Friday, March 25, 2016

Knocked Out! Batman v Superman Dawn Of Justice Movie Review

Censor Rating: PG-13(USA), U/A (India)
My Score: 2.5/5

I have a couple of admissions to make. a) I am huge DC superhero fan boy. b) I was seriously scared when they announced Dawn Of Justice back in 2013. The scary part was largely due to the fact that it was back then touted as a sequel to the events of the "Man Of Steel" a movie which was panned by critics and made the audiences take drastic sides. Moreover, the treatment done to the Batman character by the Nolan brother is a thing of legend. So, naturally if someone else wants to toy with that then it does really make you think "do you really need to do that"? As these fears subside, I found out that the movie release was pushed further and would now release in 2016 summer. What was even more shocking was that Warner and DC wanted to pit this movie against a proven franchise Marvel's Civil War. Then someone in the DC/WB hierarchy did the smart thing and pulled the movie from that rather "eventful" showdown and chose to release this movie 2 months earlier. So, did all this calm me down? Did the movie click? eh!

Regardless of what people say, I would consider BvS a direct sequel to the Man of Steel. This movie freaking starts where that movie ends!!! How can you not consider this movie as a direct sequel!! So, as I said, this movie shows the Bruce Wayne side of the Zod-Superman battle which culminates in total and utter destruction of property and humanity. The movie pushes forward a couple of years where Bruce gets fueled with the constant thought that Superman is a threat to the world. On the other side, Superman does not approve of Batman's rough methods and decides to take matters into his own hands if pushed into a corner. To this entire mix, comes along Lex Luthor to just stir the pot and makes everyone collide!! 

Writing & Direction: This is where the problem lies. Writing! You have a fantastic plot and then you somehow wind up just messing it all up!! The first act simply was incoherent! The 2nd act is bit better but still reels under the 1st act's exploits. The final act is basically the climactic fight that brings in the Trinity of the DC Universe - Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman to take out the not-so-secret-anymore villian Doomsday. I know Ben Affleck brought in his Argo trusted screenwriter to better this movie but even he couldnt save this one. The pace was so slow, the emotions were so over-proportionately added, it just didnt make sense anymore. In some places the writing looked hurried. In some places it was really slow! What it did show us is that DC really wanted too much to be exposed in this movie and they needed a lot of pieces in place for Justice League. This really made the movie a big royal writing mess.

Character writing is also really bad. The most confusing character is that of Lex Luthor. If that was the intention then great but I personally didnt understand what his motivation factors were nor what he intended to do with Doomsday assuming that Doomsday won! Plus his ramblings were really incoherent (There's that word again) to say the least. Wonder Woman seem to be forceful addition to this movie. Her character, however, is setup quite well which makes me want to wait for the standalone movie next year.

On the flip side, the movie did go all out in defining the new version of Batman to the world. That was the part which was fun. But then again, the Batman action was limited to only 1 fight scene! Only 1 fight scene!! That is it. The showdown choreography was also pretty lame. But that is to be blamed on direction.

300 was panned by critics but I enjoyed it. Sucker Punch was panned by critics but I liked it. Man of Steel was panned but I appreciated it. Zack Snyder's work is something which I really enjoyed in the past. However, now when I think of it, the guy just has 1 formula which he keeps on applying on different movies! This movie was no different. Take the showdown scene as an example. It was really bad. I didnt enjoy it one bit. I was just waiting for it to end. You know why? Becoz the direction was all over the place. The camera movements were slow close that you couldnt even track it. If this is how Justice League is going to be treated, then I am really fearful for WB/DC. Zack, please get your act together else it wont really end well!

Special Effects: Considering the movie's budget and the fact that the time taken to make and release this movie, the effects had to be bang on and thank god they were. They were nice, crisp and neatly presented.

