AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON IMAX 3D Review; "The Future Looks Brighter Than Ever For The MCU"

With Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel Studios and Joss Whedon have once again proven that they're the best there is at what they do. Hit the jump for my take on the upcoming sequel (minor spoilers ahead).

 
As superhero movie sequels go, Avengers: Age of Ultron sits nicely alongside the likes of Spider-Man 2 and The Dark Knight. Any fears you may have had about this movie failing to top its predecessor will be quickly forgotten when you see the Hulkbuster go to war with the Hulk or Captain America chastising Iron Man for his use of bad language. Oh, and you'll be relieved to know that the sequel doesn't repeat past mistakes; Ultron's army aren't the Chitauri, and the final battle is moved to a different and more interesting locale than New York City. Yes, it's true that the magic of seeing the heroes assembled is no longer there, but Avengers: Age of Ultron more than makes up for that with countless other fan pleasing moments and scenes. There's a lot of humour in the sequel too, and while that's bothered some fans, this is far from an out and out comedy. It is however full of plenty of very funny moments throughout, all of which help to make the action-packed flick a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable experience. If you're a comic book fan, it's impossible not to love this! 

The Marvel Studios movies have often garnered criticism for their villains, and regardless of the validity of those complaints, it's not an issue which plagues Avengers: Age of Ultron. The titular villain might just be the best bad guy to date in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is certainly up there with Loki as the most interesting. One moment cool and calculating and the next lashing out like a petulant child, Ultron is a fearsome, vindictive, and thoroughly compelling bad guy brought to life wonderfully by James Spader. He's somehow not the star of the sequel though; that honour instead goes to Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlet Witch. The accent may occasionally waver, but her performance never does, and she along with Paul Bettany as The Vision - who has perhaps the best/most shocking scene in the movie - are two of the best additions to this world since the introduction of Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man in their respective solo movies. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is also great as Quicksilver, and while he doesn't have a scene as memorable as the version of the character seen in X-Men: Days of Future Past, he without a doubt leaves a lasting impact. 

The returning cast members are all of course on fine form, and while Avengers: Age of Ultron is light on character development for those with their own franchises (this is an event movie after all), it moves them all along nicely towards Phase 3. However, those without a movie to themselves on the way benefit most, particularly Hawkeye. It's not really worth mentioning special effects in a movie with a budget as big as this one because they're obviously going to be great. However, Avengers: Age of Ultron looks particularly incredible, and Whedon delivers two incredible single shot sequences which make the one in the first movie look like nothing. That's no easy feat! Brian Tyler and Danny Elfman do a great job with the score too, reusing elements of John Silvestri's with their own to create something both familiar and fresh. This is a movie which is just firing on all cylinders! 

Avengers: Age of Ultron does of course have some flaws. The dream sequences experienced by most of the team aren't anywhere near as effective as they could have been, and Thor's is particularly lacking (possibly because Tom Hiddleston's cameo was scrapped), a problem when he's later given a subplot which does't last particularly long or achieve much more than setting up his next solo outing and Avengers: Infinity War. It works with the latter, but it doesn't take an expert to see that a lot of that must have ended up on the cutting room floor. Ultron's creation feels a trad rushed too; Baron von Strucker having a basement full of robots is mighty convenient, but Whedon at least ensures that it makes sense. There's a lot of world building too, but not as much as some would have you believe. Avengers: Age of Ultron is no Iron Man 2! The ending of the movie sets the stage for Captain America: Civil War and Phase 3 in a massive way, and the sequel might just have the best ending since "I am Iron Man" back in 2008...the mid-credits scene is also pretty cool.

Avengers: Age of Utron is proof that Marvel can do no wrong, and as they continue to add new players to the table and reshape this world in a way which keeps it feeling exciting and fresh, the future looks brighter than ever for the MCU.

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