hopscotchee: aaron taylor-johnson score: 57 rating: PG-13 time: 142 minutes
dun da duh da duh!! avengers: age of ultron!! (that was supposed to be epic, trumpet-y, introduction music if our beautiful musical composition wasn't clear). finally, after a steady run of time-piece movies, you probably could've guessed that we were going to do the biggest 360, picking out an epicly-action-packed-sucker-punch-superstar-bowl-of-fun-film, right? now, you could be thinking that this isn't the most practical movie segway given that we've already reviewed avengers: infinity war and avengers: endgame, and therefore are technically reviewing these out of order. but, to be completely honest, as fans of the comics, we've seen age of ultron prior to this review, so just know that any backstory and context wasn't lost with this viewing regardless of us reviewing the movies backwards. however, if you aren't as familiar with the mcu (marvel cinematic universe), certain themes could lack their clarity. so, with that said, now that everything has been truly cleared up, we can say that avengers: age of ultron is undoubtably a major, pivotal moment in the mcu, being the tipping point for characters' rivalry in captain america: civil war. however, despite it's charming puzzle-piece-of-a-position in the franchise, this film isn't as strong as its characters for its lack of attention to details, heavily revolving around its over the top intent to please the redundant need for excessive eye-candy-action.
of course we understand that with superhero and action driven movies there will be just that; a driven focus for action. however, we've seen our generous handful of fighting flicks and despite the expectation for the genre's status quo of destruction, avengers: age of ultron got to a gratuitous point where you thought that the fighting scenes were on steroids and not the actors. in the grand scheme of things, yes this is to serve the greater purpose for the plot that is carried out in captain america: civil war, but for this movie alone, it felt over powering to the story, quickly becoming overwhelming for the viewers.
furthermore, what we mean by this surge of chaos and damage taking the attention away from details of the film is seen, unfortunately, with short-sighting other storylines. for instances, (spoiler) the chemistry and romance between bruce and natasha was poorly developed, spawning right off the bat of the movie with no connection from previous films, ignortantly thrown in amidst the battle sequence. in a better sense, it was really hard to get attached to their love story, since the script just swooped in like 'match-maker' with no first date, tag line, or lead in to their affection towards each other. to our point, it was very abrupt. that aside, there was also (spoiler) thor's solo-man journey. this all-of-a-sudden subplot felt overlooked compared to the others. regardless of this being an avengers team up movie, and you can't really dip out of the scene to dip into the norn cave, thor's desire for answers just to tease to future movies felt a little off track from the overall plot the film had going on.
however, not all aspects of the story were terribly neglected. fortunately, one of the coolest inclusions to this film's story were (spoiler) each of the heroes' illusions and hallucinations that wanda inflicted on them during the fighting sequence in the first half of the movie. the stark contrast (hehe - pun definitely intended) in cinematography between each of the characters' visions, from the regular, dramatically lit shot composition in the normal scenes, gave those moments in the movie a nice, special flare, exciting the viewer's interest to more of the storyline. especially with iron man's fututre-trippin-alternate-reality, during the attack on the hydra base at the beginning, that greatly began to set up a complexity to his trauma and regret from the damage in the first movie. although, despite this being very picante, as it throws a twisty, emotional dilemma to the audience with the character's ethical code of conduct, it also is unarguably really frustrating, 'cause this triggers him to create ultron (and superheroes are supposed to clean up messes not cause them - hashtag 5sos, just sayin').
lastly, one of the best parts of this film was it's ending. just straight up magic right there, explicitly when (spoiler) wanda lifts the entire city with all her scarlet power and shattering pain from losing her brother and saves sokovia from ultron. consequently, as twins, this ending always sucks for us, no matter how many times we watch it, as the loss of quicksilver and wanda's suffering is, without a doubt, incredibly emotional to witness and just adds to another reason to why hawk eye sucks, majorly. (seriously, is it that hard to be a hero, dude?) though, despite our beef and feelings, this gutting scene never seises to be massively up-leveled (haha pun intended again) by wanda and elizabeth olsen's leveled-up acting abilities (like she was ever at the bottom though). from her throat-tearing cry to her stone cold bitterness, rightfully shown to evil ultron, all the snaps, claps, and yyyaaassss queens in the house go to her for serving us her fierce and amazingly agonizing performance. twinnection (twin connection) and all, we truly appreciate all the dedication elizabeth olsen completely pummels into the end of the movie.
concluding, avengers: age of ultron doesn't shy away from the fact that it's a superhero movie, over-confidentially relying too heavily on it's action sequences and special effects, rather than focusing on developing its non-action-aggressive-plot-lines. getting the benefit of flashy inventiveness here and there, seen with the cinematography in certain scenes, this movie would likely come to the rescue and save you from endlessly wasting your night, searching to find something to watch, but couldn't, at the end of the day, lift thor's hammer.
-- thanks, aaron xo