The Avengers 2 Review: Age of Contrivances But Entertaining Action

I watched the new Avengers movie on Monday, Age of Ultron, avoiding the big weekend rush.  Overall, I thought the film was very entertaining with good special effects, good action, and several funny moments.  However, I wouldn’t say I walked out of the theater wowed; I may have walked out even slightly disappointed in many respects.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead.

The Good:

As I said above, the special effects were nice, for the most part, and the movie had some genuinely funny moments.  Thor of all people turned into a comedian, and Hemsworth pulled off some clever lines from him.  Also, some of the actors have good chemistry, such as Hemsworth, Evans, and Downey.  The cast is clearly a great strength of the Marvel Universe and most actors fit their characters well.

And… that’s it.  It was a “cool” movie.  Entertaining.

The Bad:

-For a 2.5 hour movie, it seemed to drag on unimportant things and then speed up nonsensically when stuff needed to happen.  The creation of Vision was rushed, nor did they explain why exactly Vision was so different from Ultron (other than he was based on Jarvis and Thor gave him “life-lightning” or whatever that was).  Even Ultron’s entrance happened incredibly quickly.  He was created, he’s immediately hostile (why?), and he immediately attacks the Avengers.  I know they do not have the benefit of a TV series where Ultron can get introduced and then slowly gain independence and hostility, but Ultron really felt like a contrived villain.  I think perhaps there is a hint that Thanos himself corrupted Ultron through the scepter/mind stone, but if that is the case, what protected Vision, and how the heck would Thanos do that in the first place?

-Ultron was an incredibly underwhelming villain and was not believable as a true threat.  I was not a fan of his voice nor his characterization; he came off as a petulant and confused child.  About the toughest thing he did was grab Thor and beat on him a while in his Vibranium form, but while that was an obvious attempt so show his strength, Thor remained pretty unfazed by the encounter and Ultron got whacked away by Vision easily.  Also, I did not like the way his lips moved while he spoke; a stone faced Ultron would have been perfect, not this pseudo-humanized thing.

A better characterization of Ultron should have his voice much more mechanical and menacing, such as this characterization from the cartoon Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.  Making him to a metal little kid was a huge mistake and made him annoying, not threatening.

-The addition of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch was bizarre and clearly based on the need to build in contrivances throughout the movie.  Why not Hank Pym and the Wasp, especially since Pym is traditionally credited with at least being a part of creating Ultron?  Why use those two when it is clear mutants do not exist in the MCU right now so that they’ll have to make up new backgrounds for them?  The answer is obvious: So the Scarlet Witch can do weird crap to the Avengers’ minds and make them do things, like fight each other and get scared.

Need a way to make the Hulk go nuts while the likes of Thor (the only guy who can fight the Hulk) are incapacitated in a dream so that the Hulk Buster can make its debut?  Scarlet Witch!  Need Tony Stark to get all scared about future failure and rush to create Ultron in secret?  Scarlet Witch!  Need to show Thor a vision of the future so that he goes off by himself and isn’t around to help on some fights?  Scarlet Witch!  Need that vision to foreshadow the Infinity Wars?  Scarlet Witch!  You get the idea.  She was basically a walking plot device.

The Ugly

-Speaking of dream sequences, those were all rather dull and boring, dragging the movie down.  They perhaps could have been interesting but they honestly just were not.  They were just cheap ways to create conflict or to try to show backstory.

-The Hulk and Black Widow romance was pitiful, poorly executed, and not believable in the slightest.  I do not understand people’s insistence in not only trying to pair up Natasha with everyone but also with trying to create this “beauty and the beast” nonsense.  Those two characters had absolutely zero chemistry and they made her look desperate, coming on to Banner very strongly at every opportunity.  Honestly, Chris Evans and Scarlet Johannsen had way better chemistry in Captain America 2.  I know that doesn’t create this pathetically stupid “forbidden romance” crap, but this was a failed attempt and shoving romance into an action movie.  I cringed in every scene that had to do with that and wanted the movie to move on to important things.  It almost reminded me of when I watch CW shows like The Flash and Arrow; those shows can have some strong stuff, but then they get into all the soap opera romance crap and I facepalm.  Also, where the heck was the build up to this?  She just likes him all of a sudden?

It actually almost reminded me of the poorly conceived love story between an elf and a dwarf in The Hobbit series.  Just awful all around.  Who writes this crap?


The movie is highly entertaining as should be expected, but don’t expect anything deeper than that.  The plot was honestly not very good, even if you forgive all the typical logical holes that characterize superhero movies.  Still, it’s worth watching on the big screen so that you can fully experience all the special effects and star power the movie brings.


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