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Sunday, May 03, 2015

Movie Review For Avengers:Age Of Ultron

Premise:An AI designed by Tony Stark attempts to destroy the world.

Cast:Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, James Spader as Ultron, Paul Bettany as Vision, full cast can be found here.

Director:Joss Whedon

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action, violence and destruction, and for some suggestive comments

Genres:Action, sci-fi

Notes:The final film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase 2. Poster taken from IMP Awards and screenshots from Rotten Tomatoes.

Pros:Great villain. Good action. The team. Hawkeye is handled better.

Cons:The romance. Poorly done or under-utilized characters. A couple of cheesy/nonsensical scenes.

When are these movie characters going to learn that designing a program for worldwide peace or as a weapon of war never ends well? Probably when these movies stop making money.

The Avengers as a team were fun to watch, especially during the opening fight seeing them work together and trade quips. This time around, Hawkeye is better utilized, saving the team's collective butt on more than one occasion. And the new characters, Pietro and Wanda, add some extra interest with their own backstory and baggage. I also loved Ultron as the bad guy, especially since with James Spader as the actor. You might expect a robot to be cold, but he's actually not. He cracks jokes, muses philosophical, and gets emotional at times. He did a few things that didn't make sense, but overall, he's one of the main reasons to see this.

Now for the bad stuff. When the first collective Avengers film came out, lots of people speculated about the nature of Black Widow's relationship with Hawkeye, and I personally loved the idea of them being a couple. But then, we find out he's in a long-term relationship with another woman whom we've never seen before and know almost nothing about. And while there are other characters I wouldn't mind seeing Natasha get together with, Bruce Banner was not one of them. Given that attraction between her and Hawkeye (and then her and Steve in Winter Soldier) was teased, we've barely seen her and Bruce interact prior to this movie and their limited interactions prior to this were strained, and the fact that this relationship wasn't in the comics from what I've looked up, this romance between them comes out of nowhere. Worse, other characters constantly comment on how obviously in love they are.

My final complaint is that several characters aren't used to their full extent. Black Widow was mainly a love interest for Bruce and there's even a rather pointless part where she becomes a damsel-in-distress. Bruce himself ended up being pretty useless and falls back on the angsting about how he hates having the Hulk around. We haven't met Helen Cho before, making her sudden appearance and role in the plot a little jarring. Baron Strucker is wasted as a villain, appearing briefly at the beginning before he becomes irrelevant. And Steve's friend Sam Wilson appears, but for some reason, he's nowhere to be seen during the battles. War Machine helps out during the fights, so why not Falcon?

Overall, it's fairly fun, but there are some annoying flaws that I can't get over.

Sex:Once again, Black Widow appears in a catsuit. Other women show cleavage, and men go shirtless. Tony makes a few penis-related jokes. When the team hides out, it's stated some will have to share rooms.
As mentioned, there's sexual tension between Natasha and Bruce. During a fight, they land on the floor and his face ends up in her bosom (for which he apologizes). Later on, she quips she should have joined him while he was in the shower. Bruce makes reference to the fact that he can't have sex (established in Incredible Hulk to excite him too much). A woman says she was sterilized.

Violence:Explosions, hero-on-hero fights, threatened civilians, fire fights, hostile robots attacking people and themselves being torn apart, buildings and cities being destroyed, and general mayhem occur.
Tony sees a vision of the other Avengers dead and an alien force headed for earth. The rest of the team have similar visions, the most notable being Thor's (his friend chokes him and says his rule will lead Asgard to hell) and Natasha's (flashbacks of her childhood training). A man loses an arm. Someone is murdered, with a message spelled out with his blood. A woman is disabled by a shock arrow to the head. A man dies from bullet wounds.

Drugs/Alcohol:People drink at a party. Thor shares a special Asgardian brew with Steve, which a couple of guys ask to sample. Thor tells them it's not meant for mortal men, but they don't listen. Tony quips that a new-and-improved Ultron has been juicing.

Language/Insults:Words like "sh*t", "G*d", "d**m", "d**k", "h*ll", "a**", "b**ch" and so forth. A running gag starts after Steve scolds Tony for his language.

Spiritual:Ultron talks about religion and faith quite a bit. He meets allies in a church and later compares his plan to purge the earth of humanity to Noah's flood.
Creating life through AI is a major theme. Tony says he does not want to hear any speech about how man was not meant to meddle in certain things. There's discussion and use of special locations used for purposes related to visions. Thor mentions enemies who are suffering in Hel (Hell?). The telekinetic and telepathic Wanda is called a witch and seems to have a psychic connection to her brother.
Tony has a bumper sticker that says "Jarvis Is My Co-Pilot". It's remarked Ultron is multiplying faster than a Catholic rabbit. Steve is (somewhat sarcastically) called "God's righteous man". Someone refers to the Avengers as "those gods". References are made to Norse mythology.

So what was your opinion? A worthy addition to the universe? Or a mess that needs rectifying?

© 2015 by M.R.R.


T.F. Walsh said...

Watched Avengers 2 and loved it... esp. the action scene. They took on this comic book feel to them. It was great:)

M.R. R. said...

@ T.F. Walsh
It does have some great actions scenes.