I once had strings, but now I’m free… There are no strings on me!
Age Of Ultron picks straight up with the Avengers on a mission to take down the ‘last hydra base’ and find Loki’s scepter. Here we not only get an awesome opening scene, we are also introduced to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. I love the casting of these two characters and calling them ‘miracles’ instead of mutants is a nice workaround but, having their powers comes from the scepter, for me, is a little odd. I do hope in the future that gets retconned a little bit, now that Disney may have the rights to the X-men and their father Magneto.
The visual design of Scarlet Witch’s powers I find to be very cool. I do wish they leaned a little further into the creepy visual style we see when Wanda messes with Tony a little bit more though. Quicksilvers design is also very cool but, we certainly needed a bit slower action like in the Fox films, to take him to the next level.
Age Of Ultron I think picks up from Iron Man 3 quite nicely, to me Tony is still a little broken and will do anything to protect the world from otherworldly threats. This gets the better of him and he ends up creating Ultron…
One of the first things I noticed about this film, right from the start was the sound design. Now, I watched this film like last week, so the finer details I’ve lost. That being said, I remember the first sound that made me notice it. There’s like a drone (robot) thing chasing Black Widow and she takes it out. The flying sound was what jumps out at me, very sci-fi, maybe a little bit of tremolo on there, very well done. The whole film continues this trend, with all of the robot type enemies roaming around, the way they sound is so on point.
James Spader’s voice as Ultron is both menacing and at times childlike, the VO sound design on him goes a long way, it’s like a twisted, dark version of J.A.R.V.I.S.
There’s a lot to unpack here. Firstly Thor: Ragnarok is heavily foreshadowed in Thor’s vision which, I did not connect notice until this viewing. You can also see the cracks really forming between Tony and Steve, hinting at Civil War. The Infinity Stones are slightly expanded upon and we get Vision making his MCU debut.
Ultron is, for the most part, one of the best villains in the MCU. That being said, I really wish they leaned into the ‘creepy factor’ with him. When he first appears and gives that speech to the Avengers, he’s so scary and he has moments of that later on, but not quite enough for me.
While he is like a twisted J.A.R.V.I.S he’s also a dark Tony, sharing some of his thoughts and personality quirks, which I find quite interesting. Ultron is just pure supervillain goodness, I mean, propelling a city into the air, to drop it like a meteor? That’s the most comic book plan ever, so far.
Part of me hopes he will return in the future, to really take him to the next level. How would he even return? Well – he killed Strucker… but what if he didn’t? What if Strucker has the last backup of Ultron. Just something I thought while watching, as we only saw a picture of his supposed death.
Age Of Ultron sets out to be bigger and better than the first Avengers. We get some really interesting scenes, such as the team trying to lift Mjolnir and huge action pieces, Hulk Vs Hulkbuster.
Ultimately though, some of this just feels a little messy…I can’t exactly put my finger on it. Maybe I needed more of an explanation for where Ultron came from, more time with him. I still love this film though, the Thor cave scene is oddly placed, but overall this is a worthy sequel to the first Avengers and sets up a lot of things to come.
Ranking The MCU
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Guardians Of The Galaxy
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Iron Man
- Iron Man 3
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Iron Man 2
- Incredible Hulk
- Thor: The Dark World