Friday, May 1, 2015

#Recap - Age of Ultron

I finally just saw Avengers: Age of Ultron yesterday evening.

It feels like it wasn't that long ago that I went to see the first Avengers...

And since there' been a half dozen other Marvel films - including my all-time favorite Guardians of the Galaxy - so how did this Avengers film turn out? [Warning: What follows might contain spoilers!]
First lemme say, Joss Whedon really impressed me with the direction of this new film.

I just rewatched the first Avengers the other day, to get back into the MCU, and the different between both films was really impressive!

One of my only real complaints with the first film - alright two complaints - was how it sorta looked like a television series moreso than a proper cinematic feature. I'm not talking about the budget, special effects or the story here. But the way Whedon shot the first film was pretty close to the way he directed, say, Firefly, Buffy & co. Lots of close ups, lots of quick cuts. Heck, at some point I started to noticed how much he overused reflections in the film. Having a reflection of Banner while he was talking to Tony Stark facing a screen, and vice-versa, was nice. But then you noticed he's doing this all the time like every 10 minutes or so. Captain America talking to the rest of the group while the camera faces broken rubbles and his reflection in a piece of mirror.. really?

But Age of Ultron was a lot more professional and tight. Like he took a page from the Russos on Winter Soldier and wanted to match their quality.

Ultron was also a lot of fun. I would even dare say a lot better as a villain than what we got in the films (series aside, since the Kingpin in Daredevil is still perhaps the best MCU villain so far). I enjoyed a lot more "Ultron & the Ultrons" than "Loki & the Chitauri". Ultron had a great personality and he was just fun to watch.

I still wish he looked less human, specially with the moving face and lips. It would have made a better contrast facing the more human and kinder Vision. That's why I loved the final surviving Ultron at the end, which couldn't move its face anymore (before Vision toasted him in flames).

The banter, the new costumes, etc. It was great! I mean, they even sold me this version of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. I knew Quicksilver would be a goner, probably a part of the deal with 20th Century Fox. Like they can keep Quicksilver, but only Marvel/Disney gets Wanda. I also liked how they represented Quicksilver's speed and Wanda's magic. A scene in which Q punches Cap' and then tries to grab the hammer really looked like Josh Whedon's answer to Bryan Singer's Quicksilver scene in Days of Future Past (albeit much shorter and funnier with the the fall).

On what I didn't like much/thought it didn't work that well - Hawkeye's got a family??? It was just part of all these red herrings Josh threw in the film to make us think Hawkguy would be a goner. How expandable he was, watching him get beaten up through the film, tired of having to catch up with the others. And then, BLAM! They hit you with his family? The guy's gonna die... and it looked almost like that... until Quicksilver died instead. Can't they mention how Hawkeye got divorced in Civil War? Why? So we can get an adaptation of Matt Fraction's Hawkeye run! (as a netflix series? a standalone lower-budget film?)

The thing that annoys me is that Agents of SHIELD gets Mockingbird - and she's divorced and has some issues with her ex. Only it's not Clint.

Awww man...

Anyways - the film was pretty fun and entertaining. Probably a bit too long - and I know Josh said he cut a lot from the film (which was something like 3 hours long originally). But there's maybe a bit too much in the film. I got slightly sleepy near the end. They could have perhaps cut the Northhampton TMNT scene Hawkeye's farm from the film. And Thor's pre-Ragnarok storyline.

There's a great "money shot", that probably beats the original with all the heroes back to back during the battle of New York of the previous film. Even better than the kickass opener we all already say thanks to all the trailers and clips. (That opening is fantastic though) It's when all the characters are once more back to back defending a position near the end. Once Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and the Vision join the ranks of the Avengers. For a couple of seconds - before the camera goes all slow-mo from one character to the next - you get this big epic shot with everyone doing something, fighting the Ultrons. It' probably the closest we've ever had of a George Perez-style splash page on the big screen.

