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Iron Man 2 (2010)
Iron Man 2 (2010)
2010 | Action, Sci-Fi
Ever since Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel Studios have pretty much been on a hot streak. It's easy to forget that this titan of a movie house still had to finds its feet once upon a time, and unfortunately they do have a handful of underwhelming titles in their arsenal.

Iron Man 2 is in of these titles, and whilst bit a far cry from a bad movie, the formula wasn't quite there yet.
It's main issues comes from the writing I think. The plot dates to tackle issues such as Tony Stark's trouble with alcohol, a result of slowly being poisoned by the very mechanism that's keeping him alive. He hits rock bottom, pisses off everyone he loves, creates a new element (in probably the most ridiculously convoluted and stupid scene in the MCU) and somewhere amongst all this, there's some big dumb superhero action.
As much as I admire this route, the balance is off, and a big chunk of the movie gets bigger down by these issues.
The side plot that involves a B list villain Whiplash is a nice touch, but it's ultimately wasted in yet another ending brawl that features the hero against an evil version of himself, the second Iron Man film to be released and the second Iron Man film to feature a final boss in a bigger Iron Man suit. It just doesn't feel over imaginative.

It's not all bad though - Iron Man 2 boasts an incredible cast of talent. Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow of course return from the first movie. Mickey Rourke is the aforementioned Whiplash (I find it hard to dislike Mickey Rourke in general), Don Cheadle takes over the mantle of War Machine, and of course we get the first appearance for Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow.
And a big reason why Iron Man 2 is better than it should be is down to the always fantastic Sam Rockwell. He plays secondary villain Justin Hammer and he oozes charisma, and fits in effortlessly opposite Downey Jr.

Other than that, the effects still hold up for the most part, and the set pieces are fun - the racing track scene is a particular highlight, and its always a treat to see the wider MCU being established as the main plot chugs along.

Iron Man 2 isn't as good as it's predecessor, and is at the lower and of the MCU quality spectrum, but there's still a lot to enjoy if you switch off a bit.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
2018 | Action, Sci-Fi
Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-man Evangeline lily's wasp steals the show Michael Douglas as Hank Pym Cassie is cuter than ever Michael Pena as luis The Mid-credits sequence (0 more)
Not enough Michelle Pfeiffer Ghost is a so so Villian (0 more)
'Hold on, you gave her wings?!'
A much welcome breather after the heavyweight that was Avengers: Infinity War, the 20th instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is another lighthearted ride unfolding on the same minuscule scale as Ant-Man, and though not as impressive as Marvel's best works, it still delivers a fine dose of fun, amusing & action-packed entertainment.

Set in the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, the story of Ant-Man and the Wasp finds Scott Lang under house arrest and Dr. Hank Pym & Hope van Dyne in hiding until an urgent mission brings them together once again as the trio attempt to unlock the secrets of quantum realm before it's too late, while being pursued by both cops & new enemies.

Directed by Peyton Reed, the sequel offers him more freedom & bigger canvas to showcase his vision & creativity yet he fails to makes the most of the opportunity and delivers a story that's pretty much on same level as its predecessor. Its action scenes do get an upgrade but the plot is quite simple and is missing the character complexity that drives most sequels.

On the plus side, the film retains the humour of the original while the continuous banter & brisk pacing make sure that its 118 mins runtime never becomes a chore. The swift, kinetic operation of camera infuses an energy to its moments of action on both macro & micro levels while the bright colour tones add a rich texture that makes the images pop out. And Christophe Beck's splendid score adds energy of its own into the mix.

Coming to the performances, Ant-Man and the Wasp benefits from Paul Rudd's natural charisma but it's Evangeline Lilly who steals the show this time in the role of Hope/Wasp. The chemistry between the two still carries a spark but purely on individual inputs, Lilly outshines Rudd by a significant margin. Both Michael Peña & Michael Douglas are more fun in their respective roles this time around but the new characters are no good.

