Avengers Age of Ultron: Too Much, Too Fast, But Still Worth Two Viewings

After much hype and endless clips, Avengers Age of Ultron has finally hit theaters, receiving a largely positive response from fans. Now that the dust has settled, we’re going to take a more sobering look at the movie that many are (wrongly) heralding as the greatest Marvel release to date.

The movie drops us in the middle of an Avengers raid on a Hydra compound in the Eastern European town of Sokovia. The compound is housing Hydra officer Baron Strucker, who has been experimenting on Loki’s scepter, as well as on regular twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, who he turns into the superpowered Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.

After killing Strucker and recovering the scepter, the team heads back to New York. In an attempt to “create a suit of armor around the world,” Tony Stark combines artificial intelligence with Loki’s scepter, accidentally creating Ultron — a vicious A.I. set on destroying the world.

Now that you have the set-up, lets look at what’s wrong with the movie.

First, it has a lot going on — much of which seems to come out of nowhere. Though everything is technically explained and accounted for through a quick line from a well-placed actor, each subplot still feels random and underdeveloped.

The most annoying of these subplots is the relationship between Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) and Bruce Banner (The Hulk). Though they give a nod to Romanoff recruiting Banner in the first Avengers’ movie — and we can’t forget their fight — it still feels like I missed a Hulk or Black Widow movie somewhere in-between.

Admittedly, a lullaby from Romanoff could calm any man down, but how’d they go from that to running away together and discussing their shared reproductive problems?

The second issue — where’s Falcon? After shooting pool at the party, he flies off on some detective work (presumably looking for Bucky) and doesn’t return until the closing scene with the rest of the New Avengers.

While Vision, Scarlet Witch, and War Machine fought in the final battle, Falcon was nowhere to be found. Since there’s supposedly over 30 minutes of deleted scenes, hopefully Falcon will be fighting in some of those when the Blu-Ray comes out.

Another scene I hope is recovered from the cutting room floor is one of Vision doing something noteworthy in the final battle. Vision is supposed to be the end-all, be-all, only way to defeat Ultron, yet in the last stand he does about as much as an aged Nick Fury.

Now, for something that should have actually been cut from the movie — Thor’s trip to Sweden. While he said he had to go to discover the point of his dream, showing the actual trip was completely unnecessary. There’s no reason to include the journey apart from the suits wanting to show a shirtless Chris Hemsworth emerging from water.

Now that you have everything wrong, lets look at what turned out right — it’s fun and entertaining with a balance of one-liners and heartwarming moments.

We get a glimpse of Ultimate Hawkeye with a wife and kids. The voice of J.A.R.V.I.S., Paul Bettany, does a great acting job as Vision. And James Spader as Ultron is a perfect A.I. incarnation of Tony Starks.

What are your thoughts on Avengers Age of Ultron? Let us know in the comments section.

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