There are whispers online that there will be a director’s cut of “Avenger: Age of Ultron.” Hopefully that rumor is true. Last year, ‘Captain America: the Winter Soldier’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ set the bar really high for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Perhaps the execs at the studio felt like they had to try harder on those films as some vocal people claimed that Captain America was the Avenger no one liked and the general public wasn’t aware of the Guardians. Joss Whedon certainly seemed to try really hard. He clearly had a daunting task of setting up phase three more than telling his own story. The biggest Weakness of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is the post production. There is a lot of quick and rapid cutting throughout the film that gives it a very rushed feeling. Plenty of the action scenes clearly rely on CGI and rapid cutting, and so aren’t as hard core and exciting as they could be. If more care had gone into the fight choreography and the editing, a perfectly entertaining film would have been a completely awesome film. That is really the only weakness. Unfortunately, it just has a huge impact.
There is a long list of positives in this film. There is plenty of great chemistry and witty banter in the film. The jokes between the characters induce plenty of laughs, but those laughs would have been much bigger with better editing. There are some good character moments that are touching, but would have been more touching with better editing. Quick silver and Scarlett Witch make good additions to the teams. Parts of their story feel a bit rushed because of rushed editing, but there is enough in the film to support their motives for the various actions they take. There is a moment of interaction between the twins and Steve Rogers that is a turning point in the film. That could have been longer. Hopefully, it will be in the extended cut. Perhaps for the theatrical release, some of Thor’s distracting sub-plot, that was clearly a set up for phase three could have been trimmed. After all, there will be plenty of time to enjoy phase three between now and 2019. The execs at Marvel should have allowed the audience to enjoy the end of phase two during this film.
There are a couple characters, who appear in the film, but just aren’t in there long enough. One of the best moments is a brief conversation between Sam Wilson or Falcon and Steve Rogers. Despite the fact that this film had a sizeable ensemble cast, it still would have been nice for Sam Wilson to have a bigger part. At least the film heavily hinted that he will play a bigger part in the future. Helen Cho was a character who showed a lot of potential, but felt under used. Ultron himself felt pretty cool. He was certainly a menacing presence. With better editing of the story and the action scenes, his menacing effect could have been so much greater.
There was some of Joss Whedon’s stamp on this film beside the dialogue. People who watched ‘Angel’ won’t be surprised at the direction the film takes regarding the relationship of the team. It’s not anywhere near as dark or tragic as what happened to the Fang Gang, but there are struggles that Tony Stark and Bruce Banner in particular go through. Joss certainly did go deeper as he promised to do. He even took a romantic subplot and did what he always did on his shows.
Overall, the film is a fun time. People who see it in the theater will have a lot of fun. It feels like it potentially could improve on repeated views when people get past the rapid cutting that makes the film feel more like a part of the ‘Fast and the Furious’ franchise rather than the Marvel cinematic universe. As far as phase two films go, the chemistry of the ensemble cast rank that film above ‘Thor: the Dark World’ and “Iron Man 3’ but the post productions ranks it below ‘Captain America: the Winter Soldier’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ Early showings started tonight but tomorrow, May 1 is opening day.