On an overall scale, Ant-Man and the Wasp makes for a sufficiently entertaining action-adventure and is at its best when it isn't trying too hard. A standalone entry for the most part that eventually connects with the heavy conclusion of Infinity War in a shocking mid-credits sequence, Ant-Man and the Wasp does enough to allow the viewers to settle down before things got hot & heavy once again in Avengers Endgame

Emma @ The Movies (1052 KP) rated Shazam! (2019) in Movies

Jun 22, 2019 (Updated Sep 25, 2019)  
Shazam! (2019)
Shazam! (2019)
2019 | Action, Sci-Fi
This was a massive turn out for an Unlimited Screening, the last time it was this busy was when we had the secret screening for The Incredibles 2. I guess everyone loves a bit of action, I know I do, so thank you very much, Cineworld.

Captain Sparkle Fingers amused and entertained, and it produced some of those goosebump moments you get from the anticipation. This is going to be a winner of the East period with the schools being out, I think that means I'll be avoiding the cinema for a bit.

I was concerned early on as it was a rather slow start and the tone was nothing like what we'd been seeing in the promotional material, but once that stumbling block was out of the way we started down a very fun path.

Billy Batson's search for his birth mother lands him with a new foster situation after his antics are no longer tolerated by his previous home. There he meets his new family who have a spectacular amount of alliterative name. Freddy Freeman, Darla Dudley, Victor Vasquez, Pedro Peña, (I really do think that alliteration should be mandatory in super movies) and the rather less rhythmic Rosa Vasquez, Mary Bromfield and Eugene Choi.

Billy is set on not being part of the family until two bullies set upon Freddy outside school, his instincts kick in and he wades in to protect him. This act catches the attention of The Wizard, Shazam, and knowing that the world needs a saviour he bestows his power on Billy.

The fact that Billy probably would have failed to be worthy of the power, or declined it, does sit a little heavy when you see it in the film. But we know that it eventually comes good so I let it slide.

Shazam is a massive departure for DC, it's very Marvel meets Teen Titans GO! To The Movies. It feels a little like the film is fighting with the brand's roots though, there's obviously a darkness around our villain but when you compare it to the goofy nature of the hero side it begins to feel like two different films. Had either of those films been made on their own I don't think we'd have been in for something quite so entertaining.

By far the most entertaining bits of Shazam are when we see Billy and Freddy exploring what superpowers Captain Sparkle Fingers has. Keep an eye out for the teleportation test, that was my favourite. I could quite happily have watched an entire film of these scenes.

I don't think there are many people out there that could have played this role, Zachary Levi is certainly the right fit. The childlike glee is so good that I can't help but think he was channelling Chuck Bartowski. I think there's something even more appealing about characters when the character gets to be a little wacky and act outside the expected. Jack Black in Jumanji, Tom Hanks in Big, Paul Rudd briefly in Ant-Man And The Wasp, they all produced some really amusing moments.

Mark Strong is brilliant, in general as well as in this film. I love him being menacing. He does a superb job with what he's given but I would have loved him to have had a few humorous moments in the whole lolfest. Being the serious thing in a film with so much humour wasn't a great situation to be in.

The family aspect in the movie is a strong theme throughout and our band of actors all work well as a team. I'm sad to say that individually I'm not a real fan of any of the characters apart from perhaps Eugene and his video games, but when they're together it's a great dynamic.

Shazam manages to be both brilliant and terrible all at the same time. Despite its identity crisis it is still a great film, I came out feeling happy and entertained, and that's all you really ask for in a movie.

What you should do

If you love superhero movies then definitely fit it into your schedule, you'll definitely be entertained.

