Review season is just about upon us for TV shows, so I figured I’d kick it off with a review of Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. If you haven’t seen it, then scroll down to the last paragraph for my rating… unless you want to be spoiled. Yes, there will be spoilers mentioned. You’ve been warned. 🙂
Let’s start with Robert Downey Jr as (Ironman) Tony Stark and Chris Evans as (Captain America) Steve Rogers. If you can’t see Civil War coming out of this, then you missed a lot. Tony and Steve don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, but Stark’s actions in this movie put them on separate paths toward a common goal. RDJ was once again perfect as Stark. In the comics it was Antman who had created Ultron, but they changed it for the movie. Having Stark create Ultron made a lot of sense here. It was done well overall and it brought out the character flaws this team had. Tony had already created the Iron Legion robo police force and his reasons for wanting to go further were justified. Steve is still trying to adjust to modern times, so being left in the dark about such a bold move was not something he felt was wise. The dynamic here was less about Ultron and the threat than it was about setting up Cap 3.
Chris Hemsworth shined as Thor. More focus was put on the true power that he wields, specifically Mjolnir. Thor’s confidence is almost a cockiness in his abilities and if Captain America almost lifting the hammer wasn’t bothersome enough to THor’s ego, then certainly Vision’s actions were. Heimdall‘s brief cameo fit well and I like how they set up what looks to be Thor 3: Ragnarok. Thor’s role here was to inform about the power of the infinity stones and the role they play in the universe.
Hulk (Bruce Banner) took more of a back seat for me in this movie. Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal was spot on, and though the Hulk shined we got to see more of the struggle Banner has coping with his alter ego. He accepts it less and fears it more than in the last movie. So much so that he is solely responsible for helping Ironman develop the Hulkbuster (veronica) armor. The presence of both Banner and Hulk were equally important this time, but I feel as though he was bullied a bit by Tony. I was a little caught off guard by the sexual tension between him and Natasha, but I’m glad that they strayed from that. Who knows where he ended up in the end. Fury mentioned the craft MIGHT have crashed into the ocean, but you can’t help but wonder if it was all a setup for another Hulk movie (Planet Hulk). I hope not as I don’t particularly like that story.
Scarlett Johansson has proven my initial thoughts on her in the role to be completely false. I love her as Black Widow (Natasha Romanov), though I do have one issue. Whedon could have corrected the lack of RUssian accent in the flashback to her ballet days, but he chose to ignore it. I was pleased that we got a little more of her background though and everything that was hinted at in her prior appearances. Her crush on Banner was strange to me, but then again I was blown away that her relationship with Clint was less intimate than I’d rightfully assumed.
Jeremy Renner really took the lead in this movie. Hawkeye (Clint Barton) was finally called his codename and it was fun how it was done and the reasoning. I was blown away by the reveal of his family but it was a welcome change. There needed to be someone with some kind of personal life and he being the choice made sense. While Cap was the leader and Tony the funding of the team, Hawkeye was the glue that held them together.
War Machine (James Rhodes) and Falcon (Sam Wilson), played by Don Cheadle and Anthony Mackie cameoed in important minor roles that by the ending you realize will become much more in the next installment.
Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff) and Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) were perfect. Aaron Taylor Johnson was a much better Quicksilver than the already likeable one that was in X-Men DOFP. My only regrets are that he had to die because of the dual studios usage of the character. In a battle like this however there are bound to be casualties, so I’m fine with the choice. Elizabeth Olsen was both sexy and creepy in her role, and I’m happy with the portrayal of her powers. The slight modification worked well and the hint at the twins’ past can be touched upon more if Marvel ever ended up with rights to X-men. The twins beginning as antagonists and becoming heroes was everything I wanted to see with them.
Vision is both the evolution of JARVIS and the creation of Ultron. His origin was similar to the comics and his presence and sleek look were a very welcome addition. He was to this movie as Hulk was to the last, and earned his place quickly. Although his solar gem atop his head was changed to the mind gem, the origin and use of that which was once in Loki’s scepter placed well. It was a primary reason why he became so powerful and heroic. As part machine with organic matter in him, he is able to wield it without being corrupted by temptation or control. They even gave a nod to the romance that will be eventual between him and Scarlet Witch.
