Monday, May 25, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron - Review

After once again rescuing the Cosmic Cube and Loki's scepter from the hands of evil, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner notice an advanced A.I. program hidden within the Cube. Dubbed Ultron by his creators, the advanced being immediately goes rogue and sets out to destroy the planet. The Avengers need to come together as one, take care of a brother-sister duo embedded with engineered superpowers, and ultimately stop Ultron from succeeding in his plan for global annihilation. AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is very entertaining albeit shaky conclusion to Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Its action-packed prologue is frankly not as exciting as it wished to be, largely due to its darker color palette and familiar theatrics. It then steadily rises in absolute thrills and quality with its thankfully quick introduction of Ultron and the much-hyped Hulk vs. Iron Man fight, which wisely blends the destructive fun of the brawl with the realistic horrors that the melee would cause on innocent bystanders. After taking a detour at a surprise location, the film crescendos with an earthshaking finale that brilliantly showcases the hero in superheroics. The returning cast members continue to deliver good performances, although Chris Hemsworth really got the short end of the stick this time around. Newcomers Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson work up some wonders as the creepy tweeners Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver respectively. However, all pale in comparison to James Spader, who is brilliantly able to make Ultron look menacing one minute and humorously petulant the next. Though I was pleased with Joss Whedon's creative direction and continuing drive to bring character and charm to his players, he does once again utilize the trope of a major death taking place purely for motivational reasons. Just as a reminder, this stale trope has been used in every film of this Phase save for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Whedon's picture also is dumbed down by its blatant sequel bait for four upcoming Marvel films, causing the viewer to feel more like a sucker than ever before. Despite these misgivings, the film does offer up enough to be a bountiful fest. And as for the mid-stinger (there is no extra one at the end), it's as lame as it gets.


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