Tag Archives: Avengers 2

Review: Avengers – Age of Ultron


Avengers 2

The most awaited sequel to mega blockbuster of 2012, Age of Ultron hit the theaters last week in theaters worldwide. Creating a sequel to a blockbuster as beloved and successful as The Avengers is something big for anyone to live upto. One of the reasons the film became such a massive hit because of the novelty of seeing these characters on screen for the first time ever on the big screen; something that was long thought to be impossible. After massive success of the first movie, the sequel would have to shake things up. Age of Ultron feels like writer/director Joss Whedon is constantly trying to outdo himself. For the most part, he is succeeds. The film is more ambitious, emotional, funnier, and darker than its predecessor. However, it’s also less coherent and streamlined. In an attempt to juggle so many characters and subplots, the film loses that magic of simplicity that made the first film so appealing.  Despite those misgivings, the film manages to still be a fun and engaging superhero epic that serves to kick off the summer movie season and serves as a proper farewell to Whedon from Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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For me Age of Ultron is a massive success but it fails to pull off everything with the grace and synergy. The movie is on a different scale unlike Avengers was. The movie is a massive balancing act, pulling in about a dozen important characters and trying to give them all something to do while also telling a cohesive, succinct narrative. The movie is a juggling act that Joss Whedon tries to maintain fairly well. While I was fairly satisfied while walking out of the theater the feeling was not as great as the first movie and there is where the problem is.

Most of the reviews are made comparing it with the first movie when they should not. Most of the reviews have complained about new characters, if there was a sequel without new characters there would still be complains. The movie outdoes the expectations that fans had after the announcement.

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Age of Ultron proves to be a massive entertainer from the beginning. It opens with an exciting, and an entertaining action sequence that reintroduces all of the characters and the dynamic they share as a team. The opening is right on point in nearly all aspects, and creates a sense of high energy and pacing that is never really lost. While there are slower moments in the movie (such as a mid-movie sequence at the Barton farm) the sense of energy is never halted because there’s always something happening that propels the story forward. Unlike with the opening act of the first Avengers film, which tended to lull in some segments as the team was pulled together, Age of Ultron quickly establishes an excellent sense of narrative pacing, and this is arguably one of the film’s greatest strengths.

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The movie shows a great pacing apart from action sequences. Joss Whedon and his team does their best to manage their time amongst the numerous threads that the plot weaves along with the way characters connect with each other. As a writer, Whedon manages to find a great way of doing this, incorporating minor details from previous Phase Two films to show that, yes, they were relevant, while also keeping the focus where it needs to be: the matters at hand, how the team operates, and how the characters evolve because of the ordeals they undergo.

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If The Avengers was about assembly, Avengers: Age of Ultron is about disassembly. The former played on their conflicting personalities while the latter plays on their fears and insecurities. Though Ultron may be the main antagonist of the picture, it’s our heroes who have themselves to fear. How can these people save the world when they can’t even save themselves? The internal struggle of these characters is trying to overcome their mistakes and pain. That is what raises the stakes in this film. The entire world is jeopardy, but it’s also a battle for the Avengers to save their souls.

The film is loaded with terrific action sequences. The Hulk vs Hulkbuster scene is everything you hoped it would be and more. Though there is a lot to take in from the set pieces, they never feel exhausting or overwhelming, despite it being clear Whedon is always trying to top what he accomplish in the first film. Though admittedly, it’s hard to feel sense of danger when you know these characters are going to be back for their individual movies including more Avengers sequels. As usual, each character gets their shining moment. The principal cast has grown into these roles to the point where they could pull them off in their sleep. A most notable improvement is Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who after being relegated to Loki’s henchman for most of the first film, gets an integral and dynamic role among the team. Not to mention that he gets some of the best lines in the film. I wouldn’t be surprised if he emerged as fan-favorite after all is said and done.

