Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Cameos

Slate The Silver Screen presents: Avenger’s:Age Of Ultron

Following on from what was not just one of the most commercially successful films of all time but also a critical hit was never going to be easy. This was the task laid at the feet of our Aveneger’s for round two. For those living under a rock here is the trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqkR0SwFN_4

My initial reaction to seeing the film was (as eloquently put by a Marvel fanboy in the same theatre as me) ‘Holy Shit. This is awesome!’.  My next reaction was the following equation which DC and Zack Snyder have clearly used for the new Batman voice:                                                     (Bale + Batvoice)(Spader + Ultron) – Nolan(DC)  =  BATFLECK

The film opens with a stylish battle sequence of the Avengers attempting to receive Loki’s (read Tom Hiddlestone’s) Sceptre. This sets the tone for the movie with a great balance between inspiring action set pieces, witty one-liners and dark apocalyptic overtones. Here we meet our new mutants  superhereos; The Maximoff Twins. Pietro and Wanda, aka Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, are described best by Agent Hill, ‘One’s fast and one’s weird’. Early on we see snippets of their powers and they are pretty incredible. This is especially impressive given the scene stealing role of Quicksilver in the rival series X-Men: Days Of Future Past.

Following the recovery of the sceptre is a well-directed, funny and thrilling journey all around the Earth and back again as a result of Stark’s completion of the peacekeeping Ultron programme. Filled with expertly crafted, if a little CGI-heavy, action pieces to keep momentum going throughout the film. However, what makes this film great is the punctuating scenes of real character interaction, reaction and above all humanity. A subject core to the movies idea. The best parts of this movie are when the heroes are at their worst; downtrodden, beaten, scared and unsure, in essence human.

The new additions to the cast do a wonderful job especially James Spader who delivers an entertaining performance as, the equal parts malevolent and compassionate, Ultron. I also realised that my ideal woman would be Scarlett Witch, a red headed woman in a red leather jacket with a heavy eastern European accent and adept at mind control. I feel this should surprise me more than it does.

This film is alas not perfect. The first half of the film thrives on its intensity spearheaded by the fact that the Avengers have met their match and are in genuine danger. This a stark contrast to most modern action films where the protagonist is nearly invincible! However, the final confrontation sees our heroes vastly outnumbered against an army of robots. Robots who earlier in the film were difficult to disarm and destroy. During this climax the Avengers start dispatching there enemies with such ease it dissipates much of the suspense built during the first half. Nevertheless, it is shot so thoughtfully and originally that I quickly forgave this and lost myself in the action. My one other complaint would be the Shield Airship Ex Machina coming along to save the day.

This addition to the Marvel canon did excel in bringing together lots of different plot elements from stand-alone character films and really helped begin to connect this huge sprawling universe that is Marvel. But… they excelled a little too much. So far beyond your usual Stan Lee Cameo it is hard to keep track. I don’t want to spoil things so for anyone who wants a list of cameos please read on past the verdict.

VERDICT: ‘’I can’t wait for the next one… 2018? You’ve got to be kidding me…. Two parts!?!… Fuck you Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows’’

 

Captain Cameo: A list of all Marvel characters mentioned/seen in the film

Captain America/Captain Spandex

Thor – God of Biceps and Thunder

Iron Man

Hulk

Black Widow

Hawkeye

Hawkeye’s Wife

Hawkeye’s Child 1

Hawkeye’s Child 2

Ultron

Scarlet Witch aka the Olsen Triplet

Kiss Ass Quicksilver

Stan Lee

Stan Lee’s War veteran friends

Captain Rhodes aka War Hammer

Captain Rhodes again

Capt.. oh wait this time he is War Hammer

The guy with wings we didn’t care about from Captain America 2

Peggy Carter aka Caps love interest whose been dead 75 years

Nick Fury

Mariah Hill in both tight party dresses and a tight catsuit

Andy Serkis as Gollom as Arms Dealer No1

Fictional African Country No1

Scandinavian Scientist No1

Paul Bettany as Jarvis/ Dead Jarvis/ Beyond the grave Jarvis/ Vision aka Marvel fanboy fever dream

Heimdall

Pepper Potts and Jane Foster by name (both of whom are stated to be very significant to Iron Man and Thor yet weren’t deemed significant enough to make an appearance. If I were them I’d be pissed! I mean come on Falcon was in it. Twice.)

