I was doing comic book movie reviews on here for a while but started slacking off after seeing “X-Men: Days Of Future Past”. I only recently caught up on the rest of 2014 by watching “Guardians Of The Galaxy” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”. Quick review: One was awesome, one was an abomination. Last night though, I got to see “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” at a sold out theater on Long Island. Full disclosure, I saw the first Avengers movie at a midnight showing with a bunch of nerds (No offense) and kind of hated it. I have since watched it again on TV and hated it less tough.
(Minor Spoilers Ahead)
My main problem with the first Avengers movie was that there were way too many jokes in it. This movie immediately improves upon that by having a lot less humor, and the humor that is in the film is actually very well timed. I know, Joe Pontillo thinks there’s too much humor…what is this world coming to? But I like my comic book movies to tow a semi-line of seriousness and the first movie played like a comedy wrapped around an alien invasion…oh yeah and they ate shawarma at the end! *slaps forehead*. The film starts and immediately throws you into the action, which was a bit nauseating. Ultimately the opening scene works itself out and the main plot is set into motion. Tony Stark and Bruce Banner seemingly accidentally create Ultron, who very quickly beats the crap out of Tony’s computer sidekick and takes control of all of Iron Man’s robots while also building himself a body. This all takes about ten minutes to accomplish, well done James Spader. Ultron sends the robots to attack some weird party that the Avengers are at where they’re creepily entertaining a bunch of old/confused veterans and soon after the Avengers realize that Tony is a dick (Well he’s always a dick) but now he’s really a dick because he just created the movies super villain.
Ultron, who is aided by “the twins” who are better known to comic book fans as the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (absolutely no relation to the Quicksilver in the X-Men movies, one should be Quicksilver and the other should be Quiksilver in my opinion) gets his plan going rather quickly. This plan includes building a ridiculous amount of robots, upgrading himself and I guess destroying humanity using a made up Eastern European country as a weapon. You’ll have to watch to find out what the hell that means. The fight scenes are mostly pretty great to watch even though it seems like Zack Snyder hijacked the camera a few times as they used super slow-mo too many times for my liking. Ultron and the twins (Who obviously never sit down and have an actual conversation about what they hope to accomplish) kind of own the Avengers for the first part of the film. It gets so bad that the Avengers have to retreat to Hawkeye’s family’s house who no one knew existed and also looks like it’s the same house the turtles stayed at in the original “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie from 1990. Finally a tired Samuel L. Jackson shows up and talks a bunch of nonsense which leads the Avengers to get back into action and save the day.
Without revealing too much, the twins realize that Ultron is planning to exterminate life on Earth. Again, a conversation should have been had before they agreed to work together. Tony Stark makes another robot, but this one has a British accent so he turns out to be a good guy. Every character conveniently shows up at the exact moment that the British robot (His name is Vision by the way) comes to life and after the characters go back and forth between being angry and being optimistic they decide to team up and head off for the final battle. If you break it down you can say that the first movie was the Avengers fighting 10,000 ugly aliens, and this movie is the Avengers fighting 10,000 ugly robots. In the third movie they will fight 10,000 ugly fish? Probably not. But I wonder if S.H.I.E.L.D has to take out an insurance policy with major cities around the world just before they do battle there. A couple of more battles like this and they might as well just let the villains destroy the planet and start over.
Overall I enjoyed this movie more than the first one, though I predict that I will like it less after a second viewing. There’s a couple of things that happen throughout the movie that will make you go “What?” such as the Hulk and Black Widow wanting to sleep with each other (What happened to Betty Ross!?) but it won’t take away from the film too much. Ultron is a much better adversary than Loki and this film is slightly less brainless than the first one. You’ll go see it regardless of what I say so enjoy!
Follow me on Twitter: @JoePontillo