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AVENGERTON — The long wait is finally over. Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief and finally see “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
The summer blockbuster has finally arrived, and you’ve avoided any spoilers up to now, and I promise not to change that. What follows is an honest assessment of the latest Marvel adventure with zero spoilers.
As I’ve spent the last few days struggling about what I would say about the film, I finally realized that I could split this review into two parts.
The first part will explain why the second Avengers team-up film is a fun summer flick. The second part is explaining why it’s not a very good movie.
Fun summer flick
When you think of big-budget summer movies, you think of explosions, one-liners and popcorn. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” delivers on all three. Well, I suppose your $7 and the theater supply the popcorn, but it’s a good movie to snarf down some kernels.
The film loves its action sequences, and director Joss Whedon shot them in a way that makes you feel like you’re 6 years old again and playing with your Avengers action figures. The slow motion and complexity will force a smile on the face of the most cynical of viewers. I know because I am one.
This movie made me realize that Captain America and Thor are pretty boring characters at their core, but that really doesn’t matter because you have the bromance between Bruce Banner (The Hulk) and Tony Stark (Iron Man) to make up for it. Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo shine in the movie, but that should come as a surprise to no one.
Another character that stands out is James Spader’s Ultron. The title villain is witty, unrelenting and a little likable while being simultaneously loathsome; a tough line to walk. Spader’s tone and delivery are perfect for the character, and even though we never see the actor himself he gives one of the best performances in the film.
The movie will undoubtedly delight the Marvel faithful and will leave most other audiences entertained enough to enjoy the run time of 2 hours, 21 minutes.
If you’re looking to turn your brain off for a couple of hours, watch stuff blow up and chuckle here and there then your best bet this weekend is “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
Not a good movie
With all of that said, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is not a very good movie. The plot holes are more like giant sink holes that swallow entire city blocks, and characters make more unexplainable decisions than teenagers in a campy horror film.
As a screenwriter, Whedon knows how to land some great jokes, but his dialogue is often cringe-worthy, and he’s willing to kill continuity or character motivations just to get a laugh. I won’t go into specifics in an effort to avoid any spoilers, but believe me, there are problems.
As a screenwriter, Whedon knows how to land some great jokes, but his dialogue is often cringe-worthy, and he's willing to kill continuity or character motivations just to get a laugh. I won't go into specifics in an effort to avoid any spoilers, but believe me, there are problems.
There is one moment in particular near the climax of the film that is so inexcusable that it basically ruined any hope I had at actually liking the film. I am all for accepting the impossible when watching a film — I mean, I love “Predator” for crying out loud — but this moment was lazy, inconsistent and just plain stupid.
Any credibility the Avengers had for being Earth’s mightiest heroes with any level of intelligence is destroyed by this moment all to set up a scene about five minutes later. Again, I won’t go into specifics, but if you’d like to know what I’m talking about feel free to email me and I can live the horror all over again.
On top of this, in an effort to just move the story along characters make monumental decisions and change allegiances with blinding speed and no character development. Not to mention Thor has a whole side story that tries desperately to be relevant, but only ends up being a little confusing and lost. I don’t personally have a vendetta with Thor, I just don’t find his character interesting.
Characters seem to trust and or distrust another character at the drop of a hat and it’s frustrating that the filmmakers think so little of the audience. Apparently, I’m demanding too much because the large theater was packed to the brim and most of the audience was cheering and clapping as I shook my head.
I’m aware I am hard on these movies, but I stand by the fact that “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” is much like most of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: they are fun movies that aren’t very good movies.
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” is rated PG-13 and has its fair share of violence and some off colored jokes, but the language is minimal, and the racy stuff is tame.
"Avengers: Age of Ultron" is like an OK hamburger you eat for lunch. It tastes pretty good and you're mostly satisfied, but it's just a lot of empty calories that do nothing for you in the long run.
John has been writing about movies, news, sports and pretty much anything awesome for more than five years. John is the co-host of the Flix Junkies podcast and will always entertain you with his stories. John is an alumnus of both Utah Valley University and BYU. He, his wife and their two children call Salt Lake City home.