And why can't Josh Whedon let the heroes say "Avengers Assemble" just once!? Does he find that silly? Or cheesy? The film's already filled with funny one liners! Just once I would love to see it on screen! They almost said it in the first film, and probably got like 3 big moments they could have used it on this sequel!!

Otherwise? Great film. Ultron was great. Vision kicked ass and even worked on screen! I can't wait to see these "New Avengers" back on screen.

My guess for the next film (Civil Wars)? Cap doesn't like how the government privatized superheroes and wants to control them. His tension with Tony in this film make him go on the run. Falcon probably ditches the gang as well, while Tony becomes the head of these New Avengers (Vision, Scarlet Witch, War Machine and Black Widow). Ant-Man now introduced will probably join Captain's side as well. Then a little "webcrawler" will get stuck in the frontlines and forced to join a side of the conflict. Captain America is killed at the end by Crossbones like in the comic - perfect timing for the Winter Soldier/Bucky to come back and join the fight.

Wait and see~


  1. I see I'm not the only one who thought TMNT, too.

    But yeah, great movie overall. There was something about it that bugged me, I didn't know what it was but you did. It felt like an episodic TV thing. Tone wise and everything, like just watching a movie serial. (Let's be fair, that's what the MCU movies are at this rate.)

    I didn't think I'd enjoy Ultron as much here as I did, avoiding all trailers. His more human portrayal was a pleasant surprise to be sure. Something different than the norm. Somebody meant to be human in attitude and personality, only to decide what's good and what's not. That voice, too. (And yeah, it's a toss up between him and Kingpin. Oh, who to choose, who?)
    Vision was also a great counterpart. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were also great, as well. (I am also amazed by Elisabeth Olsen's knowledge in all things comics, with House of M being her favourite story she knows she can't do in a million years) I'm betting Andy Sirkus will return for Black Panther, f'sure.

    Yeah, Hawkeye had too many red herrings. I'm at least glad he got more lines and scenes to flesh out his personality, since the first movie all I knew about him was "Black Widow vouches for him and... he's good with arrows?" It always bothered me when one character I liked I couldn't like because I didn't know him as well as the character I know. The family thing came out of nowhere (though more of an Ultimate Marvel thing, I suppose) which I guess was to throw a bone to the underdog of underdogs. I'd also want a Hawkguy series f'sure f'sure. Defenders Phase 2, maybe.

    But the thing I liked more about the movie I suppose is how close everybody was. Seen them hang out, have parties, team up, get mad, reconcile, relationships, all that. I suppose the whole "You've already seen these characters before, now see them meet each other and become a team" was a bit much to go through, but now we're past that, we can actually see them grow more at characters, y'know? That bit I liked best, at least.

    Based on how they trashed cities around the world in this movie, I'm betting they'll do registrations based on that. (Was it Wakanda they were in or nearby? Because that'd explain Black Panther's appearance, too) But otherwise, again, No.3 under GOTG & Winter Soldier.

    1. I would have certainly liked if Ultron could have become less human as the film went along, if anything to make him better contrast with Vision there at the end.

      I liked how Klaw/Andy Sirkus basically got his origin story mixed in there. (I mean, they even made him lose his hand there already! can't wait to see him back in BP) Actually I kinda already picture how and why Black Panther will come into play in Civil War/his own movie later on. Since Klaw used to steal Vibranium from his own country and the Avengers probably made that public, he will no doubt have a thing to say during the superhero registration act in Civil War.

      My only issue with Hawkeye's storyline is... we now can't have a Hawkeye movie/series/Netflix series based on Matt Fraction's run! (Except if... his family becomes collateral damage in Civil War! Or worse - that is the big "incident" that takes place at the beginning of that story to launch the entire storyline!!)

      I probably got the same ranking as you there - so far my 3 favorites are probably:
      1 GotG
      2 Winter Soldier
      and now 3 Age of Ultron! (sorry Iron Man 1 & Cap 1!!)