Avengers: Age of Ultron

The 405th film I have seen in theaters…

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After a 4 month drought, Superponte returns to the cinema!

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Picking up a few years after Avengers, the team is hunting down Loki’s scepter- stolen from their base by Hydra. Upon retrieving it, Tony and Bruce discover the gem inside the staff contains the secret to Artificial Intelligence. Seeing a chance to realize his dream of a world without war, Stark begins working on Ultron- a robot police force to save the world. Of course, Ultron comes out bat-shit crazy and decides the only way to save the world is by killing humanity. The team comes together to fight the threat and save mankind.

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RDJ turns in another great performance as Tony Stark, but the cracks are showing. Ton’y quest to save the world, and define his legacy is starting to cause division within the team. All roads lead to Civil War…

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Evans gives us a serviceable showing as Captain America. There is not much in the way to character development for him in the film, but he takes charge and is a believable leader of the Avengers.

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One of the most interesting things about this film is the noticeable lack of attention the “Big Three” receive. While Iron Man is front and center, and has a meaty role, there is little for Thor to do. He has his plot points, but its not his show.

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Hey Now! Scarlet Johansson shines very brightly in this film. We see elements of her backstory as well as a budding love story with….

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…The Hulk himself. Ruffalo unleashes his acting ability to demostrate the torture of Bruce Banner. He has no life, can never have love, a family, etc. His fear of Hulk overshadows everything.

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The Avenger that was most shortchanged in Part One stands tall this time around. We learn quite a bit about his life, and what informs his character. Renner stepped up.

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We get to meet Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in this film. Quicksilver gets the short end of this stick while Olsen rises to the moment. Overall, both characters did not get the attention I had hoped, but there is hope, especially for Olsen, of further development.

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Paul Bettany, voice of Jarvis, gets corporeal on everyone’s ass! The Vision nearly steals the movie. True to the character and SO WELL executed.

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James Spader as Ultron. I remember thinking this was an odd choice. I was wrong. The Animators captured Spader’s facial expressions and body language amazingly well. For the first time, I looked an a Mo-cap character and saw the actor behind it. Spader was perfect and steals every scene he is in.

Is this better than #1? I don’t know the answer to that. It definitely captures the same sense of wonder, for me at least, and builds upon the universe Marvel has created. Avengers worked as a stand alone film, this one does not. Knowledge of what came before is almost essential to enjoyment of the movie. That can be look on as a flaw, but in terms of an ongoing narrative, which the material is based on, it succeeds. The Maximoff twins get shortchanged, but Hawkeye, Widow, and Hulk burn brightly. The Avengers at the end of this film are not the same team that begins it. Only 2 remain. Where they go from here should be awesome. Heartbreaking, but awesome.

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