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New additions to the cast vary. Thankfully, Ultron works for the most part and is miles ahead of just about all of the villains in Marvel films so far (which isn’t that hard when you look at how these villains were written). He’s surprisingly more snarky than people would expect an angry, maniacal robot to be. But that imbues the character with a personality that is sorely lacking from the rogue gallery in MCU. Joss Whedon admitted that the initial cut of the film was much longer. It comes out clear at many places as origin story for Quicksilver and Wanda comes out in a very rushed manner. Their origin is touched upon but in a very rushed manner. The Maximoff twins begin to work as characters as the film progresses, but there were missed opportunities to get audiences behind them early on. The breakout character of the film is hands down the Vision (Paul Bettany). While I won’t spoil his origin here, the film will leave you wanting to see more of especially since he does a fantastic job of making an impact in his first appearance.

The movie works and proves that Marvel Cinematic Universe is not going anywhere. Age of Ultron succeeds in teasing future movies with its supporting cast. The movie is entertaining but at the same time worries me about execution of future Marvel movies. It sets up Civil War, Wakanda and most importantly Infinity War and suffers with the same problem that Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Iron Man 2 suffered but on a very small scale. The summer has started with a bang and Marvel is going to rule.

Rating 8.5/10

Winter Soldier: The Movie Origin


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In the comics it is well-known that the Winter Soldier is Bucky brought back from “death” by the Soviets and brainwashed to be their assassin. While the Winter Soldier in next year’s Captain America sequel seems to be the same character from the comics Marvel Studios is infamous for making changes to either characterization, or origin. These are my theories about who exactly the Winter Soldier is.

Brainwashed HYDRA soldier: Arnim Zola survived World War II and is somehow still alive to this day. There is also the fact that Arnim is responsible for Bucky’s “death” in Captain America: The First Avenger. He could have easily gone back to the place where Bucky fell to take him back to some lab in order to revive him and then brainwash him to be a HYDRA assassin.

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Rogue SHIELD agent: Since Captain America, Black Widow, and Nick Fury seem to be fighting a rogue SHIELD led by whatever villain Robert Redford is portraying, it is also possible that Winter Soldier is working with them. In Avengers Tony Stark says that Nick Fury’s “secrets have secrets.” I believe that SHIELD may have secretly found Bucky and kept him a secret from Steve as they did whatever was necessary to save him. With a villainous Robert Redford leading SHIELD now leading SHIELD he could have chosen to unleash the Winter Soldier to destroy Captain America, Black Widow, and Nick Fury.

Brainwashed Soviet agent: 
The only reason this seems to be a possibility is because there is the red star on Winter Soldier’s arm. This is true to source material and will open room for more stories in Captain America’s storyline.

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I also have to wonder about the Winter Soldier himself. Unlike in the comics, Bucky does not “die” from an exploding drone plane, but falls to his doom in a fight with HYDRA soldiers on a train. This begs the question of whether the arm is the only thing done to him, or if other measures were taken to save Bucky’s life and that’s why he covers up everything except his hair.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2: What we know so far.


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Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 1 ended with blockbuster of 2012 called The Avengers with turned out best superhero movie of the year 2012. 2013 is coming and MCU Phase 2 begins with Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World in 2013 along with SHIELD TV series on TV in same year, Captain America: Winter Soldier and Guardians of The Galaxy in 2014 and then Avengers 2 finally in 2015 with Ant Man in the same year. Let up see what we so far about MCU’s phase 2.

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Thanos was revealed to be the villain behind the curtains in the End Credits of The Avengers so it’s clear that he’ll be pulling the strings in the upcoming movies, also according to the sources SHIELD’s role will be not as large as it was in MCU’s phase 1 and will be focused more towards heroes personal adventures.

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Iron Man 3

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Iron Man 3 comes out in May 2013 and many fans are speculating it to be the best movie of the year 2013, the stakes are higher than any of the films in MCU phase 1. Iron Man 3 focuses on Tony’s personal battle when his old enemy who were pulling the strings in his first two films The Ten Rings return and the man behind the organization The Mandarin finally reveals himself to make his l                 ife hell. This movie is based on highly acclaimed Extremis saga where Tony gives up his Iron Man suit to something better and comes up with Extremis suit that becomes part of his body and then the virus takes over.

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Guy Pearce plays Aldrich Killian the mad scientist who release the virus and War Machine get a new suit which in comics is known as Iron Patriot used by Norman Osborn at times. This might be a possibility that Marvel someday moves for Dark Avengers Storyline with Mandarin in-charge in case they don’t get Spider-Man back. Also AIM is going to be a part of this movie, in comics AIM is an evil organization and has a lot of intresting storylines related to Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man and even Punisher. We can speculate that Mandarin will be connected to AIM and it is going to be the part of Ten Rings in the film.

