Marvel and Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron checks all the boxes that Marvel set out for it. Great action, new characters, a couple of laughs, and of course make tons of cash. The problem is that we have seen this before and better from the same group. I am not saying Ultron is bad. It isn’t, and if Batman V Superman can be this good it will be an impressive feet. What I am saying is that the last Avengers and Guardians of the Galley are almost perfect, so the fact that this movie isn’t quite as good is kind of a let down.
This movie starts off with the Avengers thinking they have the upper hand. Hydra is on the run, and the world is in pretty good shape, but Tony can’t leave well enough alone, so he creates an artificial intelligence to keep the peace all the time. That way the Avengers can retire, but things don’t go the way he plans and he creates Ultron. An AI that wants to kill us all. Time for more Avenging!
Really what this boils down to is that instead of there being an army of aliens to beat, there is an army of robots. Kinda. This is a shame because James Spader gives a great performance as Ultron, but he kind of takes a back seat while the Avengers get their crap together. The Scarlet Witch getting in to all their heads was kind of fun, but this movie was so long already they didn’t spend the time to truly dig in to all the Avengers’ fears. Maybe a director’s cut can fix that. This movie feels like a stopgap to get to Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet. It is getting to be a long slow grind to that film.
The actors have been playing these characters so long that they are the people on screen. They are going to be hard to replace, but the new group is looking promising. Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch will add a fun new magical twist to the group dynamic, and Paul Bettany’s Vision will have a unique perspective to add. It will also be interesting to see how the Avengers change since those two in particular are so powerful.
I liked this movie a lot, but it just wasn’t at the same level as some of the other Marvel movies. Cursed by previous success if you will. These movies are starting to feel like an obligation. Like if I don’t see them I will be missing something. I am not seeing them purely out of desire anymore, and that is kind of a bummer. Now Marvel has a lot of talent, and they have shown with Guardians of the Galaxy that they can still make amazing movies, but it might be time for them to show us something new.