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Out of 10: 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

An MCU Review (The Actual 'Iron Man 4'- You didn't see that coming?)

By Conor HuftonPublished 6 years ago 2 min read
Ultron's lesser mentioned power : Not appearing on pictures of films named after him

The sequel to Avengers: Not Age of Ultron (working title- made a lot more sense after the sequel) AI co created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner gains independence and desire to separate the Avengers to ensure peace.

The film starts with a well-edited complicated battle, displaying individual skill sets and brief character development that’s integral throughout e.g. the Hulk & Black Widow dynamic, Iron Man’s increased urge to protect and casual but impactful introductions to Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

The Twins (Not Mary Kate and Ashley- But Closely Related)

Elizabeth Olsen herself has the power to lose her Eastern European accent in the space of two films.

After the battle/mission scene Ultron’s birth, the Avengers are shown partying in a relaxed comical passage that humanises them cleverly without sentimental strain, but also shows their superhero traits enter their casual lives (e.g. the lifting Thor’s hammer contest where Stark uses his tech in & Banner makes a poorly received joke about Hulk transformation).

There’s a sense of believability in War Machine’s stories underwhelming the team and Thor and Iron Man’s competition of praising their girlfriends, who aren’t interesting enough to be paid for cameos. The scene, to incredible dramatic effect, segues into a sombre invasion scene courtesy of James Spader’s Ultron, using a mangled robot to communicate first and travelling into a more suitable form, with a growing sense natural atmosphere with minimal scoring. A following scene shows Ultron recruiting Scarlet Witch and quicksilver, since Stark’s arms dealing past is directly connected to their own, with Ultron wishing to disband the Avengers rather than give them heroic deaths. The twins are given justified backstories, and Ultron’s undercurrent of humour and even occasional awkwardness is justified by his narrow world view, in itself justified by him not being human. Any confusing factors of his plan or motive can easily be explained by his artificial state. Every emotion is perfectly captured by James Spader and never once becomes melodramatic, maintaining integrity where it might not be expected.

The brilliantly handled mood shifts are among the films best assets; scenes like Hulk’s loss of control and Iron Man’s restraint of him are followed by quiet character driven sections e.g. Hawkeye’s secret family life & the complexity of the team’s relationships. For some, Hawkeye’s family section might amount to ‘Hi I’m Hawkeye- Look, I got a line in this one!’ and his wife going ‘You’re the person who keeps the Avengers united- nothing about your characterisation suggests this but the script is making me say this because it feels sorry for you.’ Even with that considered, it’s a creatively grounding plot device that adds welcome depth and a pace change that only capitalises later scene’s gravitas, while giving relevance to non-superhuman characters. Hawkeye’s dart abilities are another incorporation of civilian and superhero life.

Bless Him

'Guys , my costumes a bit different, do you think I'm relevant now?'

The scenes leading to vision’s creation are engrossing and flavoured by pre-established personalities. Like The Winter Soldier the danger feels genuine and events are even more striking thanks to understatedly skillful scripting. The creative and tense battle sequences, characters and motivations, genre balancing, full resolution of every situation and world building techniques make this an underrated MCU entry.

Now for the Rating

The Avengers must've been practicing this formation in the hope that one day they might use it in battle

It’s a solid 8. An improvement on the first for me; a more interesting villain, stronger characterisation, more layered plot, combat variation and character inclusiveness. My criticisms would be slightly unsatisfying characterisation for Scarlet Witch. Eventually she joins the team and the audience is expected to immediately sympathise, the fact she willingly and guiltlessly kills innocents by manipulating Hulk is totally forgotten. One line of her showing remorse or explaining she didn’t realise the results would be that serious would’ve resolved this and there was time in the scenes before/during Vision’s creation where she encounters Bruce Banner to write one.

It irritated me to the point of swearing, but I got this response.

sorry Steve

The action at the very end of the scene also become lengthy and overindulgent; adulterating the relevance by using slow-mo with clichéd basic superhero music that causes a lot of confusion with the flow. Another slight criticism is that the film could be condensed without the story or quality suffering, but this might have to be forgiven of every superhero film.


About the Creator

Conor Hufton

getting better at this writing thing (aka slowly learning the alphabet, learnt how to use pen). Spanning critical writing, fantasy, parody and sci-fi (ruining all of them in the process).

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