Movie thing you wish you could take home

I've said Shazam a lot over the last week and I've been hoping for some superpowers but nothing is happening... yet... SHAZAM!
Gemini Man (2019)
Gemini Man (2019)
2019 | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
The Effects Just Aren't Good Enough
Ang Lee is a visionary Director that loves to push the envelope of advances in movie-making technology, so the plot contrivance of GEMINI MAN (a Government Assassin is being chased by his much younger clone) was right up his alley - and he makes good (enough) work of the technology that "de-ages" Will Smith and puts the older and younger version of himself on screen at the same time. This was also his 2nd film (after BILLY FLYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK) that Lee shot in 4K 3D at 120 frames per second (the "normal" shooting speed is 24 FPS).

He should have spent more of his time on the script..

Based on a long gestating screenplay written in the 1990's by David Lemke (and re-written in the 2010's by Billy Ray - THE HUNGER GAMES - and Mr. GAME OF THRONES himself, David Benioff), GEMINI MAN follows a Government Contract Killer, Henry Brogan (Will Smtih) who does "one last job" and is looking forward to retirement. His agency (under the leadership of Clive Owen) decides to "take him out" and sends "Gemini" after him. Brogan tries to escape but his every move is anticipated by the Gemini - a younger clone of himself (this is not a spoiler, it's in the trailer and ON THE POSTER). He is joined by a pair of "buddies" (Mary Elizabeth Winsted and Benedict Wong) in plotting how to outsmart himself.

This film had all the markings of a bad "B" film, but under the watchful eye of Lee and the charismatic performances of Winsted, Wong - and most especially - Smith, this film is actually quite watchable.

What doesn't work - the plot. To say it is contrived is to do a disservice to the word "contrived". It really doesn't give us anything new, it just gives us a bridge from action scene to action. Also, the reasoning of the Government to get rid of Brogan doesn't really work and Clive Owen - as the head of the Gemini program - and the main "suit" that is chasing Smith looks like he is sleepwalking his way through this film.

What works - the interplay and "fun" of Smith, Winsted and Wong as the 3 "professionals" on the run - and outsmarting - "the Agency". These 3 work really well off each other and I would love to have seen a "Mission Impossible" style film of these 3 doing some sort of impossible mission. Special note needs to be made of Smith's performance - as the older Brogan. He is world weary and heavy, but still has the twinkle in his eye and the physical acumen to be a top assassin. This is the type of role that Smith - especially at his age and experience - is ideal for. His charisma shines and he holds his own in the physical/fight scenes. Also, Ang Lee knows how to shoot an action sequence. True, there is nothing "new", revolutionary or evolutionary in any of the fight/chase scenes, but they are put together in a competent, professional manner and did a good enough job.

And then there is the younger Brogan - "Junior" - played by a CGI "de-aged" Will Smith.

We've seen the CGI "de-aging" effect before - most notably in some Marvel Movies like CAPTAIN MARVEL - and while it works well enough, I just don't think it is quite there yet. You can tell that something is just a little off - not enough for it to really bother you, but enough to know that something isn't quite right - especially when Junior spends most of this film on screen with his older self. You see the "real" Will Smith up against the "copy" and the "copy" looks like...a copy. Also, the "de-aging" of the voice didn't really work for me. It sounded "off" and at times it sounded like bad ADR.

I was able to shrug off these slight technical anomalies and enjoy this film for what it is - a breezy action-er that certainly entertains for 2 hours. But it is no masterpiece and no "major" technological breakthrough. That will have to wait for another movie.

Letter Grade: B (mostly for the fun interplay between older Smith, Winsted and Wong)

7 stars (out of 10) and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)
Gemini Man (2019)
Gemini Man (2019)
2019 | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Special Effects, including Will Smith's "youngification' (0 more)
The script - truly dire (0 more)
Will Smith plays top US hit-man Henry Brogan who is making the world "safer" one bullet at a time! With the mirror telling him his age, Henry hands in his firearm (not withstanding the arsenal under his stairs) to spend more time going fishing and doing the crossword.

But all is not well when Henry's 'one for the road' hit turns out to not be quite what it seems.

