“Avengers: Age of Ultron” – Movie Review

The second chapter of Marvel’s movie universe is complete, and the first few lines of chapter three have been written.

Cast and Crew Information

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man
Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / Hulk
Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America
Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye
James Spader as Ultron
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
Don Cheadle as James Rhodes / War Machine
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver
Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch
Paul Bettany as Jarvis / Vision
Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill
Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson / The Falcon
Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter
Idris Elba as Heimdall
Stellan Skarsgard as Erik Selvig
Claudia Kim as Dr. Helen Cho
Thomas Kretschmann as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker
Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue
July Delpy as Madame B
Henry Goodman as Dr. List
Linda Cerdellini as Laura Barton
Kerry Condon as F.R.I.D.A.Y.
Josh Brolin as Thanos
Stan Lee as… himself?

Written and directed by Joss Whedon

Premise

In an attempt to create a defensive line capable of turning around another alien attack, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner create Ultron using alien technology. Not all of the consquences are predictable.

High Point

With most character introductions out of the way and a shared origin story for two others, this one gets right into the thick of it. This is 141 minutes, and it doesn’t slow down.

Low Point

One particular character, Falcon / Sam Wilson, could have been used more effectively.

The Review

This feels original, which is a remarkable achievement considering that (including movies, TV shows, and Netflix series) it’s the 73rd story told in this universe within the last decade. Fans of every character will find something to love here. Fans of the source material will find an original story true to the spirit of the characters, although the details of the creation of four of them differ. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were almost universally excellent. The first lullaby didn’t seem to be properly mixed and rendered together, but the rest is nearly flawless, including a lot of detail that was left for repeat viewings instead of being a major focus here. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story is clear enough to follow if you only watch Avengers and Captain America: Winter Soldier prior to this, but is rich enough to tie in threads to every other series to date save one. It’s got emotion, stakes, and balance enough to make it important to every character on the team and give every one of them a part to play. I give it 6 out of 6.

The acting is well done all around. While I did find myself preferring the X-Men franchise version of Quicksilver overall, that has everything to do with how he was written and is not a slight in any way to how he was played here. This character has much more depth, and was the result of planning and story integration rather than competition. Spader is a fantastic Ultron, and the rest of the ensemble work extremely well together. I give it 6 out of 6.

The production is excellent. There is a seamless blend of live footage and CGI, allowing for incredible camera motions and tracking shots that can’t be done with physical hardware, particularly in the fight scenes. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is excellent. While this may not be quite as funny as Guardians of the Galaxy, it does a better job with the rest of the emotional spectrum. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this is probably going to be the year’s biggest hit, as expected, and could quite possibly outperform the original. All of the necessary elements are in place. I give it 6 out of 6.

In total, Avengers: Age of Ultron receives 41 out of 42.

17 replies on ““Avengers: Age of Ultron” – Movie Review”

  1. Fez says:

    Saw it Thursday night and we all came out thoroughly impressed! It seemed like they upper the humor significantly, especially the running gags (Digging at Cap about “Language”) and the Hammer debate, and things like “I’m sorry” after the tooth bit and “Multiplying faster than a Catholic rabbit” and “Wait, what do you mean ‘up close’?”

    Forced to pick, the Hulk v Hulkbuster fight was amazing, and probably my high point among a movie-length high point.

    I might have dinged a point from the effects. During the fight at the base at the beginning, there were some really bad enemy CGI figures that seemed really out of place/jarring among the other much better effects.

    Seriously considering going to see it again before the weekend is out, but might wait a week or two since it’s bound to be crowded. The Thursday 7pm 2D showing had a decent crowd but it was not packed.