Cast: This movie is about Ben Affleck and that guy is the saving grace here. He has really come a long way since Gigli and it showed in this movie. He really understood and presented the character of Bruce Wayne and Batman with amazing tenacity. He gave us a Batman which has substance and the will to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Its completely different from what we have seen before and yes he did a fantastic job. If he is going to direct the Batman flick down the line, I will be taking the front row seats!

Henry Cavill does a good job. Considering the story revolves around him, he actually carries himself well in the movie and packs some good emotional/conflicted moments in the movie. Amy Adams is a delight to watch. Jesse Eisenberg really tries his best to do justice to a very confusing character write up. He really has the charm to pull it off. But just doesnt have the right dialogues to do it with.

Special mention to Gal Gadot here. People (including me) didnt think that she can carry Wonder Woman but she really steals the show in the 3rd act. Awesome!

Bottom Line: So, if you ask me to describe this movie in a word, then it would be, yes you guessed it, incoherent. With BvS Dawn Of Justice, DC tries to penetrate the Marvel armour but ends up just scratching the surface. Although it sets up for future movies, but itself gets knocked out in the process. I liked the Dark tone but I didnt like the treatment and as a DC fan boy, you would imagine how disappointed I am. But mind you, the rating given is purely becoz of the saving grace that was the character of Batman and the final act involving Wonder Woman.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Deadly fun! Deadpool Movie Review

Censor Rating: R (USA), A (India)
My Score: 4.5/5
Sometime ago, a test screen footage of the proposed Deadpool movie was leaked online which gathered amazing fanfare. The "merc with the mouth" was shown in his full glory (and gory) which propelled fans to push for a feature film on the character. The push was enough for the producers to understand that this character has immense potential despite the most pathetic rendition shown in the Wolverine Origins movie. Luckily, Ryan Reynolds saved a bit of class for that character in the 2009 flick. But the test footage (which can be viewed through this post) was "nail on the head" moment (no pun intended) for us to see this character come to life on the big screen.

So, what is Deadpool? Its a romantic mercenary story that touches your heart?? Nahhhh, it is a fun ride which uses the most innovative means of character development. Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) plays a quick witted, motor mouth mercenary with a military background who makes a quick buck through some odd jobs that he gets. However, the realization of cancer spreading through his system makes him desperate due to which in the spur of the moment signs up to undertake a torturous treatment which gives him the ability to heal rapidly. However, the procedure horribly disfigures him and makes him look like ******* (fill the stars with what best you like based on what Weasel says). There starts Wade's (and our) journey as he sets out to take revenge on the person who gave him this treatment.

Story and Direction: Heavily inspired by the comic, story stays true to what fans and comic geeks alike love about the character. Story is pretty straight forward but the screenplay really plays out very well. I have to hand it over to the writers on this. This is the best paced screenplay that I have seen in a long time (last time I saw it was in Guardians of the Galaxy). Its fun, quirky, completely action packed and riddled with awesome dialogues that keep coming at you one after the another. The nods, puns and fun poking at other movies is apparent right from the start credits and continues right up to the end credit scene (yes this one also has it). Best part is that the movie pokes mighty fun at Ryan Reynolds and his career choices as well as other superhero movies. Thats what makes this movie stand out. The blending of the XMen franchise with this movie was done well and sets up the cinematic universe for all to imagine.

For a newbie director, Tim Miller provides a flawless output. He really knows the material well and does a phenomenal job in bringing the screenplay to life. He knows this actor and does some awesome sequences which get the best out of Ryan. Considering his movie and how brilliant it was, he really has a bright future.

Visuals and Effects: In the effects and action department, the movie had to deliver and boy did it deliver! Simply spectacular sequences and scintillating effects were the cornerstone of this movie. Action choreography was breathtaking and slow-mo/still shots were beautifully rendered on the screen. If at all, I had to crib/nitpick was that sometimes the action sequences were too up close which gave me a hard time in terms of tracking and admiring the sequences.

