Friday, May 1, 2015

Movie Review: MARVEL's Avengers: Age of Ultron Exceeds Expectations

**   Warning Spoilers -  I attended an advance screening of MARVEL's #Avengers #AgeofUltron courtesty of Walt Disney Pictures prior to the film's release  **

A huge fist bump to MARVEL for doing an amazing job with Avengers: Age of Ultron.  The first movie, 2012's The Avengers incorporated a large number of characters and plots into one film incredibly well, featured great chemistry amongst the actors, and was full of wonderful humorous lines and physical comedy.  Often times sequels just can't live up to the expectations following an original's success so I entered the movie cautious of what I may see.  Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron exceeded my expectations.  I enjoyed this sequel better than the first movie...and I really liked The Avengers!

This movie adds even more characters and plots to the mix than The Avengers did yet everything is intertwined together so that Avengers: Age of Ultron is well paced and doesn't feel dragged down by all of the various aspects incorporated into its story.  It is really remarkable how so many different characters can share screen time without turning the movie into an overly long dragged out wreck but director Joss Whedon accomplishes this task making the film last just the perfect amount of time to keep the audience thrilled rather than bored.  Whedon also does a great job of incorporating humorous elements into the film that aren't too goofy but do keep the audience chuckling throughout the movie and give it an air of a light hearted adventure rather than a dark and brooding journey.  Avengers: Age of Ultron both jokes about and honors its heritage and reminded me of as a fifth grader how I was always so excited to pick up and read a new issue of The Avengers comic book each month.  I felt that same thrill and excitement watching this movie!

Avengers: Age of Ultron picks up after the events of Captain America: Winter Soldier and if you were to watch any of the solo movies (Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2) that came out between The Avengers and this sequel that would be the one I'd recommend you make sure to have seen.  Thor has found out that the subversive group dedicated to world wide domination known as Hydra (which happened to take down S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America 2: Winter Soldier and the Agents of Shield television series) has gathered some of the alien vehicles and technology the bad guys used in The Avengers during the alien attack on New York City, including Loki's mystical staff.  Thor wants that staff back and joins the Avengers in attacking a secret Hydra base to retrieve it to start off the movie.

During the attack on the Hydra hideout the Avengers discover that the alien technology has been used to create humans with super powers.  Hydra wants to create its own team of super humans that can fight the Avengers and anyone else who doesn't Hail Hydra.  The successful super powered humans created by Hydra are orphaned twins that become known as the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.  The movie does a really nice job developing these characters as we find out they were recruited by Hydra because these kids wanted the means to be able to destroy Tony Stark who they have a passionate hatred for.  Turns out the twins' parents were killed and they were trapped in a demolished apartment building for days by artillery shells fired into civilian neighborhoods during a civil war in their country that were labeled with Stark Industries on their side.  Remember the first Iron Man movie began with Tony Stark as an international arms dealer and this plot ties back to that.  The Avengers are able to recover Loki's staff but the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver escape to fight another day.

Thor plans to take the magical staff back to Asgard, but Tony Stark ( aka Iron Man ) talks the God of Thunder into allowing him to have three days to study the device.  During that time, Stark and Bruce Banner find embedded into the staff's power crystal what appears to be the elements of an advanced computer code.  They attempt to use what they've found to create an advanced artificial intelligence that can control an army of robot Iron Men that can protect the Earth so the planet doesn't need to depend on the Avengers to protect it from terrestrial or extraterrestrial threats.  Unfortunately, Stark and Banner's plan goes awry when the artificial intelligence, known as Ultron, decides the best way to protect the Earth is the extinction of humanity.  This is where the movie's adventure and battles really take off and I'll leave it to you to see the movie rather than spoil for you how it ends.

Elizabeth Olsen, sister of the Olsen twins from the Full House television sitcom,  proves to be an incredible addition to the cast in this movie as Scarlet Witch.  The Scarlet Witch provides a strong female character that can rival any of the major players with the Avengers or any villain they may encounter and will most likely have a big presence in the future within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  I thoroughly enjoyed Olsen's performance and will look forward to seeing her in future films.  I also appreciate that she joins the Black Widow so that girls like my daughter can see that there are some gals who are just as important as the guys when it comes to being super heroes.

Two of my favorite comic book Avengers characters growing up were Captain America and Hawkeye.  I have to say one of my disappointments in the first Avengers movie was how lackluster they were portrayed.  Joss Whedon corrected that in Avengers: Age of Ultron.  Captain America has some really kick ass scenes in the movie and really shows off the benefits of the super soldier serum that make him a hero and important member of the Avengers.  Hawkeye doesn't have the super powers of the other members of the team but it turns out he becomes the lynchpin that holds the Avengers together.  In this film, Hawkeye is the character that average dads like myself will want to root for because he is the down to earth guy who humbly uses the abilities he does have to save the day.

MARVEL's Avengers: Age of Ultron is rated PG-13.  While there is a lot of fighting and violence in the movie there aren't any gruesome scenes to be wary of , though an Avenger does die and most likely won't be brought back like S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson was, and in my opinion it would probably be fine to bring a child that is ten years old or so to see it.  There isn't any sexual or mature content that would cause me concern as a parent and cursing really wasn't an issue either though there is a running joke throughout the movie about the characters "watching their language."  This is one of those film's that parents will have to make the choice on what they are comfortable with when it comes to younger kids going to see the film, but I really believe this is a suitable film for a family outing to the movie theater unless you have toddlers and preschoolers you want to cart along.

Because this is a film that can be enjoyed by both die hard comic book fans and people who have never read a comic book before in their life, MARVEL's Avengers: Age of Ultron gets A Geek Daddy nod of approval.  This is one of 2015's blockbuster movie's that you won't want to miss! MARVEL's Avengers: Age of Ultrons begins its theatrical run at theaters on May 1, 2015.

Images provided courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures for promotional use of the film only


  1. My husband is going to see it this weekend. All plans are on hold until he gets to see it. LOL

  2. You are definitely more versed in Marvel lore than I am, so thanks for this :) helps make the movie clearer. Great movie, too!