Samuel L Jackson is always great to see as Nick Fury, and with him and Maria Hill back on the scene with SHIELD it will be interesting to see where this takes the agents of shield series.
Finally, on to the villains…
Baron Von Strucker while having a minor role was a good starting point for the film. Why not have a minor subplot with HYDRA before kicking into another threat? I’ve welcomed this with the Spiderman movies and any characters that have a huge rogues gallery.
Ulyses S. Klau played by Andy Serkis had a story element that will directly lead in to Black Panther. They mentioned Wakanda, he had his arm torn off, and he’d stolen vibranium. It is an excellent lead in that didn’t feel forced.
Ultron was easily the highlight of this film. James Spader gave off the vibe that this robot was like a child with a god complex. Designed to eliminate threats, the cliched “robot thinks it knows better by eliminating the human race” felt fresh here because of Ultron’s personality. There were hints of logic, and Tony’s personality that made him unique in many ways. So much so that it almost felt like Tony Stark was the villain at times.
Thanos had only a brief scene. While it was not anywhere near one of the better credits scenes, it was something that laid ground for the next installment.
What else is there to say? From the plot to the set ups of the next few movies and where the characters go personally, there is a lot packed in to 2 hours and 20 minutes. Stan Lee‘s cameo was my favorite of them all, and that says something right there. People have complained that Age of Ultron is not as good as the first Avengers movie, but it’s an unfair assessment. These movies are entirely different from one another. I feel that this tied up a lot of loose ends and opened the movie universe up to so much more potential. In my opinion it exceeded Avengers 1 in many ways while not surpassing it in others. It isn’t a perfect comic book movie, but it is damn close. I give it 9.5 sCrypt Coffins out of 10.
If you have anything to add, please comment below.
I love when a good story comes to fruition in some amazing animation. While Ironman Rise of the Technovore had out of this world animation, it’s story could have been better thought out. Don’t get me wrong. The plot for the movie was a decent one. I just feel that the writers could have had better execution with it. I will keep this pretty much spoiler free, but I will mention a few minor things that are spoilerish.
It was almost as if they wanted to fit as many characters into this story as they could. The Punisher, though always a welcome addition to any marvel story in my mind, felt out of place here. He was forced into the story, and to an extent, I feel that Hawkeye and Black Widow were as well. SHIELD also felt like the underdog here. I’m not buying that in their hunt for Ironman, that Tony Stark was able to best them. Nope. Not with their own tech and savy, but hell who am I to judge? I did love seeing Frank Castle and Tony Stark team up, but still not thinking it worked well. While those characters were over used here, I think War Machine should have been used more. He is basically another Ironman, so I don’t see why he was used the way he was.
Okay, now that I got the bad out of the way, lets talk about the good. Animation, voice acting and Sound was outstanding! They were perfect. The Technovore villain was a great villain whom with I was unfamiliar. Wait, now we’re about to go negative again. Correction… he COULD have been a great villain. The moment he arrived on screen, I thought “Wow, this guy is going to do some serious damage.” Well he DID do some serious damage, but by the time it got to that point I had mostly lost interest. The story dragged, and I felt myself nodding in and out of it. I even found it hard to make notes for a review.
On a scale of 1-10 I give it a 5, and if it weren’t for the animation a few saving factors, then it would have been less than that. Maybe I’m being a little too hard on it. I don’t think it was a BAD movie. I just think that it was poorly executed. Tell me what you think.
Hawkeye is sort of like the odd man out of the group, but he is as valuable a member of the Avengers as anyone else. What makes him so special? His skill with a bow is unmatchable. To top things off, he has an arsenal of trick arrows in his quiver that each do something unique. Here is a list of the arrows he has used in the comics:
Acid Arrows: Perfect for disolving a lock or burning a hole in something solid.
Adamantium Arrows: A step up from the standard arrow head, these can pierce even the toughest of metals.
Blunt Arrows: Picture firing the blunt force of a baseball bat from a bow. That is what these do.
Bola Arrows: No one can escape by running. These will unfold in mid air and wrap a trip wire around fleeing legs.
Boomerang Arrows: These return to the shooter
Cable Arrows: Hawkeye can swing from one place to another or walk on the tense wire fired from these arrows.