Cast: Ryan Reynolds was born to play this character. He has passion for this character and that clearly shows in his output as he comes out right on top in this movie in terms of delivering a near perfect performance. Deadpool is him and he is deadpool. Its a blessing that his outing as the Lantern was a flop. Otherwise he would have been linked with DC and Pool would never have been rendered on the big screen.

The supporting cast is really good with TJ Miller providing a good comic timing (although his role was reduced). Rest of the cast also did a good job but nothing worth calling out as the entire movie was a pure Ryan Reynolds show!!

Bottomline: Its a really fun action filled movie which I have seen in quite some time. Its a completely different take on the superhero genre which really works and manages to connect with the audience it intends to. Deadpool gives more bang for a buck than any other movie in the superhero genre and remember.....always count your bullets!!

Friday, December 25, 2015

More Light than Dark! Star Wars: Force Awakens Movie Review!

Censor Rating: PG-13 (USA), U/A (India)
My Score: 4/5

Contrary to what people say, I am not a Star Wars fanboy. I am just someone who appreciates cinema when it is made really well. So, when I was introduced to this "Star Wars" movie, a sci-fi flick, made in 1977, my expectations were really dumbed down. In fact, I am not at all happy or impressed with that movie. It was before the time the makers decided to age up the special effects and remaster it digitally. So, I am one of the very few of my Indian generations who has seen the "original Star Wars". The only real thing that I liked about that movie was its narration and the way characters were scripted. Those were the key to this huge mythological universe which was created by George Lucas and gave rise to an amazing fanboy following. The series came full circle in 2005 with the final of the 6 movies. However, a couple of years back, Disney took over LucasFilms and AWAKENED STAR WARS! 

So, whats this one about? 30 years have passed since the Empire was defeated. However, there is a disturbance in the force (pun intended). Luke is missing and Empire's ashes have given rise to a New Order which is trying to overthrow the New Republic. The Resistance is their first real line of defence, a shadow group. which is working to counteract the effects of the New Order. Whilst this is going on, a new character, Rey, is drawn into this conflict which is partly involved in defeating the New Order and locating the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker, the last of the Jedi knight. Pursued by Kylo Ren and his Supreme Leader Snoke, we follow the adventures of all our heroes (Han Solo, Leia, Chewie) as they go about trying to save the republic! Perfect Star Wars material - eh?

Story & Direction: My yardstick for this movie would always have been the story and they got it spot on. Its always a difficult aspect to bring in the new without forgetting the old. The trick is to use the old to allow fans to help accept the new characters in the movie. The older movies didnt have to do that. They worked well becoz the principal characters in that movie were relatively small. It would have been really easy for the makers to go crazy and introduce a host of new characters. But that would mean a crowded curtain call and complete utter confusion. So, it was really heartening to see them take the story forward like that. I am not saying that the story was perfect, but it was good enough to allow the new trilogy to be relevant in today's time. The plot lines had a degree of predictability attached to it but that didnt over power the fun part of the story. The best part which I liked about the movie was the tease involving Luke Skywalker (enough said).

Special mention to the screenplay here, it was really pacy, which is unlike Star Wars, but it is very much JJ Abrams territory. He and his team did a decent job in making an entertaining film. He pulled the movie back a bit in the 2nd half but that was more to help the mythology grow which isnt incorrect. 

What can I write about the director who has now revitalized 2 of the most endured sci-fi franchises on the planet. JJ Abrams is the man for anyone looking to rejuvenate any franchise. His attention to detail and capability to adapt to that franchise style makes him the most valued director in the industry today. This is an out and out Abrams movie and you would really get that flavour during the course of it. All in all, full marks to him and May the Force be with him (pun intended).

Visuals & Effects: As expected with a movie of such magnitude and budget, the effects are top-notch and the attention to detail in terms of make up, surroundings and character designs is simply brilliant. Kudos to the production team for such a high quality work.

