Written and Media by Austin Stephens
Thursday night, my wife and I ventured over to Edwardsville to watch the premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron on the IMAX screen. It was my first time ever watching a movie in IMAX and this was a great movie to be my first. I really didn’t care about the 3D element of it. The movie wasn’t made for 3D, so it really didn’t make a difference. However, the massive IMAX screen was definitely worth the extra money. Just a warning, there are some minor spoilers to follow.
I’ll start off by saying that I think this was the perfect comic book movie, for multiple reasons. Ultron, as a villain, definitely seems like something from a comic book . Ultron is a robot, brought to life by humans, who now wants to destroy humanity. His motives and how he goes about his plan aren’t always exactly clear, but there needs to be some sort of audience participation by just going along with it. Also, there’s some things that you have to just accept as truths in the movie, like vibranium and what it can do. Some things just aren’t explained and you just have to go with it. The main reason it’s the perfect comic book movie is because everyone is in it. Almost every major character from past Marvel movies are in it, with the exception of a few of the smaller characters. In the comics, this happens all the time. It’s very easy to incorporate multiple characters into one story because all the artist has to do is draw them. Doing it in the movies is much harder because the actors need to all be there. That’s why it was such a treat to continually see familiar faces pop up. It’s basically a comic crossover event in movie form. The only thing it’s missing are some tie-ins, like Age of Ultron: Thor, or Age of Ultron: Iron Man. It would help to expand on some character arcs that seemed rushed. Possibly in some One-Shots.
The movie started off with a huge bang. Whedon wasn’t fooling around with this one and dropped us right in the middle of an Avengers assault on a Hydra base, leaving it up to the audience to catch up. It started with one of my favorite shots in the whole movie, a tracking shot that showed every team member kicking butt, culminating in that awesome frame of them all flying through the shot. The whole movie is full of great shots like this one, and it makes the whole experience very enjoyable. Whedon’s directing style definitely shows through in this one.
Like in all Marvel movies, AoU was injected with lots of humor. Robert Downey Jr. was on point, but every character had their time to shine with the wisecracking. Sometimes in a film, humor can take away from what the movie is trying to do, but here it felt very natural.
The movie is jam packed with new characters. Vision is a very worthy addition to the team (if you’ve seen the movie you’ll know what I mean) and the Maximoff twins were much needed. Before them, there was only one team member who had a super power besides strength, which was Thor and his lightning. Pietro’s speed and Wanda’s supernatural powers added a lot to what could be done with the fight scenes. However, there is a downside in the addition of these new characters. The Avengers already had a lot of characters in it and now AoU has a lot more. I think Whedon did a fantastic job of juggling all these characters and giving them the screen time they deserve, but there’s only so much he could do, and because of this some characters just became lost in the action.
A lot of what people speculated happened in the movie, but there were still a lot of surprises as well. Stan Lee’s cameo, as always, was perfect. Also, Hawkeye really had a chance to shine, revealing a lot about who he is as a character. Things have really been shaken up in the MCU following the events of this movie, and I can’t wait to see the fallout from it and the events that lead to Infinity War. Make sure you stick around for a titan-sized mid-credits scene. But don’t bother sitting through all of the credits, there’s not a shawarma scene at the very end.
Age of Ultron was as good as, if not better than the first movie, which is something a lot of sequels don’t do. It proved that the first movie wasn’t just a gimmick and that these characters really can thrive together on screen. It moved at a very good pace and had the right amount of action, drama and comedy. The only downfall I can see is that characters sometimes get lost in the sea of action. I highly recommend it and I can’t wait to see it again.