I’ve decided to go back and watch a bunch of movies based on comic books. No real reason, just something I thought would be fun. This time it was the 2015 movie Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes critics: 75%
Rotten Tomatoes audience: 85%
My Rating: 8/10
Right up front I’ll say that I didn’t like this movie as much as the first Avengers film. This one had a lot of the same elements that made the first movie so good. The acting is great, the cast balance is fantastic. The humor and dialogue both feel natural. I think it really comes down to the villain.
Loki was a great villain, and Tom Hiddleston played him perfectly. Ultron is also a great villain, but every time he speaks in the movie, I hear James Spader, not Ultron. For me, Spader’s voice is too recognizable and distinct. It’s a fantastic voice, and I get why Joss Whedon specifically wanted Spader in the role, but there’s something about it that kept the voice and the character from combining.
The movie has a few other flaws. There were some scenes that didn’t really help the story at all. Most of them felt like teasers for upcoming movies. The scenes with Thor’s visions were the most obvious examples, but occasionally the arguments between Stark and Cap felt a little bit like Civil War promos. I also think that the final battle was a little rough. Fury’s appearance didn’t quite fit in with the movie, but made more sense after watching the TV series Agents of SHIELD.
A lot of those issues, though, are pretty minor. On the whole, the movie is fantastic. One of the best parts of the movie is that it’s obvious that the teams has developed a camaraderie, while maintaining the dysfunction that made them so interesting in the first place. Even better, it didn’t have to happen on screen. This wasn’t a movie that tried to spell out everything that had happened before the events of the movie. I really appreciate when filmmakers assume the audience is smart enough to figure things out, and Joss Whedon is one of the best at that.
I’m curious how this movie will fit in with the rest of the universe. Most of the events seem to be pretty self contained. The mid-credit scene with Thanos shows that there’s definitely a connection with the wider Marvel universe, but other than bringing in some new team members (and really only two, since the others were introduced in previous movies), Age of Ultron doesn’t really add much to the larger storyline.