The Cast: As I said, it was important for the franchise to have a blend of old and new characters in the movie which would allow the makers to phase out the old and concentrate on the new. The makers have been extremely fortunate to have almost the entire star cast back in attendance for this. This movie was not going to be a success without them and it proved.Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill are the corner stones of the original franchise and their existence in this new world was crucial for the movie's flowing storyline. Needless to say, they were awesome, specially Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill.

Of the new lot, have to give a round of applause to Adam Driver. His character of Kylo Ren is so complex, that I couldnt believe he pulled it off. He is amazingly gifted and is a true find of this series. I just hope that his character is allowed to mature in the sequels to come rather than getting abruptly terminated. Daisy Ridley as Rey was also brilliant and provided a mature performance. John Boyega was also nice and turned in a good performance loaded with amazing comic timing. Another mention is Oscar Issac who is on a roll recently and will set the screen ablaze next year with his rendition of Apocalypse.

Final Thoughts: Clearly, a well made movie, Force Awakens provides a super launching pad for this trilogy to kick off. Its easily one of the top movies in the franchise (might be after Episode 5 and 6). Although it is predictable, it still allows the makers to tell a story which is relevant not only to the 80s fan boys but to the new generation as well. I cant wait for Episode 8 to begin as the curiosity has truly awakened in this amazingly long lasting franchise.  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Ridiculously small! Ant-Man Movie Review

Censor Rating: PG-13 (USA), U/A (India)
My Score: 2/5

A movie conception is always a delicate thing because it is at its inception can a film maker decide what needs to be and what does not need to be in the movie. However, when a studio tinkers with this thought process, you get "creative differences" causing a dilution of the basic movie concept - resulting in a movie like Ant-man.

Marvel kicks off "phase 3" of their cinematic universe with this miniature superhero with a enormous heart. The movie dwells on the basic origin story premise which features both Hank Pym (the original Ant-man as part of comics) and Scott Lang (the one who inherits it from Pym) while playing a part in expanding the universe of superhero to a more detailed level. The introduction of this movie is done keeping in mind next summer's Avengers 2.5 aka Captain America civil war. In brief, the story is about Hank Pym's struggle in keeping the Ant-Man technology out of the hands of this prodigee Darren Cross and how he enlists Scott Lang (who has his own set of issues) to deal with Cross.

Story & Direction: I must say easily this is the most disappointing script coming out of MCU which I have seen till date. The writing has that flare of Edger Wright which we have seen and loved in the Cornetto Trilogy but forced humour, typical character perils and lack of focus on the story line are the main reasons for this being such a snooze fest during the initial build up. The movie does claw back some of cool stuff and gets its humour together during the climax which becomes its saving grace. Again, if I know Wright's work, I can tell that it was entirely his conceptualization.

Peyton Reed knows Paul Rudd and their chemistry is the centerpiece of the direction of this movie. Peyton does a good job in directing a movie in which he was brought in as a last minute replacement but since he isnt involved during the conceptualization, it shows in the direction. Having said that he does put in an honest day's work in this flick.

Visuals & Effects: As it is customary with MCU movies, special effects are top notch and state of the art. The climax in particular is brilliantly choreographed and executed which effectively ends up saving the movie a bit.

The Cast: Where the script was in complete disarray, the casting was pretty much spot on. Paul Rudd looks and behaves like Scott Lang. He brings that humbleness to the character which is of a father trying to mend his way in order to be with his daughter. Evangeline Lily as Hope Van Dyne does a good job but essentially sets herself up for future work in the MCU. Corey Stoll as Darren Cross provides a good typical antagonist.

With Michael Pena and the rest, some comic factors are introduced which initially are really flat but provide some good relief at the end. Michael Douglas as Hank Pym was a surprise inclusion into the MCU but was the perfect seasoned Hank Pym who coaches Scott Lang to become the new Ant-Man. Anthony Mackie is brought in just to tie in Ant-Man to the MCU. Thats it!

