Friday, October 2, 2015

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron

by Al Kessel

They're BACK! Earth's Mightiest Heroes have returned to save the day in Marvel Avengers: Age Of Ultron, and unfortunately, all is not well with our favorite band of heroes!

"Marvel Studios unleashes the next global phenomenon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Good intentions wreak havoc when Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) unwittingly creates Ultron (James Spader), a terrifying A.I. monster who vows to achieve “world peace” via mass extinction. Now, Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)—alongside Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) —must reassemble to defeat Ultron and save mankind… if they can! This action-packed adventure is a must-own, mind-blowing blast!"! Ok, anyone who's read any of our reviews, or listened in on our Tales From The Mouse House Disneyland podcast knows, WE DON'T SPOIL! Our intention is to let you know what WE think about a movie then give you some production details. We figure you'll want to see the movie for yourself without the added pleasure of knowing how it turns out! So, with that in mind, here's our take on this AWESOME movie!

Age Of Ultron picks up shortly after the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where S.H.I.E.L.D. is torn apart
and our Heroes are now on their own (sort of) to defend the world from the bad guys. As a direct result of Hydra resurfacing and the recent alien attack on NYC (see the first Avengers movie), Tony Stark, a.k.a. Ironman, has come up with a plan to protect the world from not only internal threats, but in the inevitable attack from 'out there'. To do this, he and Bruce Banner, a.k.a. HULK! have developed the Ultron project, an artificial intelligence that they intend to patrol and bring about world peace. However, and you know there's ALWAYS a however, things don't go as planned, and Ultron comes to life with plans of his own. (this is where you're encouraged to get your own copy and fill in those blanks!) 

After Joyce and I saw the first Ironman movie, then the first Avengers movie, etc, I thought, wow, this is flipping awesome. HOW can they top this? They did. In a BIG way. In a lot of super hero movies, when they try to do too much, try to introduce so many characters in the same movie, it often becomes very muddled and difficult to watch. Not so with Marvel. In this movie, there is SO much going on, so much action and SO many HUGE characters, the initial fear is 'how am I going to keep up?'. Trust me, that's not an issue here. Age Of Ultron is done so well, that, although there IS a lot of action and arcing character stories, you're never lost, or left feeling like something was glossed over. You'll find yourself needing to watch over and over again, but because it's THAT good. 

As is typical in an MCU movie, there is a great balance of action, drama and humor - and believe me, the humor is awesome. Of course, Tony Stark has most of the greatest one liners in this movie, especially in his interactions with Hulk. Which brings me to another point: the Hulk is much different than I remember him when I was a kid. And I don't mean that in a bad way at all. They've taken this giant green wrecking ball and turned him into a thinking beast. There are times when I could see Hulk actually contemplating things, working them out and not the mindless monster that's been presented to us in most other media. 

They've also expanded the character of Hawkeye (Clint Barton) in this movie, which I was very glad to see. In the first Avengers movie, Hawkeye was kind of a throwaway character almost. I never really liked him. But in Age Of Ultron, he comes in to his own. We also learn a bit more about the Black Widow in this movie. 

With an all-star cast (all of the original actors return, with some great additions), Age Of Ultron hits a home run. Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Start/Ironman and does his usual awesome job - great with the quips and one liners. Chris Hemsworth returns (along with his gigantic arms) as Thor, and actually ramps up the humor a bit as well. Mark Ruffalo is back as Bruce Banner/Hulk, and I've got to tell you, out of all the actors who portrayed Banner, Ruffalo is by far my favorite. He just...IS Bruce Banner. Chris Evans returns as America's favorite Super Soldier, Captain America, Scarlett Johansson returns as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye AND...bringing his wonderful voice talents to the fray is James Spader as Ultron...who, by far, gets THE best one liners! Of course there are a LOT more cameos in this Avengers movie, and many references to other areas of the MCU, which sets up the upcoming movies, quite well. The great thing about the Marvel Universe (both cinematic and small screen) is that it all ties together. 

The CG effects once again are phenomenal. You'd be hard pressed to tell the CG from the real thing - and rounding it all out is a great musical score by the incomparable Danny Elfman. 

If you're a fan of Marvel, or even just a fan of GREAT movies, Marvel Avengers: Age Of Ultron is a must have addition to your movie collection. 

On a scale of 1-5 HULK SMASHES, I give Marvel Avengers: Age Of Ultron a 5! Yeah, it's THAT good!

Marvel Avengers: Age Of Ultron