Much like how a comic book opens with a splash page (a action panel that typically takes up two pages), AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON wastes no time and kicks things off with a traveling action sequence reminiscent of the NYC battle at the end of the first film. With all our heroes working together. Such a beautiful way to start the movie.
Even though this is only the second film, The Avengers coordinate like a well oiled machine. It's as if there have been some missions we haven't seen?
This time around The Avengers are called upon to retrieve Loki's staff which is now in the hands of Hydra. During the mission our heroes run into two new meta-humans, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff who are brother and sister. Under control by Hydra the siblings make the mission difficult for The Avengers. Especially Wanda and her psychic ability to make people see things that aren't really there.
During the raid of Baron Von Strucker's secret Hydra base, Iron Man/Tony Stark obtains Loki's staff. It is at this moment when Wanda gives him a glimpse of the future. In this future all Earth's Mightiest Heroes are dead. Is this a mind trick or are we seeing a possible outcome from the Infinity Wars? Like I said it's only a glimpse and once it's over, the mission at hand is successful.
Back at Avenger HQ Stark thinks about the future and decides it is time for Ultron, his artificial intelligence peacekeeping program. Something goes wrong and Ultron becomes self aware and comes to the conclusion that the only way to keep earth safe is to wipe out the human race. Thus putting The Avengers up to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance.
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON might be my favorite comic book movie. For a long time that title has belonged to SUPERMAN (1978). Still to this day I consider it the 'godfather' of comic book movies. I've learned over the years on what makes that movie great. We all know Superman is going to win. He's Superman! But what makes that film compelling are the stakes involved in it. He can't be in two places at once so he has to decide which missile to try and stop first.
In my opinion Joss does the same thing in his film. Obviously The Avengers will stop Ultron and save the world. But at what cost? And will our heroes be the same afterwards? Not to spoil anything but by the end we have an Avengers 2.0 team and a fan favorite who seems to have had enough.
I should also mention that the film is hilarious. This thing has Joss Whedon written all over it! It's kinda sad that he won't be returning for the third installment. But he has been an excellent architect for the MCU and I hope he'll at least stick around as a creative consultant.
Avoiding explaining what my favorite scenes and fights were I'll just tell you what I liked. First and foremost the look of the film. There is a lot of TLC in the detail of AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. Right down to the giant 'A' atop Avengers Tower. And it's true, Vision steals the show! Probably the best introduction of a character in the MCU thus far. There was much rejoicing then immediate shock and awe in the theater during his appearance. I cannot wait to see how Vision plays into the next film!
Now for something that has little to do with special effects. Two of my favorite scenes were pure character interaction. The beginning of the movie has great a party scene. And I am a sucker for party scenes. Ever since watching DAZED AND CONFUSED, the hang-out genre has been one of my favorites. The camaraderie of them all gathered around trying to lift Thor's hammer is a scene worthy of admission price alone.
My second favorite character moment was when the team had to go regroup at Hawkeye's farm. A nice break from all the action. And it was nice to see a glimpse of Clint Barton's personal life. It's cool that Joss is giving more screen time to characters like Hawkeye, who we really only see in the Avengers films.
If I had to pick a fault with the film, I'd say it was the relationship with Banner and Romanoff. It felt way too forced in my opinion. It's convincing, just a tad tacked on. Another issue I have is major spoiler-ish because it has to do with the death of a character. Yes, it wouldn't be a true Joss Whedon movie if a character didn't die. I just think that this time around the suits at Marvel Studios and Disney stepped in and made some changes.
My final thoughts are easily summed up as I think the MCU is at a point now to where it'll be extremely unlikely that I'll be disappointed between now and AVENGERS:INFINITY WAR -PART I & II. After that it's anybody's guess?
But for now, Make Mine Marvel!