Watch out for spoilers.
Going to see Avengers: Age of Ultron was a world wide event – everybody went, you went, your mom went (probably), your best friend went, your best friend’s friend went to see it twice and yet, I would say it might not have been worth it. Sure, there were great moments here and there but as a whole the second Avengers lacked the upmh (it’s a technical term!) it needed.
Last summer’s big Marvel blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy is still probably my favorite introduction to specific characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was fun, it was heartwarming and cool from the beginning to the end. Same could be said about the first Avengers, which instead of introducing characters, introduced a new superhero team that would end up fighting alien-dragons from space and of course, Loki. The second Avengers this time had the obligation to introduce new avengers and though it should have been something amazing, it was weak and all over the place.
The main plot revolves around the ultimate artificial intelligence Ultron designed by Tony Stark that (or is it actually who?) wants world peace by destroying the world. With that holy cause he starts building himself little robots and with the ultimate act of evil, decides to launch a city carrying a deadly device onto the Earth and pretty much blowing it up. The Avengers are there to stop it, which they almost don’t do because Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) is a bad ass and almost ruins everything for them before she chooses to be an avenger as well.
Anyway, I’ll spare you the rest of the description because everybody who is remotely interested in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has already seen the movie and probably knows far more than I do. The thing is, I love these movies and yet, I’m not obsessed but it doesn’t take a Marvel-geek to realize that Age of Ultron doesn’t have a big impact as a stand alone movie. Sure, it sets up the next Captain America with the new group of avengers but the way they get there is a little bit anticlimactic. The jokes feel forced, the chemistry seems lacking and don’t even get me started on the romance angle.
Now, I thought long and hard about the whole Black Widow and Hulk pairing and I came to the following conclusion: it would have been alright if it hadn’t been so god damn obvious! How about just writing them a lot of scenes, giving them many chances of longing looks and maybe some arm touching and not have these horrid speeches of let’s give it a chance thrown in everywhere. Even Captain America approved their relationship – why? What about subtle hints, and hidden messages that avid fans could later decipher like crazy and having the relationship build outside the movie? The way it was done now feels very rushed and since we as viewers didn’t have a chance to witness their relationship evolve between the first and the second movie, their pairing comes off fake.
Up until now I’ve only whined and complained about things that bothered me but it’s not all that bad. Aside from the great visuals and well made action sequences, there were couple of stand out scenes as well as characters. Firstly, the joke revolving around Thor’s hammer was probably the best bit in the whole movie. My roommate went to see the premier (which I sadly could not attend) and said that people actually clapped when Vision (Paul Bettany) picked up the hammer nonchalantly to hand it to Thor. Definitely a far more better joke than the whole Captain America being against cursing – seriously, it was so awful how they kept using the same joke over and over again.
With Vision being probably my favorite newcomer to the franchise, Scarlett Witch comes as a close second. Olsen is wonderfully cast as Scarlett and her superpowers are amazing. Though her and her twin brother’s (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) introduction was overshadowed by everything that was happening around them, I hope Civil War will highlight Scarlett a lot more because it’s such a delight to see Olsen on screen.
Finally, I’m going to say something nice about a story line because it feels like I’ve been butchering the whole Age of Ultron plot left and right. To my ultimate surprise, Hawkeye has a family! Now, at first I was a bit hesitant about the whole ordeal but now as I’ve had time to think about it, I actually like the direction they took with him. He is a person with very good archery skills and very great looking arms so why wouldn’t he have a hot wife tucked away in the woods to make babies with? The tiniest complaint would be the fact that there has been such a strong connection built between Hawkeye and Black Widow in the previous movies that both their story lines came as a surprise.
All in all, Avengers: Age of Ultron had its ups and downs until the end and if I were Joss Whedon, I’d be a little bit embarrassed to be honest. Sure, it wasn’t the worst in the franchise but it sure as hell wasn’t the strongest and with a cast like that, you can’t have anything else but strong! Luckily the addition of Vision and Scarlett Witch, Age of Ultron did serve an ultimate purpose and did its job as a tie-in to Civil War. It’s just disappointing that I found the movie to be a weak link in the MCU which I wouldn’t want to revisit any time soon. Or if I do, just to see Vision pick up that hammer like it was nothing.