Is it Avengers: Age of Ultron best movie yet? No, I don’t think so… Is it the most important movie to date in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Yes, it is and more importantly it will be and that is exactly why I don’t think it is the best.
I enjoyed it, it was very entertaining, but it just seems like as a film it was trying to do too much.
A.A. Dowd of The A.V. Club basically said the same thing. “There’s so much ground to cover here — so many introductions to make, so much story to churn through, so many gargantuan set pieces to mount — that the movie never really finds room to breathe.” And the only reason I went looking, is because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t alone, in my diagnosis of the film.
Everyone I have spoke to doesn’t seem to mind that it opens more doors in the MCU than it closes. I will warn you that there are potential spoilers ahead, if you either haven’t seen the movie, or haven’t paid attention to the schedules and releases for future Marvel movies.
The truth is I really liked Ultron as a villain, but I would have liked him more if they had more time to develop him. And they would have had more time to develop him they took out the Banner / Romanoff romance, as well as, the setups for the next phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Regardless, the writers were on top of their game for the script was well written, as usual, and the dialogue was always on point, with the lighthearted humor in the places where it needed to be.
In fact, the two best pieces of dialogue in the movie belong to Hawkeye and Nick Fury. Hawkeye’s speech to the Scarlet Witch about becoming an Avenger is inspired, while Nick Fury’s rant in the Barton home is classic Fury, or classic Samuel L. Jackson, whichever way you choose to see it.
But the number one reason Age of Ultron is not better than the first Avengers is because it is a continuation not a culmination. How is it a continuation? Just look at all the things set up in Age of Ultron:
- Banner mentions the Wakanda tribe, whom Black Panther rules as King and Andy Serkis is Ulysses Klaw which will play into the July 2018 Black Panther.
- Tony Stark and Steve Rogers lack of trust has laid the groundwork for Captain America: Civil War in May 2016.
- Thor’s vision in the magical waters and his conversation with Heimdall therein lead straight to Thor: Ragnarok, November 2017.
- Vision and the Scarlet Witch had a moment, this could mean more in the Cinematic Universe or it could just be a nod to the comics.
With the Mind Gem embedded in Vision’s head, Vision and Thanos are going to have to battle it out. Thanos needs the complete set, of six Infinity Stones, for his gauntlet and his upcoming roles as the villain in Avengers: Infinity War Part One, May 2018 and Part Two, May 2019.
- Natasha’s revelation that she can’t have kids and her memories of the Red Room Academy confirm suspicions from the Agent Carter mini-series.
- Laura Barton was part of Marvel’s Ultimate Universe from Earth-1610, so in humanizing Hawkeye, have they created another piece of the MCU in Mrs. Barton?
- Loki’s Scepter or Staff from the first Avengers makes its grand reappearance, after having been located by the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series.
- Four infinity stones found, two still to find… This should be interesting.
- And that “New” Avengers facility at the end, that has ties to Doctor Strange, November 2016 and Spectacular Spider-Man, July 2017.
Anyway, the point is, in Avengers: Age of Ultron, they have set up seven feature films, at least that I noticed during one viewing. They have referenced the television show and influenced it greatly, as well as two nice trips down the memory lane of Agent Carter.
Again, this is just the stuff that I picked up on at one viewing, with a full theater that laughed through dialogue, I wish I could go back and hear, but that will come when it joins my Blu-Ray collection. So to sum up, I liked it, it was enjoyable, but it was just too busy.
There’s enough groundwork that needed to be covered for “the twins” and Ultron, that setting up or really going for opening the doors to so many other things… It just seemed a bit much and War Machine and Falcon should have received more screen time! But I will say, I’m excited to see what the reemergence of Nick Fury means for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which had a brilliant lead into Age of Ultron.
Avengers: Age of Ultron does require a second viewing though, in my opinion, because there’s probably a lot more in there I didn’t catch!