Avengers: Age of Ultron

⭐⭐⭐½ based on 3 reviews.

tl;dr: A minor blip that keeps getting stronger on rewatch, especially in the wider context of the MCU. Still, even for first-time viewers the action and spectacle of the original are well maintained and the introduction of yet further characters continues to impress.


Marvel Cinematic UniverseMarvel




Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

Definitely the awkward middle child, Age of Ultron hasn't aged badly but the flaws are still very present. It definitely sits in the middle of the three heavily inter-related films (Assembled, Ultron, Civil War) and, as a bridge, it's not awful. As a standalone film though, it is far more forgettable then the source material should be.

I will say, though, that unlike Civil War, Age of Ultron seems to have fewer plot holes on rewatch. The twin's introduction makes more sense, as does their actions within the first Hydra base and on discovering Ultron's plan. I still feel the film doesn't do enough to patch up their relationship with the Avengers for Wanda to switch sides entirely by the movie's ending (especially after her brother has just died), but they came across as much more complete characters than I had remembered. Ultron equally benefits from a rewatch, feeling more like someone spiralling into madness then a talking deus ex machina to move the plot along to the next fight scene. In fact, the Hulkbuster scene also now feels a lot less tacked on and more integral to the plot. Plus the Vision remains completely awesome and worth the entire film just to have him pick up Thor's hammer.

However, Ulysses Klaues' introduction is a lot more dubious then I remembered, with Stark just seeing a photo and magically guessing that he is the lead they should chase down. Similarly, whilst very cool, Fury's reappearance with a helicarrier and a whole fleet of S.H.I.E.L.D personnel makes no sense. Beyond Maria Hill and himself, all of the others should either be dead, wanted or reemployed at other federal agencies that wouldn't exactly grant leave for that kind of thing. I know the existence of the helicarrier is explained in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, but the staff is not and bugged me a lot more than I remembered. Also, obligatory issue with the fact that this was a prime example of when the TV and movies could have crossed over seamlessly. Coulson may not be able to meet the Avengers again, but why not stick a couple of the others on the bridge? Even just in the background! They are the best agents S.H.I.E.L.D has but they weren't brought in for something important enough to blow Fury's cover as dead? Not buying it, Fiege, not buying it at all!



We've found a number of the earlier Marvel movies get better now that you have a more complete picture of who these characters are and how their arcs ultimately resolve (or have resolved so far, I guess). Age of Ultron turns out to be the same. I still think it's the weakest Avengers movie by a wide margin, but it's continuing to grow on me and I actually really enjoyed watching it again. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver feel a lot more reasonable on each viewing, as does Ultron's motives. Yes, the Klaue moment is still a little dumb, but I minded the helicarrier a lot less this time around.

I did find the omission of Falcon from the final fight a bit weird. You bring in War Machine but not Falcon, the other dude who flys and is already in the movie? What's up with that? It also remains a massive waste of potential with Baron Strucker to me, even if that initial assault is an excellent set-piece. We also watched some of the extras which help explain what is going on with Thor's trip to the weird black pool, which I kinda wish they'd kept in, as well as some additional scenes with Wanda that help build her character out.

Overall, though, I find myself increasingly happy to forgive this movie its flaws just because of the big external plot points it helps hit. The introduction of Barton's family, the creation of Vision, the severing of the final act of the Hydra arc. Age of Ultron is a turning point in the MCU, the moment when the universe expands beyond the original core six heroes, stops focusing on the past and begins looking to the future, and ultimately becomes something much, much larger than it was. For that reason alone it's a great watch.

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