Avengers: Age of Ultron – World Exclusive Review (Non-Spoiler)
Besides the world premiere in Los Angeles earlier this month, today was the world wide premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron in eleven countries around the globe. Luckily for this massive comic book and film nerd, Sweden was one of those countries. Why did it come out earlier here? I couldn’t tell you really, but I’m just glad it happened because if I had to wait nine more days to see Age of Ultron I would have lost my mind gem. Luckily for you I like to review films and TV shows online as a hobby, so let me share with you my non-spoiler opinions and impressions on the film that I literally just walked out of fifteen minutes ago from the time I started writing this. If you’re reading this, Ultron hasn’t won…
Now stop for a moment. Think about everything you’ve seen, read or heard speculated about this movie… Now forget all of it because it’s all wrong. Oh? You’ve seen the trailers? So have I and boy are they misleading. This movie comes out of the gate swinging and doesn’t let up until about halfway through the film, and that’s for about ten minutes then it resumes the pummeling of non-stop action, comedy, drama and despair. The story takes off so fast that it surprised me. I would even guess some of the less excited and pessimistic critics in May will take off half a point for it, but I found it refreshing. We all know these characters, there is absolutely no need to introduce anyone… So let’s get to it! About 70% of the trailer footage happens in the first 30 minutes, which is great because a lot of the time we like to joke that they pretty much show you the whole movie in the trailer, but all they really did was set the tone and get you excited for how this film will be. Which is the point of a trailer right? Bravo Marvel Studios!
This movie starts off immersed in the ever continuing story arc of Phase 2. The Avengers aren’t dumb struck when they meet other “enhanced” beings (I’d assume) because of all that’s been going on in Agents Of SHIELD. Tony is still dealing with the PTSD he got from the first Avengers film, and Thor… well he’s still Thor. That doesn’t mean you need to scramble to watch Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter or Daredevil before going out and seeing this film, those are just Easter eggs for this film really. Or did I just think I spotted Agent May in the background of a scene? Nevertheless, my point being that these are the characters we came to watch continue the stories of their earlier films and dang it that’s what they do!
The antagonists in this film are great. James Spader’s Ultron is not only sinister and menacingly creepy as he is in the trailers (yes the Pinocchio song wasn’t all for the trailer), he brings a sadistic kind of brevity to his lines and even delivers a few laugh lines that worked very well on me. There were reports a few weeks back on how they had to tone Ultron’s power down, but as someone who’s read a lot of Ultron comics… I wasn’t disappointed in his portrayal at all. The only thing about him that bugged me was that, like Michael Bay’s Optimus Prime, he kind of had movable metal lips. For those of us wanting the solid open jawed Ultron don’t worry, his lesser forms deliver that. Baron von Stucker wasn’t developed too much more, but the second you see Hydra agents flying around with jet packs and laser rifles the comic book nerd in all of you will smile with joy. This is by no means just another Marvel film with more killer robots… well it is but Ultron is way more complex than people saying that can understand without watching it.
The new characters that are introduced in this film are done so very smoothly. Since we had seen a glimpse of the twins at the end of Winter Solder, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch needed no origin or introduction of any kind. Like I said… out of the gate swinging. Quicksilver is done quite differently when compared to his 20th Century FOX counterpart. He’s less of a gimmick and more of an actual character. Speedsters are hard to do in film, but like on The Flash, it can be done and Marvel Studios does it. If you are coming to Age of Ultron wanting FOX’s Quicksilver, you will have to wait until X-Men: Apocolypse… That’s not to say you won’t be disappointed either. I’ll leave that judgement up to you, but I thoroughly enjoyed this version of Pietro best. Wanda was the character I was most worried about though. They had to change her “powerset” to make it simpler and less… um game breaking? My worry was in vain though because after the first scene of her using her powers I let out a sigh of relief and knew Marvel had pulled it off. I have no complaints about Elizabeth Olsen’s Slavic accent, but I’d be interested in what people from that region say. To me she sounded like the real deal. Lastly is The Vision. He needed an origin and a bit of a set-up, but that was weaved into the story seamlessly. Paul Bettany did a brilliant job as The Vision, and as someone who knows next to nothing about The Vision, you should have seen my face any time he was on the screen. I must have looked like Thanos I was grinning so wide. The first scene he’s in will win your heart faster than any other Avenger. While you are all reading this review, there is a good chance I’m still reading any comic I found with The Vision in it. I’m now a huge fan.
This movie was incredible in my biased eyes. It exceeded everything I had been hoping for. It was a hundred times more than anything I had expected, and I fully expect this movie to break every record out there and become this year’s biggest seller. The one spoiler I will give in this review is for your benefit and to save you four minutes of your life. There is no after the full credits scene. There is no clip of Spider-man, so don’t believe the fake videos. I get it if you want to see for yourself, I really do… I didn’t believe them either when they told me that there wasn’t. True fans stay til the end right? Maybe… But save yourself the disappointment that I felt and just leave the theater on a high note.
I’ll need to see the film at least one more time before I can really start to pick it apart and find the hidden Easter eggs and such, but here’s what I can tell you:
1. The Vision is the best character in this movie.
2. Hawkeye brought his character out of the dark ages with a Matt Fraction-esque humor that will have you laughing up a storm.
3. The Hulkbuster fight is better than anything you have been fantasizing it would be for the past few months!
This movie moves Phase 2 just a little bit further down the timeline, but don’t pretend to know where Marvel Studios is taking us. The Avengers are about to start seeing the bigger picture, but I wouldn’t expect the war to start until Phase 3 has officially begun. My only negative opinion about this film was the fact that Thor, Cap and Iron Man’s stories seemed to barely progress forward. Other than that, I can’t write about any of my other negatives without spoiling, so you’ll have to wait for the spoilercast on Geeks On Screen Podcast. Expect to see a more spoiler filled article or podcast soon on Geeks With Wives, because I can’t wait to start talking more in depth to my fellow Marvel Cinematic Universe fans about what happened and what is coming next!