**** Fried Chicken, Seasoned Fries, Mash Potatoes, and Biscuits.
Superhero movies are only as good as their bad guys. Let’s be honest, the first Avengers was cool because of the massive hero buildup and the cinematic history being made for Marvel and Disney, but bad guy wise it wasn’t that great. Loki is not the most menacing (although he plays one sinister freak show, he is a better supporting bad guy that a lead role) and the Chitauri were not that…well…interesting. With the sequel now, the creative team decides to pull Ultron into the mix and it makes one good pit stop for the Avengers to battle in between the massive story arc of Thanos and the infinity stones.
Ultron was created to protect humanity, to stop wars before they started. It sounds a lot like Winter Soldier if you ask me. There is a major theme of security over freedom in the Avenger’s stories and with these last two marvel films we are beginning to see how superhero movies are introducing complex ethical and philosophical issues. Ultron makes a good bad guy not because he’s strong or even creepy. He has an intelligent, chill way about him that makes him even more spookier and evil. He is a robot philosopher that believes peace for the world is extinction of humanity. He contemplates life throughout the film and takes on this persona of a savior/god for the world. At times he plays into the emotions of the humans as if sympathizing with them while other times he callously, cruelly jokes to them. At one point he sarcastically apologizes about ripping a human’s arm off in a fit of rage. What’s most interesting though about this character is his pain. He has this disquieting, disturbing fear of being like his creator, Stark who can’t tell the difference between saving and destroying the world. Of course, Ultron is the same way. Like father like son you know. It seems Stark programmed Ultron to rigid syntactical codes of security and targets all threats. Whose the threats? Well everyone has the ability to become one and it’s in human nature to make mistakes. Robots don’t take that into account.
What makes Avenger: Age of Ultron exciting and interesting is not necessarily the spectacular action scenes but the fight scenes between the heroes themselves. They are broken people who make mistakes and in order to save the world they have to get over themselves and work together. This core tension of hero vs. hero serves as a great catalyst for these Avengers movies. These movies are made to see how very different characters can come together to fight off titular villains who pose a threat not just to the world but to the protectors of the world. Ultron serves that role really well.
Besides these pros to the movie there are a few things it lacks. Like any middle sequel, there is no completely conclusive end and the movie’s end serves only as a catalyst for the next sequel (sequels). This is fun for marvel films but at the same time it can get tiring. The movie doesn’t have a shocking end (which I really hoped for) which was a downer. I really wanted to see the anti built up along with a semi-cliff hanger to get excited for what comes, but Age go Ultron doesn’t do that. So there are no major twists and turns in the movie unfortunately but there is an insane amount of foreshadowing for future films. Not to mention that there are several cameos from other MCU characters which helps bulk up the excitement. With this in mind though many reviewers think Age of Ultron is overstuffed and inflated. In my opinion… It is an Avengers movie you know and it’s the 11th installment too. So yes, I go to see Avenger’s movie simply because it is overstuffed! I enjoy seeing the intricacies of several story lines strung together with climactic build ups. If an Avenger’s movie is bare boned then there would be no fun to it! Granted though, there can only be so much screen time for other characters and Age of Ultron practically hit the max for the most screen time for the most characters.
In conclusion, Age of Ultron is insanely action packed, hilarious, ethically deep, and provides a great example of team work. Its fried chicken, seasoned fries, mash potatoes, and biscuits. May be a lot to eat but its good stuff.