The moment the Hulk grabbed Loki and tossed him around like a rag doll in 2012’s *Marvel’s Avengers*, I was sold. I’ve long waited since *Iron Man* for all these superheroes to come together on the big screen and kick alien butt, and Joss Whedon and company did not disappoint. We got all these superpowered beings – with an actual living god with them – and somehow we found ourselves caring for them.

Of course, along the way to Age of Ultron, we’ve had a few Marvel movies and TV shows along the way, among them Daredevil, <a< span=””> href=”http://amzn.to/1PL5xn7″ target=”_blank”>*Captain America: The Winter Soldier*, and *Guardians of the Galaxy*, all of which I felt are the superior Marvel Cinematic Universe entries. Which brings us to *Avengers: Age of </a<>Ultron.*

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

The movie didn’t bother to explicitly explain why Iron Man is back in action after he supposedly retired after the events of his third movie. In fact, we don’t feel much of the aftermath of SHIELD’s dissolution in Winter Soldier. We just see the old gang, back in action, working like a well-oiled machine, going after the remnants of Hydra, Baron von Strucker (man, I love it when a villain has an aristocratic name), and Loki’s scepter. You see the Avengers attacking Hydra foot soldiers like they were nothing.

It was fun seeing the Avengers use each others’ strengths to their advantage, like Thor hitting Captain America’s shield with Mjölnir to create a shock wave that took down an entire platoon of soldiers (and their tank). And they have their own protocols already – like Code Green so they can unleash the Hulk, and the lullaby to calm Hulk down after a battle. It was a a joy to watch.

And of course, we even have this scene:

Avengers: Age of Ultron Review

Which totally feels like a splash page out of the comics.

So with Hydra dismantled, the sceptre retrieved, and all of the Avengers more than willing to finally put all the loose ends of the Chitauri invasion to rest, what do they do? Throw a party, of course. Which of course doesn’t end well, because it was the time Ultron chose to reveal himself. Ultron – a secret experiment by Tony Stark and an unwilling Bruce Banner to create an artificial intelligence dedicated to peacekeeping – decides the only way to achieve peace is to destroy humanity.

Bigger and… Actually Better

What can I say? Age of Ultron is so much bigger than its Marvel predecessors. The stakes were higher, the action scenes louder, and god damn did anybody else love the Hulkbuster and Hulk fight? And Ultron’s grand evil scheme – making a city fly out into the atmosphere so he can use it as a meteor for an extinction-level event – was filled up with so much comic book logic that I love it so much.

And I really like that the core Avengers didn’t get much character development here. Cap, Tony, and Thor have their own movies where they can have character arcs, and it should stay that way.

If a murderbot robot put its hands in its butt and is slowly pushing its stinkfist to your nostrils, you’d have the same look on your face.

This way we get scenes where Hawkeye reveals the existence of his secret family – made up of SHIELD agents and little SHIELD agents, apparently, if you believe Tony Stark. Comic book Hawkeye was such a bro (especially in his solo series by Matt Fraction) and I am glad that some of that is finally showing off in the move version. Hawkeye’s motivational speech to Scarlet Witch and his ranting when Quicksilver leaves him behind were the best lines in the movie.

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I now really want to see a Hawkeye solo movie where he just chills at home and does renovations to his house every two weeks while his wife just looks on disapprovingly.

Yes, They Remebered The Civilains

One thing I really loved about both Avengers movies is that they don’t just show up to beat up the bad guys. They ensure the safety of civilians who get caught up in the crossfire, and most of their plans center around evacuation. They didn’t have to show that, but I’m glad that we get a montage of their evacuation efforts and even made it a central tension for the final battle. This is the part where I roll my eyes in Man of Steel’s general direction.

That Came Out of Nowhere

This is what everybody’s been complaining about, and I’ll say it now. The Black Widow and Hulk romance totally came out of nowhere, and felt so forced. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that these two characters never really had a romantic history in the comics. It just feels so haphazardly done that I didn’t enjoy it. I do understand it was a great way to highlight the monster analogy both Widow and Hulk were going for, but as much as Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson are great actors, they just really don’t have any romantic chemistry together.

