Friday, May 1, 2015

Avengers Age of Ultron Review: A Marvelous Sequel

In the summer of 2012, superhero movies were changed forever as The Avengers took center stage. The film would not only cement Marvel has a movie studio, but the film (in my honest opinion) is the best superhero movie ever made. So needless to say, a sequel to The Avengers has a lot to live up to. Sure enough the 2015 summer season is the next installment of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes-Avengers: Age of Ultron. After the release of The Avengers, its sequel went into production quickly; but it was not until the summer of 2013 did moviegoers learned that the film would feature one of the team’s most iconic enemies. With momentum on Marvel’s side, we could only anticipated great things for this sequel; but does Age of Ultron live up to its predecessor and the MCU?

Age of Ultron starts with The Avengers assembled and using their teamwork to protect the world. However Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) believes the team could do more. So with the help of Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Loki’s Scepter, Tony inadvertently creates an A.I. known as Ultron (James Spader). Upon his activation, Ultron reveals that he has his own way to save the world:by destroying mankind. So Iron Man along with Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the rest of the Avengers must stop this new threat, but that seems easier said than done as Ultron enlist the aid of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (Aaron Taylor Johnson/Elizabeth Olsen).

The plot to Age of Ultron was different than I anticipated. My idea was that the movie would feature a intricate story that had Ultron as the centerpiece to the plot. Yet that was not case, though Ultron was a major factor to the story. Using a fast pace, Age of Ultron’s story was exciting as it was enticing The plot was a massive adventure that followed the simplistic concept of good vs. evil; though the story did have several dramatic themes to it like the tension between the team. The plot’s structure benefited several factors as it was able establish points for future points while standing on its own.  It may not have been what I was expecting, but the story to this sequel certainly got the job done.

The Avengers featured an impressive ensemble that was riddled with solid character development and great chemistry between the cast.Age of Ultron seems to continue on this factor; not to mention expand upon it. Each character progressed fluently throughout the film, and the main cast developed naturally. The chemistry between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes was fantastic. Whether it was a scene between Iron Man and Captain America or Iron Man and Thor or Bruce Banner and Black Widow, the cast worked well together and they came off as a true unit.

However superheroes are only as good as their villain, and in Ultron’s case: I must tip my hat to this antagonist. James Spader’s performance as this mechanical menace came off as a natural and charismatic. Ultron’s human mannerisms made this antagonist that more methodical and his motivation truly affected the heroes as well as the story itself. I can safely say that Ultron was not just a great cinematic supervillain,  but he was a remarkable robotic character. The twins were developed far better than I thought they would. Olsen and Johnson did a fantastic job as these two anti-heroes as both characters found a way to stand out. The movie also had numerous characters from other Marvel films: such as  War Machine (Don Cheadle), Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and of course Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Though there time was brief, these supporting characters fit right into this blockbuster, and their presence only complimented the ensemble that makes up the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The action to The Avengers was impressive and its sequel only expands upon this element Meshing effects with terrific choreography, the action to Age of Ultron felt right for a superhero movie; whether it was sequences like Iron Man vs Hulk or the movie’s outstanding climax. Speaking of effects, this element certainly pushed the boundaries of the MCU. This was present in the design of Vision (Paul Bettany); who was just a thing of cinematic beauty. Combining a variety of effects, Vision stole the show just by being on screen. The movie’s score seemed fitting. While it may not be as catchy as Alan Silvestri’s score for the first film, Brian Tyler’s composition brought a new sound to the Avengers. Plus the music was a combination of three composers (Brian Tyler, Danny Elfman and Alan Silvestri) which only seems fitting given the concept behind The Avengers.

Avengers: Age of Ultron may not have top its predecessor; but given what The Avengers did for comicbook movies, that goal was never going to be achieved. That being said, Age of Ultron expanded upon many elements established in the 2012 film; and with its plot and villain, the movie easily stands on its own. If that is not the definition of a good sequel, then I don’t know what is. Age of Ultron has everything that a blockbuster should have, making it another addition to Marvel that makes me proud to be a comicbook fan as well as a moviegoer.

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