First let me talk off some of the high points of this film, because there are several.
First and best of all was James Spader in the role of the titular villain. Able to bring humor, terror and exuding a sense of power through impressive CGI and harrowing voice work has brought a villain for the ages. For all the faults in this film I’m so glad he didn’t disappoint, rather he excited my expectations. Not to take away anything from the rest of the stellar cast- including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Cobie Smulders and Samuel L. Jackson, new cast members like Aaron Taylor Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Andy Serkis, Thomas Kretschmann and, while I think it might have been over-done, cameos from actors like Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, and of course Stan Lee (who might have had his best one yet) were still enjoyable.
However. As I sat in the theater on friday afternoon watching this film — which was certain to make an incredible amount of money — i felt perplexed by the sheer number of plates in they had in the air. I seriously think that Joss Whedon was given WAAAY too much creative control for his own good. The plotline introduced new characters that weren’t given enough time to expand before losing them. Their presence could have been more fine-tuned to an individual movie an odd love interest subplot. Despite some very nice high points, their presence doesn’t make this the superior to the first, and leaves me a bit worried what the rest of not only the marvel movies will be going, but superhero movies in general.
My main problem for the plot stems from the sheer number of characters they had already and were expanding upon and giving them content that could have better explored in a separate film, bringing in new interesting characters but lacking to do more with them and making it all cohesive. Its a weird divide I have upon appreciating using and having all of these characters and on the other wonder if it’s a bit excessive, especially when the next films (the Infinity Wars part I and II) will very likely be doing the same thing.
I also wasn’t overly fond of the Black Widow/ Hulk romance sub storyline, especially as I felt that she and Hawkeye has much better chemistry and history. Speaking of which, I found his particularly character development odd with so much being given away about his life that it wasn’t done in a separate film focusing on his, or even better yet black widow’s character, especially as there is a big want for it.
And while his motivations seemed in a flux, Ultron’s ultimate plan did provide for an EPIC battle with the horde of his drones fighting the avengers in a very entertaining sequence, particularly when Ultron himself addressed the crowd and we can see the various drones transmitting his words. Although I will say, without spoiling too much, the stakes were the entire human race and in their time sensitive predicament it felt a pretty weird that it seemed like the immediate concern was that the general population made it to safety. While I can understand the “movie logic” behind it- keeping the heroes as heroic as possible, I feel as though it pandered a bit too much to the audience, and even the younger viewers a bit when realistically if between a city of a few thousand and the entire HUMAN POPULATION it didn’t make sense. And I realize I’m talking in terms of realism and sense in a movie where a Norse god and a guy with arrows are fighting an army of robots. But suspension of disbelief can only go so far.
I would still recommend going to see the film, its reviews are so varied you could very easily like certain parts as much as I didn’t It’ll probably be the summer’s biggest blockbuster and one of the year’s biggest moneymaker (until the behemoth of Star Wars comes in December). In fact because I have so many mixed feeling I may end wanting to see it again, all the plot might have caught me off for a first time viewing, so perhaps a second will clarify things up a bit.