This movie right from the start had a lot to live up to. The first Avengers movie was universally praised as the best comic team up movie of all time. Does their second outing together live up to the hype? Or were the critics right when this movie first came out and called this movie a repeat? While not perfect, I think this movie is far better than a lot of people give it credit for.
While some of the criticisms made about this movie when it was first released are well deserved, I don’t think it is as bad as everyone lets on. I had a lot of fun re-watching this movie and it was differently better than I remembered it. From great villain casting, to amazing battles, this movie had a lot to offer.
I’ll start with Ultron. Now, Ultron is my favorite marvel comic villain so there was a lot riding on this character to be good. I’ll say it straight off the bat, he was not the Ultron I loved from the comics. This really took away from the movie the first time I watched it, but after seeing it again and knowing he was his own character, I really enjoyed him. James Spader was perfect for this role. His menacing character and charm really gave Ultron a level of intellectual villainy that we hadn’t seen before. You felt his presence every time he was on screen. He wasn’t on screen that often which wasn’t great, I think to really flesh out the character more, he needed maybe another 10-15 minutes screen time. His origin was very rushed and his motives, while obvious, lacked depth.
Another great point in the movie was the Hulk vs hulkbuster battle. When the Iron Man 3 trailer was released, we got a clip of what appeared to be the hulkbuster, this ended up being just another pointless Iron Man suit. This movie didn’t play around, this was the hulkbuster armor we had been waiting for. The fight with it in action against the Hulk was fantastic. He showed the true strength of both Hulk and Tony’s armor. CGI was fantastic and the reasoning behind the fight felt earned. It wasn’t just angry hulk against angry Tony, it was Tony trying to help his friend who was under mind control. It was a great character moment for both of them.
The introduction of the new characters was also really good to see. While short lived, I enjoyed Quick Silver and his relationship with his sister, Wanda. Their origin was obviously completely different from the comics but I feel it fitted into the world of the MCU. The Vision was also fantastic, his speech to the Avengers when he is first created, really shows who he is as a “person” and lets you know his values straight away. The only problem I had with the new characters was that their powers were never really explained. They all got something from the mind gem, but how did it give the twins their different powers? What did it do for Vision? And if it was from Loki’s septor, what happened to the mind control aspect of it?
Now as I said at the beginning, this movie wasn’t perfect and the big problem everyone seems to have with it, and I agree, is the Thor subplot. I understand that they needed a way to tie this into Thanos and the Infinity stones, but the fact that Thor just got a vision from Scarlett witch and then he knows about the Infinity gems being used around the galaxy, didn’t make any sense. I thought Scarlett’s visions were of a persons own mind, not showing them a greater understanding of the universe, or even the future? It just didn’t work for me!
While the final battle scene was very cool and the stakes felt high, the fact that it was another mass army of drones destroying a city definitely felt like the first Avengers movie all over again. I wanted to see Ultron bots fighting the Avengers simultaneously, giving each of them a run for their money. This never happened and they just ended up fighting nameless robots. When the helicarrier showed up to help however, I did gasp more than a little.
Verdict: MINOR SURGERY
While far from a perfect movie, it definitely doesn’t deserve the criticism people have given it is recent years. James Spader was fantastic, if not a under used, and the battles between all the characters looked great. I wouldn’t say this was an essential watch, but I would certainly say it’s a fun watch.