    As far as emotional response, one thing that felt weird (not necessarily bad) was that in the previews Ultron felt like a unstoppable/insurmountable force but in the movie, though he was formidable, he never felt like he was unbeatable. If that even makes sense…

  2. Jethro says:

    I enjoyed it very much, and am looking forward to watching it at home. I thought the SFX were fantastic, but yeah, 3D is still at the “not quite there” yet – when you have a really huge scale, for example, it can, well, throw the scale off and make things look a lot smaller than they are supposed to (kind of like tilt-shift photography does). So far the only movie I’ve seen not suffer from this was Avatar which was 100% planned out for 3D.

    Hulk stole the show in the first movie, and does so again in this one. The “Holy Crap” factor is pretty huge with him, and this time they threw the Hulkbuster armour in!!! And they actually gave him some character development in this movie. And I mean Hulk, not Banner! Which is impressive.

    Loved the hammer thing. And Stan Lee’s cameo was actually cute this time!

    I managed to go into this with barely any spoilers (I mean, I knew Ultron will be the main villain), which is how I like going into movies, so I got to be surprised a lot. I loved Vision, had absolutely no idea he (it?) would be in it.

    The low point for me was the trailer for the new fantastic Fourmovie. Made it seem boring as hell. God I hate trailers. And we had like 5 minutes of that Clooney movie (Tomorrowland? Actually seems semi interesting), Superman vs Batman (also boring, and that thing better @#$%^ be beyond epic), and the next Star Wars… which manages to be very evocative. Still wish I didn’t see it. Oh and there were like 6 more. Ugh. I hate trailers.

    And now to click “Post” and see if I messed up any of the markup…

    • Jethro says:

      Ugh. I want an “Edit Comment” button…

      • Don says:

        You know, that is strange… The theatre I went to only had two trailers. Star Wars and that long tomorrow land one. Though, I do like how TL looks, my kids were really excited about it.

        • Jethro says:

          There is a local theatre here that’ll only show the trailers that the studio requires them to. But they don’t have IMAX and their 3D is way too dark (I never understood why people complained that 3D was too dark until I saw a 3D movie there).

          I go to movies fairly rarely, so when I do I want the biggest, baddest screen (and sound system) I can get. All the trailers are a sacrifice I can live with.

          Oh and I forgot the next Bond movie trailer and I think a couple others.

        • Fez says:

          The showing I went to had a ton of trailers… Ant-Man, Tomorrowland, Pixels, Fantastic Four, Batman v Superman, Southpaw, Jurassic World, and I think there was one more that I’ve forgotten. Plus some commercials. It was a Regal theater though.

          • Ogre says:

            Also went to a Regal cinema and got Ant-Man, Tomorrowland, Pixels, Fantastic Four, Batman v Superman, Jurassic World, & Star Wars…. don’t remember one called Southpaw.

        • Brian says:

          Was there a new Star Wars trailer? I thought there was supposed to be one attached to Avengers, but our AMC did not run it. Ran about half-an-hour’s worth of other trailers though.

  3. Don says:

    After that whole movie, I still don’t know what the Theta protocol is….

    • Fez says:

      Apparently it’s an Agents of SHIELD only deal, but I’m betting it may be related to the fact that in Age of Ultron they stated that the base they took over was the [i]last[/i] Hydra base. So there isn’t much left of Hydra for them to chase, which could change the whole show again.

      • Blackadder says:


        SHIELD hasn’t been fighting much of Hydra since the beginning of this season anyway. They tried to pass on that Hydra was effectively broken after taking out Whitehall and that group of leaders.


        I could have bought more of SHIELDS involvement in this movie had they been in more of a rebuilding phase in the show rather than the civil war setup infighting that seems to be happening over there. Out of nowhere they have a Helicarrier? Why hasn’t Coulston been using this for his base? Does SHIELD even have the staff to crew a carrier?

  4. Don says:

    I was hoping maybe for a cameo from Coulson, or some of the other team. You have the new West Coast Avengers base, I thought that would be one possibility. However, why would that require Coulson to travel the world to build something like a base in the US.

  5. JD DeLuzio says:

    Enjoyable, but very chaotic– unlike the first Avengers film, I don’t know that one could easily follow it without having viewed the earlier movies.

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