Avengers: Age of Ultron Screen 12 articles

Avengers: Age of Ultron

2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron Poster
  • Age of Ultron's action is alternatively dazzling and hasty, and the Avengers' first real face-off with Ultron in an abandoned oil tanker falls into the latter category. Hampered by a series of extended flashbacks and dreams brought on by Wanda's powers, the sequence feels entirely expository, to give a flimsy glimpse at the desires and fears of our heroes.

  • The Avengers: Age of Ultron suffers from a surfeit of talent, not a lack of it. Whedon tries so hard to be personable and purposeful that you feel the effort every step of the way.

  • Whatever was special or new about the superhero movie in the early 2000s has evaporated. Once upon a time, we would have admired that opening sequence, which climaxes with about five of the Avengers running from their respective battles into a single slow-motion shot, as the state-of-the-art technical achievement it is. But now... It’s a cliché. World-saving is no longer a surprise to these characters. It’s work. Grunt work. For them. For us.

  • This “Avengers” doesn’t always pop the way that the first one sometimes did, partly because its villain isn’t as memorable, despite Mr. Spader’s silky threat. And, as is often the case in these comic-book movies, most of the fights are interminable and fatiguing, though Mr. Whedon does fold in moments of beauty, including when the image slows down with each Avenger centered in the frame both together and individually. This centering crystallizes the dynamic that is paramount to the Avengers.

  • Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron may not be a badly directed movie. But then, it’s so much like everything else out there in blockbusterland, how can you even tell? There are some fine actors at work, because these are the sorts of films actors now make to bulk up their bank accounts — not a bad strategy, and one that gives them the freedom to do smaller, more interesting projects. Yet watching these performers rake in their millions by playing superheroes has become wearying.

  • "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and, for that matter, most superhero movies are prodigious feats of intelligence, made with extraordinary attention to detail... [But] intelligence is an equivocal virtue; planning and care aren't the same thing as taste; calculation isn't the same as inspiration; meaning isn't beauty.

  • Age of Ultron is often witty – or wittier than it has to be – but it still feels a bit mechanical, especially as the quips and banter start to dry up. “When the dust settles,” intones Ultron later, “the only thing living in this world will be metal” – and we’re almost there, at least if you replace ‘metal’ with ‘digital’, but there’s still a few human quirks left in the crevices, as proved by this amiable sequel.

  • I think of all the directors who do comic-book movie, Whedon is the one who most consistently gets the closest to the tone of actual comic books, here specifically the Marvel books I found so diverting in the '70s... [But] it's gotten so that I can't even thoroughly enjoy a comic book movie that I rather want to like. So fuck it. I reserve the right to laugh out loud, and heartily, and with undisguised derision, at the phrase "we're going to talk about Black Widow...like adults."

  • The philosophical vignettes might not have the narrative weight to be anything other than beguiling curios tossed out and then forgotten about but there are enough of them, delivered sharply enough by delightful movie stars at the top of their game, to make Age of Ultron one of the most thoughtfully driven monster vehicles you are likely to see in a summer rammed with powerful, glossy, mechanised beasts.

  • Whedon isn’t as imaginative a director of scenes involving super-powers as Bryan Singer and nothing here is as strong as the Time in a Bottle set-piece of Days of Future Past. When it reaches its extended climax, however, Age of Ultron perfectly delivers huge action scenes with the requisite smaller heroic beats.

  • As in the first “Avengers,” which was also overstuffed, Whedon manages to refine the main players’ personalities and set them against each other, often in logistically complex conversations between five or more people: action scenes of a different sort.

  • When the movie does return to symphony-of-destruction mode, it stays engaging precisely because Whedon has given us reasons to care — at least a tiny bit — about the all the whirring and smashing and booming and crashing. It helps that the actors by now wear these roles as comfortably as second skins — an enviable model that those forthcoming superhero alliances, “Fantastic Four” and “Justice League,” can only hope to follow.

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