Teaming up with marina manager Danny (Danny??) Zakarweski (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), the pair go on the run from operatives of a government-funded black-ops organization called Gemini. Gemini is a private semi-military organization (didn't we just go here with "Angel Has Fallen"?!). These 'baddie goodies' would rather see Henry - and all who know him - fed to the fishes rather than have him catching them.

But one of these guys, under the direct command of Gemini-boss Clay Verris (Clive Owen), looks kinda familiar...

Let's focus on the positives for a minute. This is a spy movie that has all of the polish that the recent "Angel has Fallen" didn't have. Some nice photogenic locations fly in and out again (Georgia, Budapest and Colombia: the latter for no obvious reason I can remember!). It occasionally reminded me of a glossy Bond film, but without Bond.

There are also some high-class special effects (the special effects coordinator is Mark Hawker). A moonlit CGI Gulfstream with a zoom into the cockpit is particularly impressive.

Some of the action set pieces also entertain. A Will-on-Will bike chase is well done, and I've not seen a bike used as a hand-to-hand weapon in this way before!

And Will Smith is no doubt a class act, with his 'youngification' (I'm not sure what the official word is) also being effectively done. I also enjoyed Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who was great in "10 Cloverfield Lane". The lady has real screen presence.

But man oh man, that script. Let's name the guilty parties in this film: the scriptwriters David Benioff (Game of Thrones), Darren Lemke and Billy Ray. (I'll put Ray last in the list, since the story was by Benioff and Lemke and this has the smell to me of Ray - who has a history of some great scripts like Captain Phillips under his name - being drafted in to steady a listing ship).

Some of the dialogue in this film is not just a bit dodgy. It's head in the hands groan-worthy (and I actually did at times: fortunately the cinema was barely half full and I was on my own in the whole row). And some of it is just plain offensive. Henry meets his old pal Jack Willis (Douglas Hodge) on his yacht where he explains his wife is on a trip to Paris as a scantily clad dolly-bird wanders past. Henry comically rolls his eyes at this adulterous behaviour, with some sort of "Jack, what are you loike!" comment. Cringe-worthy.

Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong (their ally, adding some comic relief) are clearly good actors. But the script often makes them look utterly vacuous and stupid. And Lee seems to have a "good enough, move on" approach to the filming. One jaw-dropping moment has Will Smith telling the others that they are going to Budapest. "Budapest?" Winstead and Wong are supposed to say in union, but mistime it. "Can we do that again?". Nope. It's on the screen.

As for Clive Owen... sorry, he's really not in the same acting league, and the script does him even fewer favours. As he says at one point "It's like the Hindenburg crashing into the Titanic". I couldn't have put it better myself.

"Uncanny Valley". You know this phrase. The Princess Leia and Moff Tarkin scenes in "Rogue One" is the classic example. Effects that don't quite work on the big screen. "But" - you say to yourself - "Dr Bob just said that the 'youngification' of Will Smith was done really well?". And I'll repeat again that it was. It's on a par with Samuel L. Jackson's 'youngification' in "Captain Marvel". Where something strange happens is in the film's overall projection. Ang Lee has tried again with his experiment of filming at a massive 120 frames per second..... five times the normal movie frame rate of 24 fps. And the quality of the picture - particularly during high-speed action scenes - becomes outstandingly good! But equally it just doesn't 'look right'.

When the human eye presumably works at an equivalent "fps" of thousands of 'frames per second' you'd think that it should all be fine. But for some reason I just found it distracting. Presumably the audiences for "The Jazz Singer" thought the same about sound; and those for "Gone with the Wind" and the "Wizard of Oz" about colour. Maybe we've seen the future, and its the new norm that we just need to get used to. We'll see.

Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" was extraordinary. His "Hulk" was one of the poorest of the Marvel canon. Unfortunately, this movie is at the "Hulk" end of the spectrum. Which is a real shame. The duo of the 51 year old Smith and the 35 year old Winstead work really well together. They have great chemistry, but, you'll be relieved to hear, avoid any icky love interest.