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This film will also focus on Tony’s life after Battle of New York, that start disturbing him on a personal level and he becomes concerned about people near him. This movie is something everyone is waiting after Avengers. Tony almost lost his life in the battle and learned the lesson of heroism and sacrifice and since no Hulk movie is coming so we can assume that we’ll learn about his whereabouts in this film.

Thor: The Dark World

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Thor: The Dark World comes out in Nov 2013 and is said to be an experiment by Marvel Studios if they can go ahead with two summer and a winter movie in future. Thor sequel will focus on what happens after Thor and Loki leave for Asgard. This movie will feature Dark Elves and the king of Dark Elves Malekith The Accursed played by Christopher Eccelston the former Dr Who. While Dark Elves have connection to Surter the Demon it is safe to Assume that they are also going to have links with Thanos, after all Asgard is the place where his infinity Gauntlet is. Also this movie is rumored for a Dr Strange cameo wonder how they’ll pull it off.

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This movie may lead us to Guardians of The Galaxy and Iron Man 3 to Captain America: The Winter Soldier

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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In Captain America: The First Avenger, Bucky falls from the train but unknown to Captain America he was captured by the Russians and in the movie he’ll be returning as The Winter Soldier who was kept in Suspended Animation. It is said that What Black Widow and Hawkeye were talking about Budapest it is related to The Winter Soldier. This movie introduces The Falcon played by… and SHIELD is going to be a part of the film. Chris Evens did an unexceptional job as Captain America in TFA and Avengers and it would be interesting to see how he’ll face his friend from the past.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

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Guardians of the Galaxy is the first solo movie in MCU Phase 2 has direct ties with introducing Thanos in his full force. For those who don’t know this team it consists of Drax The Destroyer, Star Lord, Groot the talking tree, Rocket Raccoon, Adam Warlock, Major Victory, Gamora, Quasar and many non- Earth based heroes teamed up with responsibility to battle alien threats. This movie may be the mode to introduce Miss Marvel in Avengers and a reply to DC what they could have done with The Green Lantern. All we need is to wait till 2014 and some proper casting news to come out before assuming anything.

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This movie is already something everyone is waiting for and it comes out in 2015. It is said along with big 6 this movie will introduce Ant Man aka the genius Hank Pym and his girlfriend Wasp in the team along with Miss Marvel and few other big names. Another speculation is that Clark Gregg who played Agent Coulson in Avengers will return as Vision. Lets see how much these rumors come true with time.

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Ant Man

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Ant Man is another first part movie that’ll come out in 2015, Ant Man and Wasp were the original Avengers and have a long storyline and history with them. Hank Pym made Ultron who is one of the best villains that is a must in an Avengers movie. His girlfriend and wife Janet aka The Wasp is supposed to debut along with him. The question is if Ant Man will be a part of Avengers 2 or is going to starting point in MCU’s Phase 3

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Mystery Aliens in Loki Army


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It’s been a while the Avengers super bowl spot surfaced and we got the first look at the aliens in the Loki’s army with no info on who the aliens are, the only hint we got that Loki after leaving Asgard at the end of Thor made pact with some inter-dimensional gangsters. Here are some theories on who are these mysterious Aliens.

Skrulls/Chittauri : While Joss Whedon denied about Skrulls in the movie he never said anything about Chittauri in the film. In the ultimate universe The Chittauri serve as the ultimate version of Skrulls and since fox owns the rights to Skrulls since they appeared first in Fantastic Four so this can be a safe way for Marvel Studios to design them as a mix of 616 and Ultimate Universe and name them Chittauri. Skrulls have always played an important role in Marvel universe and this can be debut in MCU. But having Skrulls need a lot of backstory to be explained so it is a safe way to go with someone whose origin story is not required or as enormous as the Skrulls

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Skrulls

 

Kree: Since random mentions of Captain Marvel in the movie there are chances of Aliens being the Kree but they are not. They not at all have any resemblance with any of the attacking Aliens. The only connection is that after Skrulls, Kree is the most powerful race of planet that can attack earth. Not now but may be in future we will get to see them.

