I had a wide ear to ear grin almost 5 seconds into Age of Ultron. I was witnessing things in motion that I had only seen in comics till now in the form of splash pages, and the seamlessness of how they were interacting and coordinating with each other was geekgasmic, to say the least. Joss Whedon has set the benchmark on how
a Superhero Movie all summer blockbusters should start, showcase the very best of what a movie can achieve and make the audience ask themselves, “How are they gonna top that?”
We start off with The Avengers on a mission to retrieve Loki’s Staff from the first Avengers movie which was last seen in possession of Baron Strucker in the Captain America Winter Soldier end Credits scene. However their secret weapon turn out to be the Maximoff twins, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch given a different origin and in Tony Stark’s words ,” You volunteered let a German Mad Scientist conduct experiments on you?” The mission is a success but not before Scarlet Witch tinkers with Stark’s mind and shows him visions of impending doom. This leads The Science Bros., Banner and Stark, to discover Artificial Intelligence housed within the Staff. And this is where James Spader’s eloquent, sympathetic(?), genocidal, audaciously cool and finally a Marvel villain, apart from Loki, with layers and layers of personality, Ultron appears. Spader is menacing and exudes evil. His exchange with Paul Bettany’s J.A.R.V.I.S. shortly before he destroys him, is a stunning example of Whedon’s dialogue writing talents.
The tone is much darker than the first film, but the humour keeps it from becoming dreary. I bet by the time this weekend is over, we will be flooded with ‘Jarvis is my Co-Pilot’ and ‘Language’ memes. There are tiny nods to the fans which on the surface may appear as throw away jokes but they do make you ponder, best example would be when asked to lift the Mjolnir, Black Widow responds with,”That’s not an answer you’re gonna get answered”. One of my favourite parts was Thor discussing the balance of the Mjolnir and how it helps him swing, mid battle, pure delight, watching those. I was a bit worried that with RDJ’s popularity, this might have devolved into Iron Man and Friends, but again like the first film, the balance between juggling almost a dozen lead characters and giving them enough space to have their own little character arcs is commendable. There is a scene featuring Natasha and Banner, where Jazz like improvisations are made to effortlessly transition it into a full Noir with the exact genre dialogue and background music to match. Their tragic relationship is trademark Whedonism. Also Whedon loves Hawkeye. I really hope he finds a way to adapt Matt Fraction’s genius run which deals with Hawkeye and rent issues with the Russian Mob. It would be a perfect fit. Jeremy Renner is magnificent, he has great lines like how it would even matter if he killed one more Ultron Bot, no one would ever remember and sort of inducts Scarlet Witch to The Avengers with one of the best motivational speeches you’ll hear. I’m sure by the end, Hawkeye will be your favourite Avenger. Which leads me to the manipulative bastard that Whedon is. For the entire length of the movie you’re made to believe Hawkeye will die, you have all the bells and whistles, you’re given his back story, meet his family, has an unborn child and has unfinished menial tasks to take care of before he leaves for the final battle, it is a template which segues into that character dying and guess what, he doesn’t! And the one who dies, saving him, says, “I bet you didn’t see that coming”. The Hulkbuster fight sequence was god-damn awesome, I thought the trailers spoiled it a bit, but wow does that fight pack a punch, or two,an immensely satisfying battle, and if you thought the Puny God scene from Avengers was good, wait for the hammering you see here. The VFX is some of the greatest you’ve seen till date. And finally Vision, Ultron had created him in the comics and seeing that interpreted so well here, especially after you see how they pulled off someone with a Red Face, Green Suit and a Gold Cape flawlessly, there isn’t anything left Marvel cannot do.
Like I mentioned this is the most cohesive Marvel movie till date. The Screenplay is just fantastic, every little loose end is tied up not only from this movie, but from the earlier ones and also sets up the Phase 3. Ultron takes Vibranium from Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaue, the only Black Marketeer who has it and chops his arm off(Recently revealed Star Wars Easter Egg). One can almost say for certain that the Black Panther movie will now be about Klaue (Soon to be Klaw) trying to steal Vibranium from Wakanda. Thor has a revelation about the Infinity Gems and he explains how the artifacts just house those gems, the Mind Gem being the one in Loki’s Staff. He leaves to find out more about them, this’ll be the plot for Thor: Ragnarok. We also get an early glimpse of what Civil War will be with Stark and Cap battling, with sides chosen, though the ending leaves them both amicable, so I wonder what will be the catalyst. The Score however felt a bit haphazard in many of the scenes, The Credits had 3 composers featured, namely Brian Tyler, Danny Elfman and Alan Silvestri that might have been the cause, not a major issue though. I tried to find faults but I was having such a great time, they feel diminutive.
Bring on Antman and Make Mine Marvel!
Overall Rating : 4.75/5
P.S. There is only one mid-credits scene, so don’t wait till the very end.