While I am a huge DC Fanboy I have to give in… Marvel’s movies are planned out extremely well and is immensely entertaining and even had the balls to bring in a lesser known set of intergalactic heroes to the big screen, a la Guardians of The Galaxy, and mint money off it. What Marvel does best, apart from raking in moolah, is that they’ve fleshed out their universe rather well and DC apparently is trying hard to keep up. As my hopes for Batman V Superman falters day by day, Avengers Age Of Ultron comes in like a breath of fresh air. Walking in for the movie, First Day First show, felt like an achievement on its own as the tickets almost sold out instantly.
Helmed once again by Joss Whedon, Avengers Age Of Ultron carries the Marvel lore forward thanks to its extensive line up of Phase Two movies. You are put into the thick of action as soon as it starts and believe me, its an understatement to call it the ‘thick of action’ and from there on its a trip worth the price of admission. Avengers Age Of Ultron takes on a darker tone, the stakes are definitely high and it does feel like the Avengers has really disassembled following Ultron’s rise. While it upped the ante with action, the plot was way less thick. Well choreographed as they are, I expected the action sequences to be more in sync with the story than mere set-piece moments. For example the the Hulk vs Hulkbuster brawl was indeed a sight for sore eyes but what caused it and how it adheres to the plot could be considered ‘puny’. Whedon is giving us exactly what we yearned to see, the comic book shots, that insane Hulk vs Hulkbuster sequence and everything in between, but at the sacrifice of a great story. Don’t take me wrong, the story is beyond serviceable here but compared to Avengers it does fall short. Even the jokes fell tame in Avengers Age Of Ultron.
The cast and their performances are wonderfully balanced. Whedon had proved the same with The Avengers and its no different here. While we have the usual roster putting in their best efforts, we have some additions as well. The first and foremost being the brilliant antagonist Ultron, Tony Stark’s own creation-gone-haywire. Voiced by James Spade, I understand why Ultron was the second in line for the main villain. He is very intimidating compared to Loki and his Chitauri army and lesser so compared with Thanos. James Spader seems like he loved playing the bad guy and that enthusiasm and passion could be seen in his voice acting as well as the well detailed and animated Ultron. His so called ‘minions’, the Maximoff twins played by Aaron Johnson as Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlett Witch did a commendable job except for their Sokovian accents. Of the twins, Aaron Johnson’s portrayal of Quicksilver couldn’t match that single sequence from X-Men Days of The Future Past‘s (Time in a Bottle one). Elizabeth Olsen on the other hand is fucking A as Scarlet Witch. I never had my hopes high for the same, but she blew my mind.
Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth reprises their respective roles as Captain America and Thor. Rising feud between Captain America and Iron Man is evident here and I am hoping the best for Captain America Civil War where they’ll go head to head. Mark Ruffalo shines through as Bruce Banner and feels carved for the role reminding us us why he was always the best choice for Banner/Hulk. Jarvis, Tony’s right hand AI, finally gets a body and none other than Paul Bettany adorns the cape as Vision whom I reckon, we’ll get to see more in upcoming Marvel movies. Especially considering that scene with Thor and Mjolnir, he just signed up to see Thanos’ wrath. By now, do I even need to write about Robert Downey Jr? The heart and soul of MCU, Robert’s portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man literally sold Avengers. While he has comparatively less screentime in Age of Ultron, he makes the best of it. Scarlett Johansson is a pure distraction, everytime she comes onscreen I am entranced as if The Scarlett Witch played a mind trick on me. We do get a look at her backstory and how damaged the Black Widow really is and why she bonds with the most unexpected member of the team. Scarlett once again proves that she’s that perfect blend of a goddess and an actress. And if you are one among those who didn’t get enough of Hawkeye in the last outing, there’s much of him here, rather meaningful scenes than action-heavy. Don Cheadle, despite his short role, cracked me up here.
Brian Tyler and Danny Elfman is in as the composers for Avengers Age Of Ultron and they do put in their best efforts. Bits of Brian Tyler’s Iron Man theme seeps in every now and then and shoves you back into the Iron Man 3 coaster. All said though, Alan Silverstri’s amazing score for the original lend a lot to it being that goosebump-trip and its sorely missed.
Considering Whedon is leaving the franchise I expected a magnum opus but this is nowhere near. Avengers Age Of Ultron falls slightly short of the what we’ve expected from a sequel to the epic Avengers. Nonetheless, Avengers Age of Ultron is a well paced, well directed, visually rich and massively entertaining superhero movie making the best use of the stellar cast that it’s got. Like my friend quoted “Cant’ pop your cherry twice bro. The first time is always the first time!”
PS: As Whedon said, there is no post credit sequence, only a mid-credit sequence. There were no signs on Wakandans as well. The previews betrayed us.