels too. Stark and Ultron, Vision and Ultron, Cap and the Twins. It was all quiet profound.

I loved that Hawkeye got a ton of character development. He went from this boring arrow guy from the original Avengers, to a simple man who knows that he is in the middle of something that he has no logical part of.

Only complaints I have is that it should of been longer because I still want more but it seems we’ll be getting that in the extended cut it’s as if some plot points were moving just a tad bit too fast. Also there was a random bit where Thor went off to search for “answers” and he came back with a tons of exposition. It’s odd but it comes off as hilarious It’s like he left and marathoned all the marvel movies and came back saying “Ok guys I worked out what’s going on. Infinity Stones! Bad guy coming after us! Iron Man 2 sucked!”

Basically everything was ramped up to 11. Bigger set pieces, more action scenes, a darker more tense atmosphere, more character development and a more nuanced, layered villain. I highly recommend this movie 8.8/10