What a shame. With a different script, and some good production values, this could have been a very different story.

(For the full graphical review, please check out )
The Avengers (2012)
The Avengers (2012)
2012 | Action, Sci-Fi
Contains spoilers, click to show
First of all I will not be referring to this film by the crap UK name of Avengers Assembled. The film is The Avengers and that all it needs to be called.

This is biggest and most anticipated film from the last few years. It is a sequel to the Marvel films Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), Captain America (2011) and The Incredible Hulk (2008). But is it possible to make one film starring them all? Would it work with all of them in lead roles? The film brings together Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans) & The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) along with S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). They join forces against Thor's Brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) who has unleashed an alien race upon the Earth so he can conquer it.

As many of you will know by now, I am a huge action movie and comic adaption fan, so this film exactly what I was looking for. I kept away from many reviews and possible spoilers. However I had to see the trailers. After seeing them and being blown away I got a little worried for the film. Many trailers use so much of the action and plot that they show most of the good parts of the film. I really hoped that this wouldn't happen with this one. I wanted this film to be good.

After the first 5 minutes I was worried. The film started out well but there was a really really bad camera cut/edit. For a film fan it stood out and slapped me in the face. I started to worry that it was a sign of things to come. However my fears were soon dispelled as the film sucked me in with outstanding direction, visuals and 3D effects like I have never seen before. The way the film was prepared starting out with Iron Man in 2008 and then tying in all the following films together are a big lead up to this one. A huge gamble but it really paid off. The outstanding cast work so well together. With all these larger than life characters already having their own individual stories told, all what was left was to bring them together. But first they start out against each other. Their individual egos explode as they battle each other with explosive devastation. Soon they all share a common goal and start to band together. Then the film really lets to. Up until this point it was amazing. When they finally start working together that's when an amazing movie exceeds all expectations and takes the superhero genre to a level never before seen. This is also the point then the 3D effects take on a whole new level. Prior to this they were used for depth and clarity of the film very well, but now it bring you in to the film and doesn't let go. The greatest effect is an alien ship appearing from over your head. It actually startled me as it appeared above my head before it was on the screen. Never before outside of a theme park has a 3D film managed this.

Fortunately it didn't just meet my expectations, it exceeded them more than I ever thought possible. I really can't find the right words to convey how good this film really is. It has moments where you laugh so hard you cry, amazingly the best of these involve The Hulk! There are moments where you find yourself holding your breath at the sheer scope of what you are seeing. The action raises the bar for the genre to maybe unattainable heights. This film is so very good.

I usually rate films on a scale of 1-10 but 10 feels inadequate for this. So for this one I am using 1-100. This film scores a 99. Only losing out on 100 due to the single bad edit at the start of the film. Joss Whedon has managed the impossible with this film and pulled of a film no one expected to be so good. For this reason and for the first time my stand out performance is the director Joss Whedon, for creating a perfect superhero movie.

You have to see this on the biggest screen you can find and in 3D
Extraction (2020)
Extraction (2020)
2020 | Action
Fun, by-the-book, action flick
I'm pretty sure that no matter what, I was going to enjoy the Chris Hemsworth action flick EXTRACTION whether it was good or not. It is, after all, a NEW movie, albeit one that was made "Direct to Netflix", so those can be of lesser quality.

I'm happy to report that in the case of EXTRACTION, that is not the case. This is a good (if by the books) popcorn action flick with a charismatic lead keeping you company throughout.

In EXTRACTION, Chris Hemsworth stars as an Australian Mercenary (who knew there was such a thing), hired to extract the kidnapped son of a drug lord from the hands of his fiercest rival.

This is a pretty "by-the-numbers" action film:

1). The mercenary has "baggage" - will the events (and the subject he is to extract) help him come to terms with his pent-up emotions in order to move past his traumatic "baggage"?