What is Ultron’s Age, Anyway?

And let’s go for the big bad himself. I won’t pretend to have read any Ultron comics. Aside from general knowledge of his history taken from Wikipedia and other sources, I know absolutely nothing about his character. I know Hank Pym made him in the comics, and he has a weird Father-Son relationship with his creator, and for some reason he wants the Avengers dead because of rejection or something, but that’s it.

I do know that he’s a menacing force you shouldn’t reckon with, so I was slightly disappointed to see Ultron wisecracking and having the attention span of a squirrel. Sure, he was actually funny at times, and he was based off Tony Stark in the movie so the wisecracks made sense, but I wish they toned it down and focused more on his angry side. And I wish we had more build-up to Ultron’s inception, not a five-minute montage of Tony and Banner being Science Bros, as fun as that montage was.

Overall, he seems a little too good-natured for a murderous robot bent on humanity’s extinction.

The Vision

I’ll confess something: I totally forgot Vision was going to be in AoU. So I found myself pleasantly surprised when Ultron opened the cradle and saw Vision’s body being created. And man, did Vision deliver. He as already fantastic the moment he jumped out of the cradle, but when he handed the hammer to Thor, without even realizing what he’s done, I was sold.

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Overall, I really loved Avengers: Age of Ultron. My biggest gripe, actually, was that somehow they did not put this epic scene in:

We Would Have Words With Thee

As much as I love Age of Ultron, I really don’t think it’s the best Marvel entry so far. It’s still a three-way tie between Daredevil, Guardians, and Winter Soldier for me. Heck, I honestly think the first Avengers movie is still better.

SCIENCE BROS

Age of Ultron didn’t build up on the developments of Phase 2 the same way the first one did. Some scenes felt rushed, the storytelling can be a mess at times, and there were too many moving parts. But I honestly don’t care. With every movie, Marvel’s come closer to replicating the feeling of reading a comic book come to life on the screen. Age of Ultron wasn’t a perfect translation of comic book insanity to the big screen, but it comes so close.

Stray Observations

  • If there’s anything the world needs, it’s more Tony Stark-Bruce banner SCIENCE BROS montages.
  • I don’t know, Marvel’s post-credit scenes just don’t do anything for me anymore. Sure, seeing Thanos get his hands on the Infinity Gauntlet elicited an audible “Oh shit” out of me, but nothing comes close to the wild applause he got on his first post-credits appearance on the first Avengers movie. I wish they teased something else instead.
  • But then, we’re getting motherfucking Thanos in the next Avengers movie, you guys.
  • I’m going to miss JARVIS and Stark’s snarky sniping. Vision is just too naive.
  • Speaking of the Vision, that was some excellent make-up on Paul Bettany.
  • I honestly thought Hawkeye was gonna die.
  • Are we going to see Vision and Scarlet Witch get married and have kids only to find out that those kids were actually parts of Mephisto’s soul and have Wanda get a mental breakdown, create an alternate timeline, and have her declare “No more mutants inhumans?” Only time can tell, true believers!
  • So in the end, Cap stands in front of the new Avengers. We see War Machine, The Falcon, The Vision, and Scarlet Witch. I then wait for Cap to say the iconic line I have been waiting for since the first movie. “AVENGERS A-” then cut to credits. DAMMIT WHEDON.
  • How is Thor aware of the other Infinity Gem that was discovered in Guardians of the Galaxy? Can somebody enlighten me?
  • Poor War Machine. Nobody in the Avengers respects his tank story.
  • I really liked how much Ultron cares for the Maximoff twins, no matter how much he wants to destroy the rest of humanity.
  • Best. Stan Lee. Cameo. Ever.
  • I can’t wait for Infinity War.

So there’s my Avengers: Age of Ultron review. What are your thoughts on the movie? Do you or do you not agree? Let me know in the comments!

RATING: