Watch your language!

BY Tristan Wischer | May 01, 2015

The sequel to the biggest comic book action movie in history is here. Avengers: Age of Ultron. My biggest fear going into the movie happens plenty of times in comic book movies. They have a team of characters and they throw so many existing and new characters at you that it's just way too much at once. That being said, I was quite excited to see some new characters involved. The comic book world has seen plenty of different variations of Avenger teams, so it's no rule that they're required to keep the same characters apart of the team forever. The core team of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye and Black Widow are back. A few characters that have popped up in the Iron Man and Captain America stand alone movies make an appearance, such as The Falcon & War Machine. It can't be an Avengers movie without the guy that brought them all together, Nick Fury. The main new guy on the block is Ultron. We've seen plenty of Ultron from all of the trailers and TV spots that he'd be a pretty interesting villain. James Spader really brought Ultron to life in more ways than one. The twins (Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver) have been teased for a while now first appearing in the end credits scene in Captain America: Winter Soldier, and have been a part of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tie-in to the movie. We get to see their home, the fictional Sokovia, and learn what they absolutely hate Tony Stark. The recurring theme across the Marvel movies are infinity stones, so it was likely they would pop up again in Age of Ultron. We'll see how powerful just one of the stones is later in my review.

The plot is pretty simple and you only really have to watch one of the trailers to understand what's going down. Artificial intelligence has been created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, and it's seen by Stark as a way out for The Avengers to return to somewhat normal lives instead of saving the world every day of the week. AI can never truly be controlled especially when the AI has its own motives. My hope going in was that Ultron would be the best villain in the Marvel movie universe, until of course we finally see Thanos do something. It's a somewhat simple task to accomplish since some of the Marvel movies are littered with less than spectacular villains.

Furthering the development of a lot of these characters was another curiosity of mine. Black Widow has popped up in several Marvel movies (Iron Man 2, The Avengers, and Captain America: Winter Soldier) already so I was expecting her to finally take a somewhat larger role for the team. Hawkeye is another character that needed more development so we could get a little more interested instead of wanting him to just go away. I have a ton of excitement for a couple new characters like Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Despite seeming to be villainous in the trailers I still wanted to see what they can do. Scarlet Witch's powers change the entire Marvel universe in the comics which made her the wild card for me in expecting absolutely anything in the movie.

Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. as Bruce Banner and Tony Stark
Did we do that?

WE THINK...

New Avengers

There is definitely a character overload in the movie, but I feel like they handled everything pretty well. Many of the main characters have a lot going on. Tony Stark accidently created Ultron so the Avengers could finally step away and live their lives. Surely he'll find some way to atone for his mistakes in creating out of control AI. Thor is from Asgard so he'll constantly have obligations tied to his home. He sees the end of days for Asgard in his Scarlet Witch hallucinations and even more while in the water of sight so he can continue his dream. Captain America is a man living in the wrong generation. His loved ones are long gone, and the only thing he really knows is to be Captain America and fight the bad guys. The Hulk (Bruce Banner) is a cursed creature. He is a great part of the team, but also a giant liability at the same time. We've seen what happens when he loses control. Is banishment his only true option? We're seeing those main core members shift away from The Avengers (or in Cap's position closer) as they take care of their own responsibilities. We see a new team of Avengers, but I don't think that team will last very long since we know Civil War is coming. I love the integration of bigger roles for several of these characters (Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Falcon) in setting up the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Appetite for Destruction

Ultron is an unstoppable force in the comics. I wish this wasn't the last time we saw Ultron, but for it to work in the movies it may have been. It's not like Ultron is just pure evil, it's a program that's designed to solve world peace. Ultron learns quickly that the only way this can be accomplished if the world just starts from scratch since it's the humans that are the problem. I loved how Loki's scepter was brought in to the new Avengers movie, and we finally get the big reveal that the Mind Stone (one of the six infinity stones) was the true power source of it the entire time. Ultron tried to take the power for himself, but ultimately we saw the creation of a new character to the movies, The Vision, thanks to the Mind Stone. I'm hoping The Vision gets a larger role in future movies, but since there's an infinity stone in his forehead I see it as a big target for Thanos. If you thought Ultron was bad, just wait for Thanos to take matters into his own hands in obtaining the infinity stones.

Role-models

Going into Age of Ultron I really didn't care what happened to Hawkeye. I was surprised on how that all changed throughout the movie. Poor Hawkeye was under the spell of Loki's scepter throughout the first Avengers, but thankfully he learned to avoid from that happening again when Scarlet Witch had her sights in mind controlling many of his Avenger teammates. I really thought Hawkeye was the glue that kept the team together and on track with their mission. We even learned that Clint Barton (Hawkeye) is married and has two kids and a 3rd on the way. His simple life of living on a farm with his family is not the way you'd expect an Avenger to live. I thought this was done perfectly and they pulled me in to liking Hawkeye. They teased his death plenty of times, as we all predicted in our preview, but thankfully he survived and was able to return home to his family.

Besides Hawkeye the other interesting story for me was that of Bruce Banner's (Hulk) and Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow). Natasha has the power of a lullaby technique in calming the Hulk down and to return to his Bruce Banner persona. It was interesting but I didn't really enjoy this part of the story. They had to find a place for both of these characters so it did make sense to have them together, and even tease the thought of them running away together. After the destruction of South Africa, thanks to the Scarlet Witch mid controlled-Hulk, he's not exactly someone that can just live amongst the people. He has to take some responsibility for what went down even if it wasn't his fault. Ultimately he decides for himself that the only safe place for him is away from everyone else. I really hope this leads into a World War Hulk story in the future, but I think we're pretty far away from that.

All Tied Up

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was created after The Avengers and one of the coolest things that saved its first season was the tie-in to Captain America: Winter Soldier. I was waiting to finally see what would be up their sleeves for the tie-in for Age of Ultron. The only thing that came out of it was major disappointment. S.H.I.E.L.D. is a mess at this point, but we did learn where Fury got his shiny new helicarrier from that is used to save the day in Age of Ultron. The project is Coulson's Theta Protocol. While Fury and his 2nd in command, Maria Hill, saved the day in rescuing a lot of lives thanks to the helicarrier it seemed very forced in the movie to have those characters in there, and makes S.H.I.E.L.D. extremely unnecessary to still exist on the TV show. They basically undid everything cool that went down in Captain America: Winter Soldier with the added story of Nick Fury in Age of Ultron. They've killed several characters off only to see them come back pretty quickly. While this works in comic books, you can only do it so many times in the movies. You want the audience to be affected by a death, but you can't fool them anymore since they always come back. I would not be surprised if we saw the return of any deceased characters from Age of Ultron come back in the future.

Phased to stun

The fun part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that it's all connected. Daredevil's story on Netflix wouldn't have taken place if the alien attack in New York from the first Avengers never went down. We saw some seeds planted with Andy Serkis' character Ulysses Klaw in the movie and his obsession with Vibranium. They also mention where the Vibranium comes from, with that being Wakanda. Klaw is a major villain in the Black Panther comics, and Black Panther is of course from Wakanda. We'll see all of these characters in Civil War and later in future Marvel movies.

The recurring theme in all of the Marvel movies are infinity stones, as I've mentioned already. We've seen the stones already in Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, and Thor: The Dark World. Thor is now on a mission to search for more of the stones and we know Thanos wants to gather all of the stones to put into his infinity gauntlet for ultimate control of the universe. I love the story that they continue to tell in all of these movies. I'm warning you now to be ready for some craziness as the search for more infinity stones continues.

5/5

"I really wanted to give the movie 4 Stars, with how disappointed I was with the S.H.I.E.L.D. tie-in and poorly used Nick Fury, but I just can't do it with how fun it was to see all of these characters on screen."

RELEASE DATE: May 01, 2015 | WATCHED IN: Theater | FORMAT: 3-D | RUNNING TIME: 2:21

OTHER POINTS
|Avengers Line-up - 4/5
|MCU tie-ins - 4/5
|Villain-quality - 5/5
|Hero Development- 5/5
|The continuing story - 5/5
FINAL THOUGHTS
| I’m ready to see some New Avengers for the future of the MCU!
| Ultron has been the most badass so far, but wait until you see what Thanos can do!
| Wait, Hawkeye was my favorite Avenger of the movie? How did that happen?
| There were some characters I could have done without, and I’m officially over the TV show tie-in.
| The future is bright with new characters introduced and some alluded to in the coming movies!