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.