2). Will there be some sort of "double-cross" that screws up the extraction causing our hero to go "on the run" with his "Extraction"?

3). Will there be a buddy that our hero trusts who will, ultimately, double-cross him?

What do you think?

The fun of this film was not the plot machinations (they are pretty basic), but the execution of these machinations - and this execution is pretty fun/enjoyable.

Start with Chris Hemsworth as our mercenary - with the great action flick name of Tyler Rake. Hemsworth knows exactly what kind of film he is in - and he brings the goods. If he chose to, I think Hemsworth could be an action hero staple like Jason Statham or Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson - but I think Hemsworth is not really interested in that. But here, he is steely eyed and calm taking hits and doling out punishment to hoards of "red shirt" bad guys in his way. He has the action hero chops. He also has the acting chops to make the overwrought "emotional" scenes palatable. He makes weak writing enjoyable.

Joining him is Rudhraksh Jaiswal as "the extraction" - and his interactions with Hemsworth are fun. Randeep Hodha and Golshifteh Farahani do a nice job in the roles that they play in the action and the always watchable David Harbour eats a ton of scenery in his limited time on the screen. All are fun to watch.

But it is the telling of the story by first time Director Sam Hargrave that was a (pleasant) surprise for me. After doubling Chris Evans in the first CAPTAIN AMERICA film, Hargrave became the "go to" guy for Marvel action choreography, so (I'm sure) he got to know Hemsworth there. He brings a fast-paced style to this film that works. He doesn't stop to examine much at all (which helps the plot holes in the script) and his action work with his stunt actors is top-notch. If you watch nothing else in this film, check out the chase scene at about the 1/3 mark of the film. Hemsworth and "the extraction" are being chased - and it is filmed in the "shaky cam/cinema veritae/ make it look like one long tracking shot" style that I often criticize in my reviews - but here it worked and worked well. I'll be keeping my eye on what Hargrave does next (word is it that there will be an Extraction 2).

All of this is brought together by Producers Joe and Anthony Russo - the Directors of many Marvel films (including INFINITY WAR and ENDGAME). Not only did they Produce this film, but they wrote the story from where this film came from. It's obvious that they turned the majority of the screenplay writing to others (most notably Ande Parks) and this film is based on a graphic it plays like an over-the-top comic book action flick (think John Wick-lite) where the dialogue is sparse and cliche-ridden. This part of the film was far less interesting than the action parts.

But, the action is fast, fun and furious and Hemsworth is worth watching for the 1 hour 56 minute running time.

All-in-all, a good time was had while watching the first "new" film in over 6 weeks.

Letter Grade: B+

7 1/2 stars (out of 10) and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)
Suicide Squad (2016)
Suicide Squad (2016)
2016 | Action
Yet another missfire
It’s hard to remember such a lacklustre summer blockbuster season. From unnecessary sequels to underwhelming novel adaptations, it’s been one disappointment after another.

After the criticism of spring’s Batman v Superman, DC Comics and Warner Bros. really needed a hit on their hands if they were to compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Suicide Squad is their answer, but after an exhaustive marketing campaign, is the final product any good?

To be frank, not really. Director David Ayer has one of the best ensemble casts in years, but wastes them in a film as loud as any Transformers movie, and about as clever as one too.

Figuring they’re all expendable, a U.S. intelligence officer (Viola Davis) decides to assemble a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains for a top-secret mission. Now armed with government weapons, Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Killer Croc and other despicable inmates must learn to work together. Dubbed Task Force X, the criminals unite to battle a mysterious and powerful entity, while the diabolical Joker (Jared Leto) launches an evil agenda of his own.

From the outset, you can tell Suicide Squad isn’t going to waste time with lengthy introductions to its main characters, and this is a breath of fresh air. It gets around this stumbling block in stylish ease as each villain is given his or her own 3 minute backstory, with nifty graphics completing the sequences.