The Bottomline: The weakest movie of the MCU, it makes me wonder if the MCU has ran out of steam or is the quality been compromised just to ensure that all these movies contribute to the entire MCU rather than being stand alone. Edger Wright exited because of precisely this issue and now I understand why. The movie will make money but it will be considered as a flop and the entire onus will fall on Kevin Feige who needs to understand and curb this pattern. Is Ant-Man a workable movie concept? Yes, Is Ant-Man the movie workable? for me, No.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Roaring Return! Jurassic World Movie Review!

Censor Rating: RPG-13 (USA), U/A (India)
My Score: 3/5

Its an interesting year for people like me. Ring in the new as well as the old I would say. Summer started with a bang (sort of) with Ultron and now I have seen 2 back to back movies introducing the newer generations to old times. Mad Max was a thrill ride which I thoroughly enjoyed. You can read all about my experience here. But we arent talking about Mad Max. Its another iconic movie which got resurrected this weekend. It redefined movie making and set a gold standard in visual effects. After 20 years, the park is finally open!

Exactly as it sounds, the movie's premise is set around 20 years after the events of the very first movie. John Hammond's company Ingen has been taken over by Masrani Corp which took steps in reopening the park. We begin our journey in a thriving park branded as "Jurassic World" which has reached a saturation point. So, in order to improve business, the people behind the park undertake genetic remodelling to deliver a new hybrid dinosaur titled "Indominus Rex". However, as it is with these movies, things quickly go out of hand and the events unfold with chaos, thrills and destruction being the chief parameters.

Story & Direction: It was interesting to see the writing approach which was taken for this movie. Although it looked unconventional, it wasnt. In fact, this was a natural direction the franchise had to take in order to survive. Lets face it, another Jurassic Park movie where humans are hunted by dinosaurs freely roaming around would not have set the cash registers ringing at the box office. What the writers do instead is exactly the same thing but with an exception of making humans feel that they are in complete control before things go haywire. When the credits rolled, I was thinking, well this is an ending that I have seen before! Having said that, I still feel that this is a logical yet safe direction which the makers could have taken. 
The screenplay was typical Jurassic Park style where we have some good little comical nuggets blended in with some thrills and heavy duty dino action. The pace was decent but felt rushed at some places. The dialogues were good enough though compared to the previous sequels. The thing which I liked in the writing was the homage which was paid to the original Jurassic Park and the finale which felt kind of cheesy yet cool at the same time.

Considering that this was Colin Trevorrow's 1st real big budget movie, I would use the word "phenomenal" in terms of the work which he did. He knew the source material really well and treated it with atmost respect. He didnt do many adventurous things in the movie and choose to play safe most of the times. It paid off and the end result is really good piece of work. Hope I see more of his movies.

Visuals & Effects: This movie worked purely because of its thrills. The effects and visuals played a huge role on it. Having said that, at some instances, the effects really felt unfinished or bland. But overall, people who see the movie would be happy to see near life like dinosaurs again ruling the big screen. 

The Cast: If you set aside the dinosaurs, the movie was carried on mostly by 4 principal cast members. Chris Pratt is having a really nice career off late with Marvel and now Jurassic Park knocking on the door. He shows a good mature performance with a comical turn and timing which only he is capable of. In other words, he is in red hot form.

Bryce Dallas Howard is seen on screen after a long time and she provides a decent enough performance. Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins are the kids in distress this time around and they also turn in a good performance. The supporting cast of Vincent D'Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy & BD Wong (the scientist from the original movie) provide a strong support in driving the story narration forward.

Bottomline: Traditional yet modern, Jurassic World has the essence of the original movie but lacks the finishing touches due to a predictable ending. However, it does have its own moments like the final battle which gives you goose bumps and takes you back to the days of John Hammond when he filled up the screen and said "Welcome to Jurassic Park!".

