*WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS*
With the massive success of the first Avengers film three years ago, the bar was set pretty high for its sequel, Age of Ultron. Following the events of Captain America: The Winter Solider, the film brought cinema’s most-loved superheroes together again – this time to fight artificial intelligence rather than a Nordic God. In terms of sequels, Age of Ultron delivered in most aspects; it was hugely entertaining, had a relatively solid story line and kept the humour and squabbling between the Avengers that the first film had played on. There were plenty of plot twists to keep you on your toes, such as the revelation about Clint Barton (Hawkeye) having a wife and children – something that kept the plot fresh and was a brilliant way to see the more out-of-touch characters i.e. Thor and Steve attempt to deal with a family environment, for example standing on some Lego. Scenes such as that one and when ‘the team’ was having a party provided casual relief and humour to an otherwise action heavy film.
I was impressed by the 3-D effects used, as this film was one of the only ones I have seen where it felt adequately utilised, in fact AOU’s 3-D was more impressive than that of its predecessor. The visual effects as per were stunning and really came to life in the fight scenes, in particular that of the Hulk and Iron Man. The impressiveness of the images paired with the plot and its comedic nature made the second Avengers movie an enjoyable experience and it will stand quite well amongst its peers.
However, there were several issues I had with the film. The romance between Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) and Bruce Banner felt slightly stilted and was not developed half as well as it could have been considering the running time, and to me felt like an add-on to tick the ‘romance’ box (I am aware that their relationship is from the comics but I feel either you do it properly, or don’t bother at all). Another weak point was the creation of the ‘AI’ Vision – the concept in itself was great and I liked the idea of Tony Stark’s computer having a physical form – but once on screen, to be frank, The Vision looked like a bad attempt to recreate Superman. They have practically the same outfit, same laser shooting face, can fly etc. This paired with his rather bland personality and inordinate amount of plot space left me feeling a bit irritated and I got bored with him very quickly. The villain of the movie, Ultron, was a formidable foe, who’s creepily human-like features made him intimidating yet at the same time quite funny too – as he had a dry sense of humour. He may have had these aspects on his side, but lets be honest – he was never going to live up to the menacing brilliance of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. Ultron just lacked that extra something that gave the first film such a lift. It’s a shame because in all intents and purposes he could have been so much more. Finally, don’t get me started on the strange, out-of-place rape joke Tony Stark made when attempting to lift Thor’s hammer. There was no reason for it to be there as a) rape jokes aren’t funny and b) rape jokes aren’t funny. Dick-move Josh Whedon.
Overall, Age of Ultron was everything a Marvel movie should be; fun, light-hearted and a way to escape, which should have made it equally as brilliant as the first film. However, its disappointing villain, silly sub-plots and casual misogyny let it down. I expect better next time Marvel.
By Megan Gibb
Megan Gibb is a nearly 19 year old from Cambridge, based in Manchester for university and has been in love with all things film ever since she can remember. Her fave films are The Terminator, Drive, Forrest Gump and Fight Club but she also has a huge soft spot for 1980’s John Hughes films. Her main interests include shopping for vinyl, eating too much carrot cake and making wall collages of 80’s bands for her and her friends. She can be found on twitter @megang96 and blogs at popdunk.