It’s a pleasing start to a film that promised so much in its trailers, but things really start to go downhill from there as our characters are forced to muscle their way through countless faceless enemies, culminating in a derivative battle against, you guessed it, more dull enemies. It’s almost like watching a third-person video game taking place on a massive screen.

Nevertheless, the cast does well with the material they’re given. Will Smith is his ever-likeable self and channels Deadshot from the source material with flair. However, the film really belongs to Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. Their performances are spot on, with Robbie in particular being the film’s ray of sunshine. Leto’s Joker is unfortunately not given anywhere near enough screen time despite the film’s two hour length.

The soundtrack is fantastic. Boasting Eminem, Grace and Panic at the Disco, it’s a pleasant distraction from the at times incomprehensible mayhem taking place on screen.

Special effects wise, Suicide Squad is fine, if a little uninspiring. The editing and cinematography are very clever indeed but the CGI goes from great to poor in a heartbeat. Considering the film’s $175million budget, this is completely unacceptable.

Overall, Suicide Squad promised us so much and has delivered relatively little. Drawing from the exceptional DC Universe, audiences could’ve had a film completely different from the slew of superhero films we are constantly blighted with these days. Instead, we’ve been given one of the most generic yet and it continues 2016’s trend as one of the worst summer blockbuster seasons in recent memory.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
2015 | Action, Sci-Fi
When an artificial intelligence outthinks its creator and forms itself into dozens of destructive robots, Earth's mightiest heroes come together once again to put a stop to the threat.

Acting: 10

Beginning: 10
As most MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) films tend to do, Avengers: Age of Ultron gets off to a really quick start wasting no time with action. Everyone gets a piece in the first ten minutes and they're working even better together than they did in the first film. While Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) flex their muscle and rip tanks in half, Hawkeye Jeremy Renner) pierces through dudes like the modern-day Legolas.

Characters: 10
A part of what works so well for these characters is how grossly different their backstories and personalities are. Hawkeye is a family man that uses humor to mask his annoyance in certain situations. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is constantly pushing the boundary envelope and acts superior to the ideas and thoughts of the rest of the group. Normally you hate a guy like this but he wears the hat so well. Throw in Vision, a benevolent AI with a sense of purpose, and the rest of the crew and you have a pretty solid character-base.

AI of the hour Ultron (James Spader) is a villain with a surprising amount of depth. He fights for his own cause which, in his mind, is the only necessary option for balance and preservation. His smooth, even-keeled voice can be chilling at times making for some pretty solid scenes.

Cinematography/Visuals: 10

Conflict: 10
There is enough action in the film for two films. The plot steamrolls into new scenes of combat, one after the next. Dull moments are nonexistent. There is something about having all of these characters on the screen at the same time that keeps the film exciting and fresh. Teamups are especially cool, watching pairs like Captain America (Chris Evans) and Thor perform unique combo moves. You want eye candy? The film delivers.

Genre: 8
Not the best superhero film I've seen, although I believe that says more about the emergence of the genre than the film itself. This century has ushered in some phenomenal superhero movies that do the genre proud, including ones that set themselves apart by having enriched characters and deeper meaning. Age of Ultron is solid, but falls just slightly out of the Cream of the Crop territory.

Memorability: 9
The action sequences alone played throughout my mind well after having watched the film. Among other things, Age of Ultron gives you a falling city along with a classic matchup between Hulk and Stark in the Hulkbuster suit. Perhaps the most memorable part came at the very end when Ultron and Vision are having a conversation about the fate of humanity. Part foreshadowing, part introspection, it was a very fitting way to bring the curtain down on the action.

Pace: 10

Plot: 9

Resolution: 8

Overall: 94
No, it's not the best MCU film made to date, but it's still a high-quality film with a solid story and memorable sequences that keep you glued to your seat. Thankful for the rewatch as I enjoyed it even more the second time around.