As you all know, I love superheroes, and superhero movies, especially ones based on Marvel. The old Spider-Man films, the X-Men films and the Marvel Cinematic Universe are all great in my opinion, with my favourite MCU films being The Winter Soldier, Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy. But, having now seen Age of Ultron twice now, I think I have a new favourite Marvel film.
While I normally review things spoiler free, the fact that this film is now a month old and that there is a lot to discuss, I will discuss spoilers here, so if you haven’t seen it (why?), I’ll give the short version-
So now, let’s dive into the details of the film. Since this is spoiler filled, I won’t need to summerise the plot, as you’ve probably already seen it. Let’s discuss my favourite parts.
The action is amazing, with every character having at least one brilliant moment in the action scenes. The film opens in a spectacular manner, with a massive tracking shot to introduce the Avengers storming a HYDRA base. My favourite action scene is the final sequence in Sokovia, with the whole third of the film being one massive fight. The Hulkbuster/Hulk fight in Wakanda (a much appreciated Black Panther Easter Egg) is also brilliant, with traditional Tony Stark witty dialogue mixed with great visuals and music.
Despite this, the film doesn’t forget to have great character moments and development. The second act of the film slows down to have about 20 minutes of no action in Hawkeye’s home. It is this section where the characters can calm down and talk about their feelings and emotions. Every main Avenger goes through an arc: Iron Man learns the dangers of his technology, Banner becomes afraid of the Hulk and his power, Captain America discovers where his home and friends truly are, Black Widow is forced to confront her past and Hawkeye becomes the heart of the team and keeps them together. The one character who doesn’t change is my favourite Avenger, Thor. While he isn’t as prominent as he was in the first movie (he disappears in the second act of this film), he still has plenty of funny lines and awesome moments (the Thor/Captain America combo is amazing).
With Thor pushed aside, the star of this movie is Hawkeye. While he didn’t do much in the last film, here he is full of one-liners, clever trick arrows and is a central part of the movie. He is now one of my favourite Avengers, as he hasn’t got any powers yet he still fights to save the world. He’s an ordinary guy, and if I had to be a character in this movie, it would be Hawkeye.
The themes in this movie are very deep for a superhero movie, and it shows that blockbusters are just as deep as any other kind of film. The main theme I can gather from it is the theme of legacy. Tony creates Ultron to help preserve the Avenger’s legacy and avoid future conflicts, while the Banner/Black Widow relationship is about how their inability to have children means they have no legacy so they bond together as a result. In contrast, Hawkeye’s family shows he has the most to lose out of all the characters and he eventually continues Quicksilver’s legacy by naming his newborn Nathaniel Pietro Barton (while I’m discussing Quicksilver, he isn’t as cool as X-Men’s, but the one here is a slightly better character and is closer to the comics. But they’re both great).
My favourite new character has to be The Vision, introduced in the final part of the film. Not only does his character tie into the idea of legacy (as Ultron creates him to continue his plan to make the perfect person) but he is a great character in his own right, with a cool design and fascinating ideals about himself and Ultron. I am excited to see him in further films, especially seeing how he has the Mind Gem, which may or may not motivate Thanos to invade Earth. Four Infinity Gems have now been revealed: The Mind Gem (Yellow, in the Vision’s forehead), The Space Gem (Blue, Tesseract), The Reality Gem (Red, Aether) and The Power Gem (Purple, Orb in Guardians of the Galaxy). The other two (Time and Soul) are Green and Orange. I predict Doctor Strange will have one, and the second one either in Thor 3 or Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
In conclusion, this is my new favourite Marvel film, and one of my favourite comic book movies, along with Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I cannot wait for Civil War and to see what the consequences of this movie will be for the characters.