Saturday, 25 April 2015

Film Review | Avengers: Age of Ultron at City Screen York

Picture the scene.  It's almost 1am on Friday morning, I should be tucked up in bed so I'm fresh and bright for work in the morning, but instead I'm tapping away at the keys on my laptop, starting this review.  Yeah I could wait until morning, but just over an hour ago I got home from City Screen in York and I want my thoughts after seeing Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron to be fresh.

I've been to the first screenings of countless films at my fave cinema over the years (many of them Marvel films) but hats off to City Screen, the opening night of Avengers: Age of Ultron was hands down the best.  Even just walking into screen 1 clutching the free Age of Ultron poster I'd been given on arrival, it was obvious this wasn't going to be the typically sedate British cinema experience.  The atmosphere was buzzing with anticipation; this was a room full of fans who were easily as eager as me for the film we were about to see.  I half expected the energy to be dampened somewhat by the usual round of lacklustre trailers, but there was none of that here.  We saw glimpses of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ant-Man and Jurassic World (amongst others) and after each trailer the room erupted into enthusiastic cheers and applause.  It was honestly so much fun, kind of how I imagine going to the cinema in the US would be.

My Age of Ultron poster

Now I'll admit that as the familiar Marvel Studios ident started rolling I had some nerves.  Nerves, you say?  Well yes, but not for the reasons you might imagine.  I had no concerns that this film wouldn't stand up well against the behemoths that Marvel has released in the last decate, but I know Joss Whedon's work well and I knew that along with a fantastical thrill ride, we'd be in for a bit of an emotional rollercoaster too.  I've been a huge Joss Whedon fan since I was 15 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer first started showing on BBC2 in the UK, I know all too well the pain this man can inflict on his characters.

But anyway, I digress, the Marvel titles ran and boom!  We were off... immediately immersed into the most magnificent opening shot, seriously this single shot action scene was glorious.  It was like I hadn't been waiting 2 years to see my favourite characters again; here they all were, taking down a Hydra outpost and just being generally epic.

Although the sheer scope of this film was stunning and the action that were treated to was a far bigger spectacle than it has been in Avengers Assemble, that wasn't the be all and end all of this film.  Our titular villain Ultron, was both menacing and hypnotic thanks to the dulcet tones of James Spader, but he was all the more compelling with Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch (the modified Maximoff twins) backing him.

Whilst each of the Avengers, our heroes, had their challenges and triumphant moments in this film (most resulting from Tony Stark's actions and the effects of the Scarlet Witch's powers) and Paul Bettany's J.A.R.V.I.S had some great character development, perhaps the most intriguing and unexpected scenes came when we explored the backgrounds of the Black Widow and Hawkeye; it gave us a much greater insight into their motivations and made their characters all the more ineresting.  The brewing animosity between Iron Man and Captain America also stood out, it gave a great sense of foreboding, but we'll have to wait until Civil War is released to see how that plays out.

Image source

You know I mentioned the pain earlier?  Well along with the action and the genius dialogue, that was there too; I won't give away any spoilers about the fates of our beloved characters but what Joss Whedon put them through was as surprising as it was heartbreaking.

Now I did say right at the start of the review that this was the best night of cinema I'd been to, but does that mean it was my favourite Marvel film?  Sadly not.  Although it was brilliant, capitvating and breathtaking, it couldn't topple Avengers Assemble and Guardians of the Galaxy from the top spot in my affections.  But perhaps it wasn't meant to; although satisfying in its own right and certainly better than some of the Marvel sequels in recent years, maybe the best role for this film will be to usher in what's coming next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  We all know there are some exciting things on the schedule, with more films from the current stable of heroes and the introductions of some great new characters.  Personally, I can't wait!

If you fancy checking out City Screen yourself, you can find them here.  City Screen York are also pretty active on Twitter.

Have you seen Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron yet?  What's been your favourite Marvel film so far?  Leave me a comment below.

Sharon x


  1. Agree with you that this one isnt quite as perfect as Avengers Assemble and Guardians.... the stakes are getting so much higher that it can;t maintain that sort of joyous innocence for long! Really interested in seeing how things pan out re Civil War, but can't quite say I'm looking forward to it....

    1. Yeah that innocence was exactly what this film was missing. I'm kind of half looking forward to Civil War and the future and half not. I absolutely want more Guardians and Avengers but I almost wish I could be forever satisfied with those first brilliant films.

      Oh well, I guess it'll be done until it's done, if you know what I mean? x

  2. I hope you stayed past the end credits Sharon ;) one does not simply leave a Marvel film...

    Dannie x


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