Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron movie review

I was entertained by Avengers: Age of Ultron, but I also have to rip it to shreds.  There’s a lot to like, but honestly, it’s a bladder punishing two hours and twenty minutes that carries too much bloat.  

spoiler alert

I can’t talk about this movie without getting into spoilers.  My grievances are specific, from nitpicking to the mechanics/structure of the movie.

Which Steve?
Is Steve Rogers moving forward as a character or not? The guy that showed up in Winter Soldier would not have scolded Tony for his language… so I was immediately confused about Steve’s character.  I know he said, “It just slipped out” and I guess it’s supposed to be allegory for the fact that this movie can be super violent but as long as they don’t curse, they’ll get a PG-13 instead of an R and they turned it into a running joke through the film, but…  Steve made so much progress in The Winter Soldier and this movie felt like a step backwards for him, development wise.

Scepter? I hardly know her!
I guess Loki’s scepter got stolen during the SHIELD crisis toward the end of Season 1 of Agents of SHIELD? And why the hell would Thanos give Loki an Infinity Gem in the first place?  This movie kinda makes me question the entire plot of the first Avengers movie.

Dream Weaver says what?
So Scarlet Witch’s dream thingys show people their worst fears… except Thor’s was real, so he had to go into the pool thingy? And he learned… something in there?  I’m sorry, I just don’t understand this.  Black Widow saw the past, Steve saw the life he could have had, Tony saw his worst fear… Thor’s dream was a setup for his next solo movie… I don’t get it, folks. This is also a case where the trailer implied Scarlet Witch would mind control someone, which seems like a much better idea than what actually happened.


Iron Man vs Hulk – here’s where the wheels come off!
This fight was too long and there was nothing at stake.  (Obviously, nothing bad is going to happen to Bruce or Tony.)  This fight is just a vehicle (along with the Scarlet Witch dream thingy) to get the Avengers to a low point so they go into hiding so that later in the film, they can heroically come back from adversity… it’s an Iron Man vs Hulk ex machina.

Quicksilver, we hardly knew ye
Pietro’s death was kinda pointless; Hawkeye had something to lose, but Pietro didn’t know that, so it makes his sacrifice seem less significant (certainly less noble)… also, why didn’t he just push them out-of-the-way?  Also, I hate to argue physics in this kinda movie, but the bullets went right through him, so why didn’t they hit Hawkeye and the kid?

Ultron is just not scary enough
This and the Iron Man vs Hulk fight are the two downfalls of the movie.  James Spader didn’t bring any menace to the character.  He’s too silly, his dialogue is too silly and his actions aren’t clear enough to me… I am unclear on what he wants or how he’s trying to achieve it, I don’t know why he created the Vision… it’s a mess.
A lot this speaks to Joss Whedon’s writing.  He kinda wrote Ultron as Loki and the problem is, he’s not Loki.  Ultron isn’t charming or witty; he’s just a murderous robot, but more to the point,  if you wanted Loki to be the villain, just have Loki be the villain!
Ultron didn’t jump around bodies enough, didn’t make them play whack a mole… he just never seemed like a daunting adversary for the Avengers.  They tore through his hordes like paper.  And since Ultron is a computer, it seemed like a natural fit for him to take over Tony’s armor… and I know they did that already in Iron Man 2,  but it seemed so obvious.  Also, Ultron took Black Widow prisoner why? Because he had no one else left to show off to, which was their whole “Loki’s a full tilt diva” from the first Avengers movie, so… I don’t get it.
And then there’s “Oh for God’s sake!” – this would have been funny if Ultron said it to Thor… but again, Ultron shouldn’t be making one liners.  He’s not supposed to be charming, he’s supposed to be a soulless, killer robot who has misinterpreted his programming, not a wise cracking eight foot tall funny man.

“Avengers, A-“
What was the point of cutting Cap off before he said the catchphrase?  I don’t get it.

I won’t miss Joss Whedon
The first Avengers movie was fun, but it was nothing special; we didn’t learn anything about the characters, it just kinda tied off some threads no one cared about.  We got to see the characters all come together and fight monsters we didn’t know or care about… and that’s about it.  Joss Whedon’s script was funny, but it was also silly… and I don’t’ get why Thor can’t wear his armor in the Joss Whedon’s movies, but at least Cap looked decent this time around.  But the point is that the first Avengers movie was a big fun cartoon that didn’t try to accomplish anything except be entertaining where as this movie had a laundry list of setups and allusions and frankly, they’re not handled well.

I think I said, “I don’t get it” enough times to make the point that this movie has serious problems, but I still enjoyed watching it.  Unlike Guardians of the Galaxy (or even The Winter Soldier), this movie doesn’t transcend genres – Avengers: Age of Ultron is for comic book movie fans only and ultimately, this is just a really long trailer for the next two movies (Avengers: Infinity War parts 1 and 2) as well as setup for several other movies.

And yet, it’s still watchable.  I’m giving it a 7 out of 10… and that’s generous for a movie this flawed.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on May 11, 2015, in comic book reviews, movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Wayland Smith

    Whedon did not want to do the pool scene with Thor. He also thought it made no sense. He was told that if he cut it, they’d also cut all the farmhouse/family scenes with Hawkeye.I agree on Quicksilver’s death and cutting the catch phrase.

    • ultimately, i think Quicksilver’s death was just character development for Scarlet Witch. now the avengers are the only family she has left sorta thing.
      so they wanted to cut out the reason Hawkeye leaves the team? but everyone leaving the team just seems to be setup/excuse for them not to be in the next CAP movie…
      I’m starting to think these Avengers movies are a bad idea

  2. more Age of Ultron rantings from me in the comments here:

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