Avengers: Age of Ultron Review/Analysis

Saturday, 23 May 2015

I watched Avengers: Age of Ultron a couple of weeks ago. I have a lot of thoughts about it so I've decided to do a review. The review will be chock full of spoilers, so if you haven't seen the movie yet, turn away now.

First things first, I enjoyed this film, a lot. I had such a huge smile on my face during the end fight scene. It was fun and it made me happy and that's all you really want from this type of film. Was it on par with Avengers? Almost. When I came out of the cinema I was convinced it was better but I'm not so sure about that now. The pacing was not as great in Ultron as in Assemble but I think that this film had more fun. I didn't know anything about the comic book the film was based on so I can't make any comments on that but Ultron himself was much funnier than I expected. Hawkeye also proved surprisingly funny and had much more to do in this film. I've seen criticisms about this film that the film overlooks Captain America, Iron and Thor, but I feel like this for me was a positive aspect of the film. We didn't need to know more about these characters, there are already several films dedicated to that. I would also disagree slightly with this criticism because I feel like Iron Man/Tony Stark still get a lot of screen time in this film.

I did however have some problems with this film which at times distracted me completely. The first of which is the fact that Tony Stark now has a whole bunch of iron man suits despite the fact that at the end of Iron Man 3 he appeared to blow up all of his suits. I don't remember it ever being explained as to why Tony had these suits. The end of Iron Man 3 was supposed signal a change in Tony, that he is allowing himself to be vulnerable, because trying to protect the people he loved resulted in them getting hurt. It seems like a u-turn for his character because in Age of Ultron, the only reason Ultron is created is because Tony has become paranoid and obsessed with keeping the earth and consequently the people he loves, safe. I understand they needed Iron Man in the film but I found myself waiting for an explanation. 

The second issue I had with the film was with Black Widow. Black Widow, the first and for the majority of the two films, the only female avenger on the team, was great in Assemble. She was mysterious, interesting, could keep her cool and most importantly wasn't merely reduced to a sex symbol (for the most part). In Captain America 2, she proved to completely capable of matching Captain America and being his perfect companion, all without the relationship becoming a 'will-they-won't-they' scenario. In Ultron, Black Widow is given a love interest in the shape of Bruce Banner. Now, my problem isn't with the choice of love interest. My problem isn't even that she is given a love interest, because there's no reason why she shouldn't have one. My problem is with the how the relationship develops, or rather how it doesn't. Rather than the slow build-up to their relationship (due to time constraints I would imagine) we are shown Natasha and Bruce on the cusp of getting into a relationship. We have no idea what their relationship was like between Assemble and Ultron. We are not shown why they like each other but we are just expected to accept that they do. Not only that, but the 'flirting' between the two characters is awkward and clunky. I'm not the only one to have a problem with Black Widow's character in Ultron and her development; the Guardian has quite a good article covering her relationship with Bruce Banner.

Another problem with Black Widow in this film, is she is reduced to nothing more than a weak damsel-in-distress figure. There is only one point during the film where Black Widow gets something interesting and heroic to do, an act which only leads her to be captured by Ultron, helpless until she is saved by Bruce Banner. This is so unlike the Black Widow we saw in the first film, wherein she was seemingly captured by a group of men, only to later take them all out all whilst tied to a chair. Black Widow is an immensely interesting character but in this Ultron she is completely shortchanged despite getting being one of the characters to get more screen time.

Regardless of these gripes, I still massively enjoyed this film. The ending I found particularly hopeful as we are given a new set of Avengers. What is especially good about this is the diversity of the

Avengers. Marvel films have been problematic for their lack of diversity for example, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the casting of a new Spiderman, as all of the choices were white males. However at the end of Avengers we have a second lady on the team (Scarlet Witch) and two black men, Sam Wilson (The Falcon) and James Rhodes (War Machine). Whilst the introduction of new characters to the Avengers team is a very positive thing, it does present a worry: will Marvel be able to continue making good quality films or will it collapse under the weight of it's many characters?


Thanks for reading! 

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