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Thanos: WE already had a infinity gauntlet easter egg in the Thor and after that there were fare chances him appearing in Avengers. Also have you noticed how similar the headbands are similar with the one Thanos wears?

 

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The New Men AKA Knights of Wundagore: When screenshots of Super bowl teaser first surfaced something that took everybody’s attention was a contraption Loki was riding while chasing Iron Man. The same type of object is used to the New Men who were a creating of High Evolutionary. High Evolutionary always has a role in every cosmic event in Marvel universe. Wundagore is the place where Magneto’s children were born who because two of the most prominent avengers. But after we got clear pictures the aliens looked nothing like them.

 

Knights Of Wundagore

Frost Giants: Loki can always escape to Jotunheim anytime he wants. He have used Forst Giants for a number of purposes, after all he is Laufyson. They don’t even need to have a backstory like Skrulls . The aliens have a striking resemblance to the Jotun Army except for the fact that we know that they use some high tech weapons.

Frost Giants as in Thor film 2011

 

Badoons: Whichever site I have been to seem to have this race as one of their favourite. They have very little backstory to explain and are green in colour like the ones in Loki’s army. The only difference is that they generally don’t use such hi-tech armour.

 

Badoons

Annihilus and his Minions: Though the aliens’ faces have a striking resemblance to ones Annihilus uses but then rights to Annihilation wave is owned by Fox and Fantastic Four franchise so there is a no no about them as well.

 

Annihilation Wave

Sons of Muspell: The Superbowl teaser shows lightening over a building and a dimensional portal opening in the sky. This reminds of an old Thor/ Fantastic Four team up comics where it happened over the Baxter building. Also Muspelheim is one of the realms from Asgard and thus doesn’t requires to have a backstory and simply followed by an invasion.

 

Sons of Muspell

Namor and the Atlantians: Iron Man 2 dropped hints about Namor being in the MCU and we all were with high hopes about getting a Namor movie soon. But the Atlantians are blue in colour rather than the green coloured Aliens in the film.

Atlantians

 

Karbonites: Karbonites were a lesser race which serves as the origin story for Beta Ray Bill. Having Karbonites in Avengers can easily introduce Beta Ray in Thor 2, the only problem is that here only Beta Ray Bill was the one with horse shaped face on that planet and rest of them were humanoids.

 

Beta Ray Bill

Dark Elves: The look is very similar to what we’ve seen, and in a slight design tweak could be mistaken for Skrulls.  Also they originate from those 9 realms.

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Breakworlders: Breakworld is just a planet/race of aliens that appeared in The Astonishing X-Men a few years ago.  They have a dark greenish/grey skin, wear armor. And they were created by Joss Whedon himself.

Breakworld Ashtonishing X-men

 

Abyss and the Luminals: We already have seen Dimensional portal opening in the trailers. One of the stories surround this portal and cosmic cube belongs to Luminals. Nova and Cosmo trapped a villain named Abyss and an group made up of many aliens named the Luminals, and while in the Dimensional Envelope Abyss defeated The Luminals and TRANSFORMED THEM INTO HIS OWN ZOMBIE ARMY. They too have a close resemblance to Luminals and this can explain Loki’s interest in the cosmic cube.

Abyss and the Luminals

 

Alpha Centaurians: A group of aliens who invaded earth because water on their planet finished. They have the most close resemblance to the ones in Loki’s Army. The action figures can easily identify them to be one with the number of fingers and three toes. This can be another way to being Namor the Sub-mariner in MCU.

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Nebula and her Minions: When the statement comes up as interdimensional gangsters who else can fit at this point for Loki to make a deal with. Once Nebula was a dreaded interspace mercenary and a pirate she attacked Earth to gain ultimate powers and use Dr Harker’s atomic compressor. We already saw clips of Thor and Loki holding a mysterious box and leaving Earth with it. Also his army made up of various aliens species so he can easily be tied into the attack. Also Nebula is relates to Thanos so this can serve as a backstory to introduce the big man in Avengers.

 

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Still there is possibility that someone other than them will totally turns out to be the ones in his army, who knows? For that we’ll have to wait for 2 weeks more.