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13 comments

  1. valiantvalkyries · May 2, 2015

    Excellent review! I especially liked your point about the ease in which they beat their enemies during the climax; it really did dissipate the suspense. With the long list of cameos, I also like the point you made of including a list of all the cameos (a lot longer list than what I originally thought of). – Saucy Seraphim

    Liked by 1 person

  2. TMPinSYR · May 2, 2015

    Well, I liked the movie from start to finish. I admit, though, that I have been a fan of Marvel Comics since the late ’70s. So for me, we’re finally getting comic book movies as good as I’ve always imagined. Fair point, though, on the clumsy-feeling SHIELD Heli-carrier’s nick of time rescue. But overall, this movie gets two thumbs up! (For context, Google “Howard the Duck movie” to see what a BAD comic book movie looks like!)

    My favorite Easter eggs: http://tmpinsyr.com/2015/05/02/my-favorite-easter-eggs-in-avengers-age-of-ultron/

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dinesh Holmes · May 4, 2015

    A thoughtful review and one that covers the essentials. Thinking it over, I came to the realisation that the final battle where the Avengers spent most of their time getting the citizens to safety amidst engaging in endless destruction felt like Marvel giving Man of Steel the finger for the destruction of Metropolis, as if to say, “This is how you do it”. Of course, the impact is somewhat lost when you realise Avengers vs Ultron-bots is a carbon copy of Avengers vs Chitauri.

    Like

  4. CJ Dawn · May 4, 2015

    “However, what makes this film great is the punctuating scenes of real character interaction, reaction and above all humanity. A subject core to the movies idea. The best parts of this movie are when the heroes are at their worst; downtrodden, beaten, scared and unsure, in essence human.”

    I loved this, because it’s so true and it’s one of my favorite things that Joss Whedon brings to the table. He’s so good at these human moments, and it’s really what makes the film. I’m not sure I’d say this movie as a whole was better than the first, but the human moments in Age of Ultron are better than the first film (with the exception of seeing Tony deal with Coulson’s death in the first movie).

    And I agree totally with your Batfleck comment. the first time I saw the Batman vs. Superman trailer my very first reaction was that he sounded just like Ultron.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Slatethesilverscreen · May 4, 2015

      Sitting back an reflecting on it I think you’re totally right! As a whole Avengers is probably a better movie but Ultron exceeds it on depth and character. Thanks so much for the comment!

      Like

  5. Taylor · May 5, 2015

    Good stuff! And Jarvis really does go through just about stage life, death, and life/death that there is, doesn’t he?

    Like

    • Slatethesilverscreen · May 5, 2015

      He certainly does! You could nearly switch out Jesus with Jarvis in the story of Easter and you would get his storyline in Age Of Ultron.

      Like

  6. Jeff · May 5, 2015

    Great review. Maybe the robots were easier to defeat in the end because there were so many of them, which meant Ultron’s concentration ad control was diminished.

    Like

    • Slatethesilverscreen · May 5, 2015

      Thanks! I hadn’t thought of that but you’re right, that could have something to do with it!

      Like

  7. Donna · May 5, 2015

    I get your point but I try not to look for negatives (ie. Fury saves the day). I just love to get lost in the imagination of it all. Your review was a good read:)

    Like

    • Slatethesilverscreen · May 5, 2015

      Thanks so much for your comment! Im glad you enjoyed it. I know what you mean. I got lost in it all in the cinema too, in 3D it was an intense experience. I was having to be very nitpicky to think of that!

      Like

  8. Pingback: My 10 favourite films of the year: A failed attempt at objectivity | slatethesilver screen

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