My Age of Ultron Review – Is this by Michael Bay?

avengers9Avengers: Age of Ultron is definitely a summer movie spectacular, with action, drama, special effects, and more action.  It has all the great Avengers characters doing what they do best and has some really impressive visuals.  However, I think movie goers are spoiled by great visuals at this point.  They’ve seen it all; dragons, dinosaurs, tidal waves, and JRR Tolkien come to life.  Avengers 2 feels padded and bloated with extra characters, dialogue, and over-the-top action set pieces, perfectly choreographed for the teens.  In fact, most of what Avengers 2 does, the original did a whole lot better.

avengers11 I wasn’t expecting the next Good Will Hunting, but Avengers 2 is as shallow as a kiddy pool.  Wanda and Pietro Maximoff are almost entirely wasted as characters, and I was questioning their sanity at one point, until they finally realized how crazy they were following around a metal robot dictator.  Ultron himself also has a paper thin character, and makes Loki look like Hamlet.  

I think Mark Ruffalo gives the best performance out of everyone in the movie, except maybe Scarlett Johansson.  Chris Evans as Captain America trades witty banter with Tony Stark all over again, because his character is exactly the same one from the first movie.  Thor also feels like he does the same act as in the first.  Ruffalo’s best scene is when he dodges a relationship with Black Widow, and the dialogue is really good at that moment.  Unfortunately, the whole thing goes nowhere.  A lot of subplots go nowhere.

The Avengers battle their inner demons in another subplot, but this is also too short and too underdeveloped.  This part of the movie is written primarily for the Black Widow character, and Scarlet Johansson does a good job.  I was into the movie at that point, but the whole thing drags on and on, becoming repetitious and tired.  They gloss over a lot of the things I wanted to see focused on, like Black Widow’s past or why the hell The Vision can lift the hammer of Thor.  

avengers8Strange things occur in this movie.  Hawkeye is given a pregnant wife and kids, even though he’s a deadly assassin.  I’m guessing the additions to his character were out of respect for Jeremy Renner, who had less than nothing to do in the first movie.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t come off as believable.  Is this really who Hawkeye is? He’s not a lifelong soldier, or a super secret agent, or a ladies man like James Bond.  No, he’s re-flooring his kitchen while drinking a beer, like he’s Al Bundy.

Overall, there’s nothing deep or new about Avengers: Age of Ultron, and that realization makes me feel old.  In fact, characters actually regress, even though they were handily developed in their own movies.  Age of Ultron is so overstuffed that I began to wonder how many stupid cameos there were going to be.  The Vision looked like a man wearing make-up.  Cap and Falcon don’t even have much of a moment together.  I hate to say it, but Marvel succeeded at meeting a bar set by Michael Bay and went no further, which is the worst part of all.

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