Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron: The Non-Spoiler Review

Now showing in international territories and bringing back the hype generated by having recognizable heroes in one superhero film, Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron is pretty much the culmination of efforts that Marvel Studios and Disney have put all their resources into to bring Earth's Mightiest Heroes together once more. It's a film built on the foundation of a strong Marvel Cinematic Universe that has continues to grow and expand with each passing year and movie released, and it is also the final movie in "Phase 2" of the studios plans to bring an EPIC payoff that will ultimately show itself with "Phase 3" and the already announced two-part Avengers sequels in "Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Part 2".

But here we are getting ahead of ourselves and not tackling the sequel at hand: the follow-up to the 2012 superhero blockbuster film that united heroes like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and the Hulk together, and it's given the team a new threat that hits closer to home than any of them could have expected in the form of Ultron - an Artificial Intelligence program that was created by Tony Stark to be a peacekeeping tool for humanity, but tragically becomes warped and sets its sights on wiping humans from the face of the Earth.

Since this post will not delve into spoiler territory, the review will be short, streamlined, and sweet.

In a nutshell, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a DAMN GOOD sequel. Everything that fans wanted for a follow-up is here, with a film that gives more action, special effects, and teamwork than what the first film could provide. The mainstays in Cap, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye return, and are joined by new faces in the form of Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and the android known as The Vision. Other special guest stars and familiar faces also appear in the movie that should give longtime Marvel Cinematic Universe viewers and comic fans a sight for sore eyes, and this film does a good job of bridging story elements and bringing things together full circle. Fight scenes are pretty much EVERYWHERE, and while the destruction and explosions take a page too much from Transformers and Michael Bay, there are moments that make it shine like the practical fights and the Hulk vs Hulkbuster as teased in the numerous trailers seen. Finally, Ultron as voiced by James Spader delivers his intended threat and goal with sinister detail. He's not exactly in the same level as Tom Hiddleston's Loki from the first film, but it's still creepy to see a villain who's not only a symbolic dark reflection of Iron Man and his friends, but also a representation of tampering with stuff you're not supposed to be messing around with, and becoming the living consequence of it as a result.

After watching it twice, I'd say this film delivers a SOLID. It's a bang up way of reuniting the entire roster of heroes we've come to know and love through the MCU, and expand their adventure into something that will certainly make fans new and old happy. This is director Joss Whedon's last hurrah before turning the reigns over to Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors The Russo Brothers, and I can honestly say his tenure was wrapped up nicely. I'm also happy that Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye gets a BETTER ROLE in the sequel, so that's a PLUS for Clint Barton fans.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is now open in international territories, and will arrive in the US on May 1.

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