The Minimum Effort Ep.8: Spider-Man Homecoming

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In a rather belated review, Ben and Lewis swing headfirst off a skyscraper into the colourful, wonderful world of Spider-Man Homecoming… Oh, they also talk about Dr Who and some other stuff too…

 

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The Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Benportrait1There may be some unintentional spoilers here, so watch out, and sorry in advance.

“Hmmmmmmm” sums up this film for me. Don’t get me wrong it was undoubtedly good, but in this modern world of Marvel film domination, I want and expect a bit more than good. Age of Ultron was a standard Joss Whedon film. Full with the one liners and “banter” between the multiple protagonists which made the first film great. However, the film lacked something that I am struggling to put my finger on.

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The film is set straight after Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with our heroes flying around the world mopping up the Hydra bases left in operation while also attempting to try and find ‘Loki’s Sceptre’ (bit late for a spoiler warning, but if you haven’t watch the second Captain America it isn’t an issue. Although you definitely should). Anyway, back to the point. Age of Ultron starts off with a bang, straight into a frantic action scene during which all the heroes are given a chance to kick some bad guy arse. Except for Hawkeye, who gets shot (honestly, it’s like Joss Whedon wants us to not like him). During this action scene we get our first proper look at QuickSilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), both of which looked like decent additions to the franchise, but I will say no more about them. Following the fighting and The Hulk’s lullaby provided by Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson), The Avengers get the spectre and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) decide to use it to create an Artificial Intelligence, in order to give The Avengers a break, without telling the rest of the team. This AI turns out to be the baddie, Ultron (voiced by James Spader), who wants to see the end of the human race. It is at this point I will stop the plot description to avoid spoilers.

Despite being well written, funny, and a very good attempt at discussing what it is to be human through the eyes of Ultron and Vision, the film has some failings. Firstly, it’s become a little too routine; the Avengers fight, Tony Stark is an arse, he becomes good and The Avengers win. A little bit predictable for me.

I also think that there are too many characters floating about. Not only do we have the six old Avengers but we also have to contend with the appearance of Vision (Paul Bettany), Scarlett Witch and QuickSilver as well as Ultron. There are also characters such as Andy Serkis’ ‘Klaw’ who are, in fact, under used. In order to get each character enough screen time there is a fair amount of jumping about, and I feel that the four new characters were some-what under developed. On the plus-side, Hawkeye does get a better run this time, and shows why he the vital ‘everyman’ character within the Avengers team. Becoming an all-American hero with his secret family, Jeremy Renner gives a very good performance, mixing the right amount of campy comedy, action and grit required for a modern day comic book film, making Hawkeye a very likeable and relatable character.

Marvel has again struggled with the villain. Ultron in the Comic books was a major thorn in The Avengers side, and he so nearly was here as well, but due to the films being set today there are far too many escape routes for Ultron, and when the Avengers do corner him, it seems a little bit too easy for them. When it comes to the concluding fight it is like watching the battles in Attack of the Clones again, there are so many evil robots you just don’t care about them, and the fact there are about 50 million of the things just shows how crap they are. If Ultron were to make a single robot specialised for each Avenger then we would have a fight on our hands. One we can become invested in. As said during the film, “He knows The Avengers better than they know each other”. Which leaves me wondering where he left all this knowledge?

As I said before, the story was well written and the special effects were fantastic. However, I just feel that a few minor tweaks to the film could make it a lot better than just good. Anyway, those are my thoughts on Age of Ultron. There are probably a million and one things I missed out, but If you agree or disagree with what I’ve said, or have something else to add, just drop us a comment below and I will get back to you.

Cheers for making it to the end

-Ben