An emotionally invested enthusiast of pop culture in the guise of a Copywriter. Apathetic by design. Aesthetically offensive and eloquently candid. A sentimental heathen.

After the success that is Avengers and the ever expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is only normal that everyone look forward to Avengers: Age of Ultron. There always is that over-hyped interest in a sequel, that make it or break it feels, and the doubt on whether or not it could compare to the predecessor. So Joss Whedon would have to make Avengers: Age of Ultron not only bigger, deeper, and darker, but also better.

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During their raid to Hydra’s final hideout, The Avengers managed to get their hand on Loki’s Sceptre and return home with victory… and the knowledge that Hydra had successfully experimented with the Maximoff Twins (Aaron Taylor Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen), giving them superpower.

Still, the Avengers were ready to celebrate. Because they don’t know that Tony Stark had decided that a peace-protector Artificial Intelligence called Ultron is necessary. One that is made based on the Sceptre’s interface, that is.

Of course, they got more than what they bargained for when Ultron figured that the key to peace is human extinction.

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So yeah, finally joining the already over-abundance Age of Ultron review just to throw in my two cents. Which I try very hard not to turn into an incoherent rant like the one I did on Twitter a few days ago. I mean I still am very conflicted because while my inner fangirl is still fanning herself over Pietro this movie, my moviegoer side is not that impressed. After second viewing, however, I do believe that this movie deserves the credit that it’s due. It is a rather profound movie on it’s own.

Granted, the story is a bit of a lackluster. It started off strong with Avengers storming off of Hydra. finding out about the twins – I do adore Cap’s quip about volunteering to be experimented on by a German Scientist and being at war later on – and Loki’s Sceptre that leads to what would have been an interesting debate and opinion divider about Artifical Intelligence and stopping a war before it’s started. It’s all gray morality – my kind of thing – and Age of Ultron would fare much better had they focused on this. On the emotional rupture that the Avengers experienced because of their contrasting view and how they drifted apart. But no. Wheedon had to veer off to much more personal life of the three Avengers that somehow still does not get their own movie even though they deserved it (Seriously, Marvel, get your shit together, Natasha can hold her own and it will get you that much more fangirl and fanboy alike) which is partly understandable because, well, they only ever show up on Avengers, aren’t they? And while I do appreciate Wheedon’s take on them as they really are overdue, on Hawkeye being the only stable pillar for once and the much-adorable-but-had-major-angst-sign Bruce and Natasha with their respective past, they’re kind of distracting and I prefer spending those time exploring the dynamics between the Avengers or knowing the Maximoff twins better.

(Because seriously, Wheedon, you didn’t even bother telling their story in pictures and settle in words. Aaron and Elizabeth pulled it off splendidly, true, but it still is annoying. And why, why don’t you give me more chance to know them better I mean most of the time they’re just there to show their power off and I barely know them and you expect to relate to them purely based on their sad past? I know that works well but seriously, you can do so much better)

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And yet I have to admit that Age of Ultron could hold it’s own ground. 141 minutes is a very long time, yet they utilize every bit of it and not once I felt compelled to look away for fear that I’ll miss something important. It was bigger and that much more spectacular compared to Avengers. All the actions were more than just blasting and smashing things – they where choreographed beautifully. It does get a bit too crowded at some points, but overall it was very pleasing to the eye and I was left breathlessly joyous. That whole Hulkbuster vs Hulk may just be a fanservice, but it was cool as fuck. Although it is unfortunate that the Maximoff’s power wasn’t explored more no I am not being bias and nor is Ultron – both as a character and his power. Also I found the final battle scene an almost exact replica of Avengers with only a slight modification. But Age of Ultron kept me sprawled on my seat as I indulge on the feast-like spectacle, so I am content.

Plus. the casts also pulled it off. They shared the screen almost effortlessly and their dynamics was one that I longed for – they all looked like they were as comfortable with their characters as if they’re on their own skin. It really is unnecessary to say anything about Robert Downey Jr. because that guy is Tony Stark in all it’s glory – with just the right amount of depression and vulnerability that the Avengers prompted and he hadn’t really get over. Chris Hemsworth is well, Thor, who really doesn’t get that much emotional screen time but still have that king-like attittude – although the teasing for Ragnarok felt a lot like well, tease. And Thor’s story is seriously underdeveloped, although it really is enough to get me gearing up for Ragnarok. And yes, I still am upset because they cut out Loki’s scene. Chris Evans is showing more of Captain America’s righteous-bordering-naive nature and assume more power as the official leader of Avengers. But he actually grow and I have got to see him better, see where he’s coming from and I like his repressed reluctance to stop being in a war. Also Falcon’s quip about “missing person”! Mostly, though, you can already see the seeds of conflict and disagreement between Cap and Tony that would eventually lead to Civil War.

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Jeremy Renner for once got more exposure as Hawkeye although it is a far too cliche sidestory that we already know too well. Scarlett Johansson proved that Black Widow isn’t all steel – that she have heart and conscience with a haunting past that explains why she’s so keen on starting over. And oh I adore that playful side of Natasha along with her dynamics with both Bruce and Clint. Mark Ruffalo, though, got me cooing in expected adoration over Hulk’s increasingly vulnerable emotional state and I can’t help but to relate with him and his fear. James Spader as Ultron is the right balance of sneering, menacing, and trying so hard to be polite while Paul Bettany as Vision is almost adorable, mild mannered but commanding, and is so very naive in that lovely way. Not to forget Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smolders, Don Cheadle, and Anthony Mackie – all of whom are commendable on their own right. But what caught my eyes (and captured my heart) were Aaron Taylor Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen as the Maximoff Twins. And I am not being bias, but I really am loving Elizabeth Olsen’s performance, especially her mental breakdown and all the angst that she ooze because dammit it’s delicious. Aaron Taylor Johnson had a rather heavier burden because we already have a QuickSilver on screen and while his rendition is much less joyful than Magneto’s son, his is almost all angst with the right amount of snarky confidence that sorta remind me of Tony Stark. Plus, he and Elizabeth showed a very convincing bond with that much of adorable dynamics. Not to mention the twins’ dynamic with Clint Barton – I am head over heels for that.

All in all, Age of Ultron did fell a bit short to my expectation because I admittedly expected more of both deeper narrative and action. But for all it’s worth, it were a good fun that calls for a second (and probably third, but not in the cinema) watching. It lay down the foundation for more events in the future – Civil War, Ragnarok, and most importantly Infinity War, with even a little possibility of a connection with Guardians of the Galaxy. While it does not change the fact that it is a body count over narrative kind of movie, it is one that could hold it’s own.

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Director: Joss Whedon. Writer: Joss Whedon. Released on: 22 March 2015 (Indonesia). Casts: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, James Spader, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Cobie Smulders.

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