Avengers: Age of Ultron was the perfect summer popcorn film. It’s a big, loud and frenetic superhero movie with a decent amount of heart.

[Ed. note: Not to mention the second biggest opening weekend in history. Who’s the first? The first Avengers movie, of course.]

The story was a bit shaky at times, but the performances were strong because of the cast chemistry and the trademark Joss Whedon banter. Meanwhile, the visuals were outstanding, the fight scenes were expertly choreographed, and there were a couple of interesting twists regarding one of the main characters.

Again, the Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes do what the DC Cinematic Universe heroes (namely, Superman in Man of Steel) could not do: save lives. The third act of this movie was about saving lives and while the heroes could have easily put up the “needs of the many” argument, they decided to do the hard thing and remove as many innocent civilians from harm’s way as possible. THAT is a major distinction between the central philosophies of the Marvel filmmakers and the Warner Bros. filmmakers.

It makes the script tougher to write — because you have to find a logical and intelligent way to resolve the major conflict — but it forces the characters to evolve and think of new ways to do remarkable, heroic things. Since the overriding theme of Age of Ultron was the price of evolution, it was a strong piece of storytelling.

James Spader did a serviceable job with Ultron — although he didn’t “sound” like I’ve imagined Ultron’s voice in my head when I’ve read the comic books. He was more like “SnarkTron” than anything else (however, if he was based upon Tony Stark’s mentality, then it makes sense). Then again, every robotic character (in my head) sounds like a cross between HAL in 2001 and Doctor Doom from the classic Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends cartoon.

The only real “critique” I have is that the entire movie was really nothing more than a set-up for the Thor and Captain America sequels as well as the upcoming Infinity Wars films. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s something that kept it from being a 10.0 in my book.

Overall, a solid 9.0 out of 10.

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7 thoughts on “NOC Reviews Avengers: Age of Ultron

  1. As a bit of fantasy entertainment, the movie was fine. In terms of it depicting a fantasy future I would want to be a part of — it blows! I would love to see a fantasy future that features a woman like myself and so many of my friends — African American, super smart, and with amazing abilities that can only be described as super! I’m sorry, but if the world were being threatened by some crazed computer goon, I would take a leave of freaking absence from my CEO job/lab to go kick some techno-butt. I’m just saying….

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  2. I wish they clarified how Ultron achieved consciousness. I think the Mind stone/gem was involved, and partly explains Ultron’s behaviour. But it could also have been the casing that housed the stone.

    Warner Bros. seriously needs to question its approach to human casualties. The Dark Knight Rises had some scenes where innocents were killed and it was by indirect association to Batman’s actions. If he had saved Ra’s Al Ghul in the first film would they have attacked Gotham the same way or tried to free their leader from prison first? Why didn’t he didn’t give air support to all those freed police officers? They charged the enemy with handguns against their tanks and machine guns. As for Man of Steel, it already started as a huge anti-refugee film. All that destruction by Zod’s forces happened because Zor-El placed the Codex with his natural-born son and sent them to Earth. The sins of the father did fall on the son, and no human asked for that. Finally, let’s not forget how Watchmen handled world peace. Seek out better angels.

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  3. More or less agree with this review. Found it to be the best MCU offering thus far — for once, the Marvel popcorn flick worked for me and didn’t fall apart after giving it some complex thought like the first Avengers or Winter Soldier did.

    I didn’t like Ultron too much, but he didn’t annoy me, per se. My biggest problem was with the Widow/Banner romance, but those scenes were easy enough to ignore. Loved Quicksilver and wish Hawkeye had died in his place; Scarlet Witch, Captain America, and Vision were also good.

    I do wish we could’ve gotten a more diverse cast — at least include the Wasp — but the Avengers comics always did have trouble with diversity outside of black males. If we ever get a woman of color Avenger, it won’t be any time soon — none of them, not even Monica, Mantis, or Firebird have served long enough to be the sort of characters the folks at Marvel Studios would consider “essential Avengers.” Maybe phase 4.

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  4. Was a pretty solid follow up. The only way I can think less of the movie is if I expect or believe it’s anything other than what it is: a table setter. Not only is it an excellent popcorn flick, but it’s an excellent way to set the table for all the great moments that should be coming in phase 3. You can also see from how disjointed parts of the film are that it suffered a LOT of editing and had a lot of content removed. Will be really interested in seeing the director’s cut version of the film.

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