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mad Rush! Mad Max Fury Road Movie Review

Censor Rating: R (USA), U/A (India)
My Score: 4.5/5
Movie mythos are really essential to be created in today's world. Comic book movies, although entertaining, still look like a shortcut route to getting the people introduced to a huge world which exists in literature since the last 75 odd years. There isnt any good material left which would give us a hero which we would want to route for. During the 80s George Miller started something which captured the imagination of the world. So much so that there were 3 flicks made back to back which ended up creating their own world and adventures. Those movies came to be known as Mad Max Trilogy - the very first trilogy which I watched back to back and boy was I hooked on. So, 30 years later when I read that George Miller decided to bring back the classic character back to life, I was like "This is interesting".

So, Mad Max Fury Road is set in the same post apocalyptic world which we saw in Thunderdome. Although not really referring any of the events of the prior movies apart from the setting of course, Fury Road takes off with Max (played by Tom Hardy) being captured by the war boys and dragged into a cult where he is used as a "blood bag". The leader of the cult Immortan Joe, a dictative authority, has forged partnerships with Gasoline owners (called Gas Town) and armory owners (called bullet farm). He has an imperator "Furiosa" (played by the awesome Charlize Theron) who undertakes a visit to the 2 towns for exchange of goods. However, Furiosa has her own agenda of freeing the wives of Joe and leading them to "Green Place". Along with a war boy (Nick Hoult), Max engages Joe in this thrill ride complete with awesome action spectacles and sensational sequences!

Story & Direction: The brilliant thing about the writing is that it successfully stays true to the mythos created for the 1st set of movies and ports it brilliantly well for this one. The essence of the initial movies, even for the uninitiated, was there to see and experience. My only complaint is the cult background was very brief and didnt give much details on its origins (something I felt should have been given). Another huge pulse for this movie is the way story narration happens between and during action sequences. I found it to be done really well and hope that other wannabe action flicks really learn from this one. All on all, fantastic work by George Miller.

In terms of compliments, George holds the distinction of creating another directorial masterpiece. The movie detail is immaculate with finer details arched out very intricately and justice done to all characters involved. Considering his last 2 movies were Happy Feet and its sequel, the tone, pace and spectacular sequences are a treat to watch and give an owe for. The 3D is used wisely. However, my only complaint is that I didnt watch this movie in IMAX.

Visuals & Effects: The action sequences are superlative! No doubt about it. Nothing comes close in the past 2 years than the sequences which I "witnessed" in this movie! Completely over the top and top notch from a technical sense, George Miller's panache for amazing visuals and practical effects is on full display. This movie should definitely be a contender for best action sequences and, in my opinion, better even than Age of Ultron and deserve some recognition this awards season.

The Cast: Finding a replacement for the original Mad Max (Mel Gibson) was a difficult ordeal. However, Tom Hardy stepped into his shoes and did a good job in showing off his action chops in this movie. The plus point in this movie is casting of another lead in form of Charlize Theron as Furiosa which kind of balances the acting honours so that the viewers do not really depend on Tom to deliver a fantastic performance. It was a bold and a smart move at the same time but it worked. The bonus was that both actors gave a break out performance in their own right.

Another notable performance was by the ever so talented Nicholas Hoult. The XMen beast played a war boy called Nux in this one and did justice to the casting. Hugh Keays-Byrne did a good job portraying Immortan Joe. A small bit of trivia, it seems Hugh Keays-Byrne was part of the original mad max movie as well but as a completely different character.

Conclusion: Seasoned with amazing sequences and an innovative form of storytelling, Fury Road re-introduces the modern audience to the mythos of Mad Max. Its an exciting movie complete with the tone of the original and personally I cannot wait for the next chapter in Max's life. This one's definitely a keeper.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Thrown the Gauntlet! Avengers: Age Of Ultron Movie Review

Censor Rating: PG-13 (USA), U/A (India)
My Score: 3.5/5

With a massive budget, you can either go all out and show the world your movie making chops or you can go all out and try to earn more money. When I finished watching the nearly 2 and a half hour marathon, I was wondering what Joss Whedon was aiming for. This question is extremely difficult to answer when your mind is toggling between being a fanboy and an objective voice of reason. Thats when I realized, the movie was not about impressing the fanboys or be objective, it was to throw the gauntlet down to DC and to pass the torch to the Russo Bros who can script how the Avengers take down Thanos and his Army.

