The question on everyone’s mind is not, “Is Avengers: Age of Ultron any good?” but rather, “Is it as good as The Avengers?” The answer is yes. And no.
I enjoyed Age of Ultron very much. Although I have given grades to films in the past, it’s not really my thing. I would give AoU a grade one half point lower than whatever theoretical grade I would have given the first entry… At this point in time. It’s complicated. I will discuss The Avengers in a future post. That isn’t so much an Easter egg as it is a warning.
Age of Ultron is a great film, but I will admit it is somewhat problematic. The problems have less to do with the story, and more to do with the process of making a film the Marvel way. I think that AoU may highlight some of the problems that Edgar Wright had in trying to get his vision (no pun intended) of Ant-Man made.
In interviews, Joss Whedon mentioned that his first cut of Age of Ultron was around three and a half hours long. It’s not unusual for a director to disclose this sort of information. I think Martin Scorsese’s first cut of The Wolf of Wall Street was close to five hours, give or take. As much as I love and respect Scorsese, I’m not sure I want to see that much film at one sitting.
But I, and many other sweaty nerds, want Marvel/Disney to release the “Joss Whedon Cut” of Age of Ultron on blu-ray. I am writing this on the day that Bryan Singer announced that the “Rogue Cut” of X-Men: Days of Future Past will be released on July 14. Finally. Do I think that Marvel will follow suit with Age of Ultron? Nope. Yeah, there will be some deleted scenes, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for a special edition.
Why is it exactly that I am so desperate for more Age of Ultron? It’s a great film, but it left me wanting more. Usually that means that I cannot wait for the next installment, which will, in a way, will come next year in the form of Captain America: Civil War. If one looks at the cast list, by all appearances Civil War could be another Avengers film. But in this case, I want more of Age of Ultron.
Age of Ultron is not a mess, nor is it messy. What it is, is a tad incomplete. I would have liked to have seen more backstory on some of the characters. A few things felt a bit rushed. A lot of blanks are filled in if you remember what happened in previous films, and are up to date with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but should you really have to be?
Marvel films are known for dropping Easter eggs for the hardcore comic book fans, some of which will pay off down the line. Age of Ultron had a scene, if you have seen the film you know what I am talking about, that won’t get paid off for years. It seemed rather an odd thing to have happen considering the circumstances surrounding it, but Whedon managed to make it fit the story at hand.
The same thing goes for the scene with Andy Serkis. It is not a spoiler to mention Serkis, since he was in the trailer, but I won’t say who he plays. All this goes to show that making movies is hard work.