Review: ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Goes Dark With Some Surprises

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With an insane cast of superheroes, it’s impressive that Joss Whedon held Avengers: Age of Ultron together. The film just takes off from the beginning and continues to run for the next two plus hours.

Avengers: Age of Ultron has a much darker tone than it’s predecessor, with the seeds of Civil War firmly planted for next year’s Captain America film. The Scarlet Witch brings out the team’s darkest fears, and Black Widow’s story is just tragic. The original Avengers seemed like the “Tony Stark / Iron Man Show” and Age of Ultron has a greater balance of the characters. My biggest issue with The Avengers is at no time did I feel the team would lose, Age of Ultron, on the other hand, kept me guessing throughout the film and I was fearful for everyone’s life.

James Spader is just a brilliant actor that understands evil. His interpretation of Ultron and his evolution was perfect for the film. A stronger villain always helps out a movie, and this is where Age of Ultron gets a big boost over The Avengers. Tom Hiddleston is an excellent Loki, but he is no James Spader.

The Whedon stamp on this film is Clint Barton. In a way Age of Ultron is a Hawkeye tale. I don’t want to spoil the movie for the people who have yet to see the film, but by the end, I was more connected with Hawkeye than any other character. That in itself is pretty remarkable because I wasn’t expecting that to happen. Barton is the one character that grounds the Avengers and gives them a soul.

“The city is flying, we are fighting an army of robots, and I have a bow and arrow,” said Hawkeye.

It may have only been a 15-second battle between Captain America and Iron Man, but it got me so pumped for Captain America: Civil War. The question, “Whose side are you on?” is asked about ten times in the film. Tony Stark has seen the future, and he’s scared. Steve Rogers will defend the innocence, even if means he’s dead. The build up for next year is intense!

My negative Nancy moment, Marvel Studios still has no clue what to do with the Hulk. During major battle scenes, you’re wondering where is the big green guy. For as organized as the Avengers are, they never really have a plan for the Hulk. Plus, the Hulk has no lines!!! To counter that, the relationship between Black Widow and Bruce Banner was another pleasant surprise.

Does Avengers: Age of Ultron dethrone Guardians of the Galaxy as my all-time favorite Marvel film? No, but the awesome look of The Vision gives this film a solid hold on second place.

Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.

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