Sometimes it pays off not be American. Sometimes it really pays off to be From Bucharest Romania. And that is because, while everyone in „Amurika” can only see this amazing movie after May 1st, we are lucky enough to have Hollywood Multiplex. You know it, the first movieplex, in Mall Vitan, we all love it. They have some kind of magic deals that bring movies quicker, and Age of Ultron was in preview since April 17!!
So, the editors of Teen Art Out got to Hollywood Multiplex a bit later, though. And my god, did the movie deliver. I will leave you now with parts of the upcoming 6-page review of the movie, which you will see in length in the 30th issue of Teen Art Out. Here we go:
Back in 2012, Joss Whedon (a.k.a what was then the ‘Lord and Saviour’ of the Marvel MCU fandom) set out on a pretty big quest-he was to deliver one of the most expected and hyped films of almost all time, as fans from all groups and of all ages prepared for The Avengers. And boy, did he deliver. The task of bringing heroes from four Marvel franchises with little to no relation between one another—adding in an overarching storyline about SHIELD (along with a half-dozen affiliated characters),was expected to be a failure. Against all probability, Whedon succeeded, producing a blockbuster which I, personally, felt the need to watch again. Not only did it satisfy a previously existent (and might I add damn hard to please) fanbase, but along with it fueled a new one, just as dedicated and as excited for upcoming projects as those decades-old comic book fanatics.
The roaring success of the first movie paved the way with heightened expectations for Avengers 2: Age Of Ultron, and there is no denying whatsoever that Joss Whedon’s job was difficult. After all, on top of the (albeit successfully incorporated) nonsense in TA, the sequel introduces 4 new major characters, cameos by all sorts of Marvel personalities from each of the Avenger’s respective canons, and a heap load of origin stories. Not only that, but the movie in itself is meant to serve as some sort of connecting string between the previously made Marvel movies and their upcoming counterparts, and all of this is supposed to happen in the mere time of two hours and…twenty one minutes?!
The movie starts off on an action packed note, which got the 11-year old in me beaming with excitement on the edge of my seat. There are a lot of explosions and shooting around the bad guys as we see the Avengers infiltrating a Hydra base and-wait, what?! Alas, the movie continues, explosions still roaring in the distant background as the Maximoff twins, Pietro and Wanda (Quicksilver & The Scarlet Witch, for connoisseurs-played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, respectively) are introduced rather hastily as being part of some sort of Superhuman project, courtesy of none other than Hydra.
Despite Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)-(who didn’t quite live up to his name because, to quote Pietro Maximoff, he “didn’t see that coming”) getting injured and sort of compromising the mission, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) saves the day yet again,what a surprise, retrieving Loki’s sceptre and proceeding to carry both the alien object and his superhero pals back to the Avengers’ fancy Manhattan based HQ. And, because he’s Tony Stark, he kind of really fucks up.
Cue Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Tony, a dynamic duo otherwise known as ‘the Science Bros’ doing what they know best- science shenanigans. They begin analysing the alien gemstone embedded in the sceptre, (whose identity was most likely already deduced by Marvel fans) discovering that it can aid in Stark’s AI based program, “Ultron”, and thus,in the ultimate goal of achieving world peace without the Avengers. Yes, you heard that right- Tony Stark’s brilliant plan is to create sentient robots using an overall unknown rock from space because there is absolutely no way that could go wrong.
Ultron (voiced by James Spader) goes allFrankenstein on the gang, in the process destroying Jarvis (Paul Bettany) (another almost sentient AI. But don’t worry, he’s a good guy. We like him.), and announcing his…not so friendly intentions towards Earth while proving he severely misunderstands the concept of peace ingrained in him by Stark(who is,more or less, Ultron’s “father”). Woopsie. Talk about rebellious teenagers.
The team, battered,bruised and pretty much publicly seen as enemy number one as a consequence of The Hulk going berserk in Africa, decides to lay low for a while at Clint Barton’s lovely farm. How in-character for the perpetually snarky, overall hilarious spy we have seen in the prequel! Not.
The lack of said family leads to a woman becoming a monster, apparently, at least according to Natasha Romanoff ’s (Scarlett Johansson) dialogue with Bruce, after the Hulk ravaged a city. When Banner mentions monstrosity (motif frequently used all throughout the movie) he happens to talk about his incapacity to procreate, to which Natasha replies with a sympathetic monologue about her sterilisation by the Red Room in order to make her a “more efficient” spy, all the while comparing infertility to literally being the Hulk.
While the Avengers are trying to organise they get paid a little visit from none other than Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson)-deus ex machina extraordinaire, who gives them an inspiring speech reminding them all that he’s their metaphorical Dad.
Without much explanation, the meddling Maximoff twins switch sides, apparently forgetting about their eternal hatred towards Tony Stark, which is never again addressed in the movie.
Alas, managing to steal Ultron’s developing body incubatory – quite literally – the superheroes side against Tony Stark once again, when he wants to combine JARVIS’ remains with the Ultron carbon copy, in an attempt to set machine against machine (or,rather, machine against half-machine?). Cue Thor breaking the conflict -and the incubatory- and thus releasing Vision, a sort of saviour ( “I am not JARVIS, I am not Ultron, I am…I am.” That’s literally in the Bible, isn’t it? ) to parallel Ultron,the “false prophet”.
The only thing we get to know is that the Vision’s intentions are common with the Avengers’ before the movie sets out on its way to unveil the battlefield for the “big boss battle”, Sokovia-the same fictional Eastern European nation where the movie began at Strucker’s Hydra lair. The cinematographic techniques used for this scene, of the city rising to the sky in an almost Inception-esque manner, are absolutely breath taking. Luckily, the rest of the fight lives up to expectations, being properly seasoned with salty one liners, recurring jokes and impressive new battle techniques, such as Captain America and Thor’s shield-hammer combo; all of these make the entire scene all the more pleasant to watch, reminding the audience that they are, in fact, at a Marvel movie and none other than the successor of one of the highest grossing films of all time.
Nevertheless, with the help of Vision and at the cost of one of their members’ life, the Avengers win the war against Ultron, thus putting an end to his (short-lived) age.
All in all, Age Of Ultron was a decent sequel to an excellent movie. However, it weighs down to a few major issues.
Avengers 2: Age of Ultron had its undeniable good traits, its assets standing in special effects,a killer soundtrack and fast-paced action-packed scenes which make it worth the while, and a delight to watch for the comic book nerd hidden deep inside all of us. However, the perpetual disregard of canon events and character development means the audience almost got emotional resonance – with Pietro, with Wanda, with Clint, with Steve losing his temper, with the terrifying closeness and understanding that Ultron and Tony share.
Is AOU a bad Marvel movie? Not really. Is AOU the best Joss Whedon could do with a sequel considering the circumstances? Absolutely not. Don’t get me wrong, it was good on a first watch, if you ignore almost all of the nonsensical plot and whatever happened to most of the characters. It is a fun ride for casual watchers of all ages, the perfect Sunday movie to see with your family/S.O./alone while crying over Thor’s perfect abs. But it doesn’t, in my opinion, live up to the prequel. Make of that what you will.
TL;DR- Age of Ultron is more like Age of Ughltron. Also, what do you mean there’s no after-credits scene? Dude, there’s always an after-credits scene, it’s Marvel hahaha unless Whedon really didn’t put one and-…what do you mean “calm down”? What do you mean I have to “exit the cinema quietly”?