Age of Ultron was great! Fun movie, very much more so for a Marvel fan. My brother and I watched in IMAX at SM North and they had an Avengers exhibit at The Block where we hung out while waiting for the movie. I swear from the start until the end I was LSS-ing on the Avengers Assemble opening theme. Spoilers after the break.
With all the trailers and casting information going around for this movie and since I follow most of the comic book news, I already knew a lot going in. I’m a bit envious of my brother who had no idea that Vision was going to be in this movie and he just went WOAH when that cradle burst open while I knew where it was going the moment Helen Cho mentioned binding living cells to vibranium.
Despite all the advanced knowledge, I was still pleasantly surprised by a few things:
- Black Widow x Hulk pairing. Totally surprising, but why not? AFAIK Banner and Romanov have never been a thing in the comics so this came totally out of nowhere. jelly wonders why BW has been paired up with almost every male Avenger, but really her and Hawkeye were just friends looking out for each other in the first Avengers movie, and in Winter Soldier she and cap were more like bros with a little bit of benefits. It just plays into Natasha’s “seductive spy” bit I guess
- Appearance of Hawkeye’s family was unexpected. But then I remembered the horrible fate that befell Laura Barton and kids in Ultimates 2 and was worried for their future. Hey, at least Clint got some back story and character development! I genuinely worried he was going to be lame again after getting hit by a bullet in the cold opening just to show how Helen Cho’s super-good at genetics
- Speaking of which, Helen Cho! It’s Amadeus’ mom! I wonder if the teenage genius himself will ever get to appear in a Marvel movie
- Cap + Thor team-up attacks! How come nobody else got team-up attacks?
- Tony and Bruce as science bros, although Tony is all alpha male and keeps dragging Bruce into trouble
- James Spader as the voice of Ultron was a great choice; my brother was like “He sounds familiar, sino sya? Oh si Blacklist!”
- Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaw was great, with the hand getting cut off as not only a Phase 2 Star Wars tribute, but also a great set up for his role in the upcoming Black Panther movie
- The Vision was great, I like how he was put together from a bunch of disparate elements (Ultron programming + Cho genetic engineering + Asgardian lightning Juju + Mind gem) so that he’s not something easily explained or replicated.
- Hammer lifting scene was terrific, but Vision just casually picking up Mjolnir while saying there’s nothing he could do to make them trust him instantly? Priceless
- I’m glad they didn’t go with the classic Scarlet Witch costume, I think she looked great here
- Quicksilver death was a bit surprising; apparently Kevin Feige had mentioned in an interview that an Avenger would die but luckily I seemed to have missed that part. I guess that it was easiest to get rid of Pietro given the conflicting role in the X-Men movies, to minimize confusion
- Odds are good that Hulk is gone, unless they settle the movie rights after Phase 3. Would have been great to see World War Hulk as some sort of backlash after the Hulkbuster battle in Sokovia
- Iron Man saving the day again with blowing up the floating city, but that’s fine, at least Thor helped a bit this time
- “You put the hammer down in an elevator, elevator still goes up. Elevator’s not worthy, right?”
- I like the new team composition at the end of the movie. Feels very New Avengers-y. Everyone ready for Civil War?
- I would like to have that statue thing they showed in the ending credits LOL
Nit picks / weird stuff:
- Baron Strucker, one of Cap’s major villains, is relegated to a Batroc the Leaper-level role during the first one-third of the movie. I was hoping he might have a bigger role, especially given that he looks like Evil Nick Fury
- Someday we’ll have an ensemble cast superhero movie where they don’t have to fight each other first
- Hulkbuster or no, recovering from mental confusion or otherwise, comic book Iron Man would never be able to take out the Hulk
- So Thor goes swimming in a pool and his dream tells him to go crashing into Avengers tower and hook up the cradle to the electrical system? O~kay
- It’s silly that we can’t have both Jarvis *and* Vision. What, did Tony accidentally hit Ctrl+X instead of Ctrl+C?
- How lucky that Pietro’s exact size of running shoes happened to be available at Avengers Tower!
- Nick Fury who is currently pretending to be dead is doing so poor a job he managed to take command of a Helicarrier. Aren’t people going to wonder about that? Hasn’t SHIELD been disbanded? (Don’t tell Coulson)
- Vision totally did the density manipulation thing during the horde fight and they didn’t bother to explain it at all
- Speaking of Vision, apparently having the Mind gem can justify anything, even being able to delete all copies of a program off the internet
- “It’s my job,” says Scarlet Witch. A few minutes later, she leaves her post. I know it was out of grief, but still, YOU HAD ONE JOB!
- “I’ll just lie down here BESIDE THE DEAD BODY” – Hawkeye
- Cutting off Cap at the end right as he’s saying “Avengers A–” was just mean Mr. Whedon!
- They really need to give Thanos something to do than just grumble and look menacing, non-comic book-reading audiences have been wondering what’s up with him for three movies now
Comparing this to the first movie, the biggest problem is that the threat they face here isn’t quite as compelling as an alien invasion of Earth. Add to that the fact that the current problem is basically Tony’s fault so plot-wise it’s a bit weaker. But everything else felt more satisfying. Everyone else got more stuff to do. There’s bigger fights, faster pacing and everyone got a chance to shine.
Looking forward to Ant-Man later this year!