Electric Arrows: After hitting its target, the arrow heads release an electrical charge.
Boxing Glove Arrow: These act as an extension of Hawkeye’s fist. A hit from one of these could knock a target out cold.
Exploding Arrow: It is basically a grenade on the end of an arrow shaft that explodes on contact.
Flare Arrow: In an emergency, Hawkeye can shoot this flare in the air so that his allies can find him.
Magnetic Arrows: Usually are combined with other arrowheads, but can be used on their own.
Magnesium Flare Arrows: Even brighter than a flare arrow, these can light up entire areas.
Net Arrows: In mid-air, these unleash a durable net that will wrap around a target.
Putty Arrows: These are good for gunking things up, especially machinery.
Pym Particle Arrows: Henry Pym designed these to be able to shrink or increase the size of a target upon impact.
Rocket Arrows: Have a much farther range than a standard arrow, and can be combined with other trick arrows.
Smoke Arrows: Great for a quick escape or confusing a group of people.
Sonic Arrows: emit a high frequency sound that can shatter glass and make ear drums bleed.
Suction Cup Arrows: These are not from a kid’s toy, but they have a similar purpose. It can be combined with any of the other arrows as well.
Tear Gas Arrows: exactly what they say they are. Upon impact, tear gas is released. Anyone near it will have some serious seeing and breathing issues for a while.
Thermal Arrows: These can be so hot that they melt metal, but also can be explosive heat as well.
Vibranium Arrows: Deaden vibrations on a particular target, or can reduce the kinetic energy of something.
In addition to these arrows, he of course has the standard durable arrows with multiple size, razor sharp heads. If there are any others you can think of, please comment below. Hawkeye (Clint Barton) is played by Jeremy Renner in the Avengers movie.
Here is our first match up with iconic characters. Marvel Comics gives us Hawkeye (pictured left), while DC comics presents Green Arrow (pictured right). sCrypt Comics also sent Agent Fox into this battle, but since he does not yet exist in comic book form (only in the novels), no picture exists for him. Here is the break down:
Clint Barton (Hawkeye) lost his parents at a young age. Raised by circus folk, he quickly became known by his hero name and was taught by the Swordsman to wield a bow. He entertained for years with his archery and throwing skills until one day when he saw his mentor stealing. Realizing that this was not what he wanted, Hawkeye went out on his own and eventually became one of the Avengers. With new resources, he began creating various types of arrows. His first appearance was Tales Of Suspense #57 in 1964. His weakness in this battle would be that his temper sometimes gets the better of him. This could cause him to make decisions without thinking them through. He also does not have the wealth that his opponent has, meaning he could run out of weapons quicker.
Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) was shipwrecked on an island and had to learn how to fire a bow to hunt for survival. During his time on this island, he excelled in his abilities as a marksman. Once he managed to escape the months of solitude, he returned to his family’s empire. As a Billionaire, he was able to build an arsenal of different type arrows and bows. Missing the adventure of his island time, he donned the name Green Arrow and began his one man war on crime. Eventually he became a member of the Justice League, and has proved his worth time and again. First appearance was in More Fun Comics #73 in 1941. His weakness in this battle would be that he is not as trained in hand to hand combat as his opponent. If they were to run out of ammunition, his combat skills would be lacking. Also, he has the tendency to party it up. A hangover would not be a good thing to have in a one on one duel with someone of equal stature.
sCrypt Comics will now throw another arrow into the works. Agent Fox is a man who has had many years of field experience in the Army Special Forces. He is an expert marksman with duel wielding weapons and knives. As a young boy, he learned from his military father about firearms and archery. His experience made him one of the elite, and once he retired from service in his forties, he was recruited into M.U.T.S. (Military Underground Tactical Specialists). With his new unit, he has continued to survive the impossible. First appearance was in Flesh And Leftovers (The Novel). Weakness in this battle would be that he does not have specialty arrows. Most of his weapons are duel wieldable and would have to be reloaded in a longer period of time. He also smokes, and in a battle such as this, it could limit his stamina.
Please vote below for who you believe would win, and feel free to comment as to why. When the results are revealed an explanation will be given as to who the victor is and why. Have fun!