Avengers: Age of Ultron – First Impression

I went to see Age of Ultron. By myself. Because I have learned that waiting for people to keep me company for movies like this… is somewhat futile. Somehow I seem to ask either too late (and they already have plans with others to see the same movie, or they have already seen it with others) or too early (“cannot confirm yet”) and it doesn’t pan out half the time. So, I decided to just go see it myself. It’s not ideal, but I am really very tired of being rejected for one reason or another and of waiting around for people to “confirm” whether they’re free or not – and I really wanted to see this movie.

Note: I went in to the cinema having only seen the teaser trailer and the first trailer. I didn’t bother seeing the subsequent trailers because I was trying to keep my anticipation levels down – over-anticipation rarely ever helps a movie. :P

Here, then, is my first impression of Age of Ultron (henceforth AoU). Beware, spoilers!

The Good

  • Teamwork! Plenty of teamwork in this movie, which was nice after they spent most of the first movie squabbling.
  • It starts with a fast-paced action sequence, which I quite liked (although parts of it looked a bit fake – like the CGI work was too obvious?). I really liked the one shot where it shifts into slow-motion for a few moments, just enough to see the Avengers all in a row. It showed up in the third trailer too, apparently:

age of ultron screenshot

    • Hawkeye’s uniform in the opening sequence. *thumbs up* No big change for the rest (although I didn’t really like Cap’s new uniform).
    • Steve Rogers is still recognisably Steve Rogers. I’m always afraid they’ll turn him all dark and grim and take away all that I like about the character. I thought it was amusing that his first spoken line was one chiding Tony Stark for swearing “Language.” I thought it was quite in-character, but at the same time it seemed to have a joking tone which showed that Steve had definitely adjusted better to his new teammates. It was also somewhat amusing that it turned into the running joke of the movie (only “somewhat amusing” though because, really, does Steve have to be the butt of the joke all the time?). There was a part where Stark tells Dr. Banner he doesn’t want to inform the others of their plan to create an artificial intelligence because he doesn’t fancy hearing the “‘man should not meddle’ medley.” A hint at Steve’s more traditional views, maybe? I think I appreciate things like this more now because Christianity tends to get such a bad rep in the media. I don’t need the overtly preachy stuff, but I appreciate the way Steve Rogers has been portrayed so far.
    • The little bits given to characters like Erik Selvig, James Rhodey (Stark’s sidekick from the Iron Man movies) and Sam Wilson (Steve’s new best friend from Captain America 2) were nice.
    • Thor’s Hammer scene! Loved that in the initial trailer, and I still love it after seeing the whole thing in the movie. I enjoyed watching the relaxed camaraderie and the friendly banter. I also enjoyed watching Steve make the hammer wobble and Thor’s smirk vanish for a moment. hehehehe
    • Hawkeye/Clint Barton. He definitely had a much bigger role in this movie, and fortunately he didn’t irritate me. The bit where he zapped Wanda Maximoff with an electrical arrow before she could work her psychic stuff on him, muttering that he’d had enough of people inside his head? Very nice callback to what happened to him in the first movie. I think the revelation of his family was nicely done, and the relationship between Clint’s family and Natasha Romanoff is rather endearing… Even if it does shatter all my thoughts on Clint and Natasha making a good pair.

Familiar musical motifs! I recognised the Avengers’ theme, and the Helicarrier theme, and I think there was even a Cap theme in there somewhere. Maybe? I would need to watch it again and listen to the soundtrack to know for sure.Thor and Tony arguing over their partners after Maria Hill inquires after their whereabouts. I thought it was funny. “But Jane is better.” The ending. It made me feel a bit sad (because it looks like Dr. Banner has run off somewhere, Thor has returned to Asgard to deal with some stuff, and Tony and Clint have both retired from the team), but at the same time, it was a good way to introduce the new team under Steve and Natasha’s leadership.

The Bad

  • Ultron… was scarier in the trailers. He was a tad less frightening in the movie after his initial entrance as a half-constructed android. Perhaps if they had used that creepy version of “I’ve Got No Strings” as his theme music…
  • I felt there was too much Tony Stark. But I recognise that this was probably unavoidable as Ultron was his creation, and he would therefore have to play a large role in this movie. Also, it cannot be denied that Robert Downey Jr. is their biggest star and he has a rather overpowering screen presence.
  • Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff. Uh, what? Where did that come from? After thinking it over, I can see how this relationship may have been set up from the first movie, and I suppose I can understand Joss Whedon’s wanting to go with the whole “Beauty and the Beast” type of story, but… Frankly, I didn’t see enough chemistry between the actors. I felt nothing, and saw nothing that convinced me of the attachment between the characters. It was annoying to have all the other characters hint at it and to see all the “romantic” scenes but to feel completely unconvinced.
  • Poor Thor was reduced to almost minor character status here. He disappeared for what felt like a quarter of the movie when he was trying to find out what it was he saw in his Scarlet Witch-induced dream that bugged him. And why did he need Erik Selvig to help? That made no sense.

The Random

  • Steve and Peggy. When Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch worked her powers on the team and gave Steve a vision of all the things he had lost, it included Peggy Carter. Anything related to Steve and Peggy makes me emotional. *wipes away a tear* And when he was giving Bruce advice on not waiting too long to admit his feelings to Natasha? “As the world’s leading expert on waiting too long…” Oh, Steve. :(

Overall rating (out of 5): ★★★★

Not perfect, but I enjoyed it sufficiently enough to be able to say that I would watch it again. (Mostly because of Steve Rogers. hahaha)

Got anything to add or say? :D