Monday, 27 April 2015

Avengers 2: Age of Ultron

This was a pretty decent action flick but I'm not really blown away by it.

So Avengers 2 starts off with the Avengers assaulting a Hydra base. All of the Avengers. Needless to say, they steamroll the Hydra base and you kind of have to wonder why they even bothered to send Widow and Hawkeye in when they had Thor, Iron man and the Hulk assaulting the base already. It seems like Overkill. 

Anyway, they assault the base, discover Hydra has been experimenting on the tesseract and the chitauri from Avengers 1, then Tony Stark gets the brilliant idea to make an Artificial intelligence, which ends up being an angsty teenager called Ultron who decides he must 'reform' the whole world; which really means killing humans to save them. Then the Avengers go through some more team angst before going off to fight Ultron and save the day.

That's the basic summary of the film, which is basically standard action film plot. However, I did like some things in the film which was the fact that it gave Hawkeye some character. A lot of people say Black Widow is a minor character in the Avengers filmverse but they'd be wrong. You know who was a minor character in the Avengers filmverse? Hawkeye. Before this film, he actually had no personality so to speak of; of course being brainwashed and mindless in the first film didn't really help develop his personality. But I actually came out of the film liking Hawkeye's sardonic wit. 

Then there was Ultron; who despite all teenage emo angst, was actually pretty funny and very well voice-acted. At least more so than his counterpart, Vision, whom I felt to be extremely boring. But then again, I felt that about his comic-book version too. 

I also liked the fact that this Avengers movie at least felt more cohesive with the rest of the Marvel film-verse due to the fact that the sidekicks from their individual movies make an appearance. You really get a sense that this is meant to tie in with the other movies. 

Unfortunately, this film suffers from Whedon-esque angst. Which means the film actually spends far too much time with the characters angsting about their existence and the team than actually fighting. I've mentioned it in my first Avengers review that it felt like it spent too much time angsting over the team and fighting with each other and Whedon does it again in Avengers 2. But then again, if you've ever watched any of the mans' series, you would know Whedon is incapable of writing people that don't end up arguing like teenage brats. Much like Frank Miller in his old age can't help writing about hookers. 

The fight scenes were decent but honestly, nothing I'm going to remember in a few days. It's the type of fight scenes where the director goes more for special effects than actual fight choreography (AKA the Hobbit floating in a barrel style of fight scene). My few quibbles are this. Ultron shoots several people with his laser of death and they somehow...survive. It just feels like you're cheapening him. I can sort of argue that Captain America is surviving cause he's wearing armor but when Ultron shoots a random doctor who has no armor and somehow the doctor survives...Then you know that's just shit writing. 

Also, maybe it's just me but I prefer the final fight scenes in the first movie. There's really nothing that has the same visual impact as seeing giant living spaceships deposit chitauri warriors by the dozens and then proceeding to bulldoze New York. The Hulk vs Ironman fight was pretty cool though, although I felt Hulk should have won that. 

And then there are the combat scenes with Ultron. Okay, my knowledge is that Ultron is building robotic copies of himself that may or may not be Iron-Man level. But even if they weren't Iron-man level, a human shouldn't be able to easily shred them in hand to hand combat like QuickSilver or even Widow did. Unless Ultron's ultimate plan was to delay the Avengers with shitty human troops that normal human strength can apparently beat the crap out of. Ultron probably should have watched Terminator before building his troops then. 

And the whole burning Ultron out of the net thing? How. How does that even work? Are you destroying his internal modem? His 4G connection? Why wouldn't he just upload himself via another computer? 

Another thing that bothered me was how Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch kept referring to this as their job. I mean, who's paying them? Shield is defunct. Is Tony the one now signing their checks? That's kind of awkward isn't it. Also, I'm not sure a job would make me want to go out and fight genocidal maniacs. I feel like the word Whedon was looking for is 'duty'. And really, the dialogue flows a lot smoother once you replace the word job with the word duty. It's kind of like the word 'monster' that's bandied around in the film a lot, with every one referring to themselves as a monster. 

Overall, the film was decent but it's still not going to beat Captain America 2 for my favourite Marvel film. I also feel they majorly nerfed Ultron from his comic form for the film. I mean, look at that guy, he's bad ass. 

I feel like I would love to see an Avengers film that actually has them facing multiple super villains, instead of just one super villain, but sadly, we already know what Avengers 3 is going to be about and my wish ain't happening.