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Old 05-01-2015, 02:33 AM   #473
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Default Re: Avengers: Age of Ultron Fan Review Thread (Spoilers)

Today is a day I have been looking forward to ever since I left the theater back in 2012. As a lifelong fan of the Avengers, seeing the team come together was one of my favorite cinematic experiences ever. Naturally, I was equally interested to see if the franchise can maintain it's quality. Despite a few mixed reviews coming in this week, I just don't see the problems. While certainly more fast paced than the first film was, the film still delivers on almost every front.

I want to start the review with the Avengers we know. I was scared coming into the film that Iron Man would take over the movie. Much of the advertising made me feel like this was possible, also. However, I am glad to say he doesn't. I am sure whenever we see who had the most screentime, Iron Man likely has the most, but the film does a great job of juggling the characters. Hawkeye is given a much more defined arc in the film, and I was glad we got to learn more about his life. While I have seen mixed feelings about the Black Widow and Banner romance, I thought it worked great for the film. Much like other classic Whedon romances, it felt doomed from the start, but ultimately it was fun to follow. Hulk himself isn't the scene stealer he was in the first film, but he still gets his punches in. As a Captain America fan, I felt he had somewhat of a reduced role in this film. It's not so much in the way of screen time, but more so Captain America mostly just gives orders and serves as the conscience of the team. We don't see him grow much in the film, but that being said, we got great action scenes and seeing Captain America lead the team is just wonderful. I would say Thor's storyline sort of fell into the trap of sequel set-up, but I think it was important for the Avengers to learn more about the stones, so it makes since. All in all, I like what they did with the main Avengers.

Now, let's move onto our new Avengers and the villains. In the long history of the Avengers, Scarlet Witch and Vision are two of my all-time favorites. Vision comes in late, but he feels like the breakout character of the film to me. He is well used, steals almost all scenes he is in, and has great character moments. He was the best addition to the movie. I was also surprised how much the Scarlet Witch was given. I would say she had as much focus as several of the main Avengers, and Elizabeth Olsen does a great job with the character. We got to see a bit of her light and dark side in the film, and Olsen captured both. I heard mixed things on Quicksilver, and while he may not have been the scene stealer that we saw in the X-Men: Days of Future Past version, I still liked him. Doesn't get as much focus or lines as her sister, but I feel Aaron Taylor-Johnson maximized the time he had. Overall, each new member I felt to be a solid addition. I also am pleased with Ultron himself. Yes, Ultron goes from 0 to 70 once he is created, but within the context of the film, it made sense. Computers learn faster, so he formed his opinions on humanity quickly. It got the story moving faster, and led to some amazing monologues by the deranged robot. I would say Ultron is probably my second favorite villain in the movies to this point. That being said, I felt Baron Strucker was wasted. He is a great villain and deserved more than the glorified cameo he got. If the role was going to be that small, I would have used someone less important. As a long time Captain America fan, that part didn't thrill me.

One common thing people said about the first film negatively was that it looked very “TV” esque. While I don't think the camera work of the first film was the best part of it, Age of Ultron certainly upped the game in that regard. Shots are far more dynamic and flow better. This was clearly a point of emphasis for the production, and it was a success. Another thing would be that other Marvel solos have had better scores than Avengers did, and Age of Ultron's score is also not that dynamic in comparison. Listen to Doyle's work on Thor and then watch Age of Ultron, no comparison. So, this was an area that could have been improved, but in general the movie looked and sounded better than the first film did.

Overall, it will probably require more thought on how I would compare it to the rest of the Marvel Studios library of films. My initial gut feeling is that Avengers had more magic and was more enjoyable, but that Age of Ultron had more ambitious story goals. Due to it being more fast paced and story focused, I do feel it had less defined arcs than the first films did, but the story itself I found very compelling, which isn't a shock since Joss Whedon has always been good at maximizing what he has. Overall, I probably enjoyed Avengers more, but Age of Ultron I do feel is still one of the better Marvel Studios films and that may change over time. I don't care about any of the dirty laundry that seems to be going on with Whedon and Marvel. I came out of this movie today very happy, and for me that is a win. Thank you for bringing this team together and for all your hardwork Mr. Whedon!

Overall Rating - 4.5/5

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