The movie picks up (sort of) after the events of Captain America: Winter Soldier with Cap assembling the avengers in taking down the hydra bases all over the world. They hit the Hydra outpost in Sokovia to take down Baron Strucker and take back Loki's scepter. During their mission, they run into the Maximoff twins (Aaron Taylor-Johnson & Elizabeth Olsen) who give them a run for their money. During the raid, Tony Stark comes across a revelation which helps him jump start the Ultron program. Thus Ultron is born, goes rogue and pledges the destruction of the Avengers with the help of the Maximoff twins. The story then becomes a joy ride which takes the team from New York to Africa and finally back to Sokovia.

Story & Direction: The story had 2 facets to it - the actual movie story and the MCU story. From an MCU perspective, this movie (as expected) was a huge step forward in terms of realizing the infinity wars plotline. Further, this movie served as a stopgap for that very storyline and ensured that Thanos was not introduced too early for anyone's annoyance. At first, I felt that this movie does not have any real bearing on the MCU. However, when you break down each and every scene, you see that every step, every sub plot in the movie has a direct and immediate consequential impact to the MCU. For that hats off to Whedon and his crew for a brilliant write up. That clearly shows a great "Vision" (couldnt help it :))

From a movie story perspective, I was not very impressed. The entire movie felt rushed and didnt have the drive that the 1st movie had. This movie felt disoriented and extremely fast paced to allow audience a breather. Ultron's motives to turn rogue were not really clear to me nor where the origins of the Vision and why he was brought to life. I felt those fear memories inducted by the Scarlet Witch really had something going but that wasnt explored either. I would have rated the movie very low had it not been for the MCU storyline elegance which the movie depicted!

Joss Whedon's swansong to the MCU was commendable. He did an admirable job in directing some really cool sequences (highlight was the very 1st Avengers Assemble sequence) and some really swift camera work and direction. What I liked in this one is he managed to extract some really cool emotional performances from the entire cast which was good to see.

Visuals & Effects: For a movie of this magnitude, the VFX department needed to be spot on and by god it was! It was a treat to watch ALL the sequences. Although most of them were over the top and some were needless, but for the lover of this art (thats me), it was a spectacular feeling. I missed watching the IMAX version but I can vouch that it would have been super fun. The attention to detail was super cool. Vision really caught my eye as those effects were done brilliantly well. 3D was non-intrusive and had that immersive effect which was missed earlier.

The Cast: The entire ensemble was brilliant. Thats the beauty of having top class actors, they are really bankable and gives the makers one less area to worry about. RDJ, both Chris's, ScarJo, Mark & Jeremy all turned in some really good performances. Sam Jackson and Cobie Smulders also did a decent job.

James Spader was the perfect choice as Ultron's character. You needed a cold calculative voice to deliver that sinister trance that is Ultron and James was awesome in it. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen struggled a bit with the accent but turned in some really nice performances as the "Enhanced". I particularly liked Olsen in the final few scenes as she really showed why he is indeed the Scarlet Witch. The minor cameos by Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle were a delight. Andy Serkis was strategically placed and would have a huge role to play in the MCU in the future.

Bottomline: Not the finest gem in the MCU, but Age of Ultron still delivers the fitting start to Phase 3 & to the Summer of 2015. Joss Whedon in an interview did concede that he might have made a bad movie and he is around 40% right. But the MCU storyline continuation bails up out and makes the rating for this movie go up! Fanboys would enjoy it.

Poster & Videos Copyright: Marvel Studios