Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers Age of UltronDirector: Joss Whedon
Run Time: 2h 21m
Stars: 3.5

Marvel yet again proves they can do no wrong. Well…mostly.

Your favorite gang of mismatched heroes is back and more dysfunctional than ever. Don’t get me wrong, I mean that in a good way. The diversity of the group is what keeps the tension between them at just the right level to stay intriguing. The plot of Avengers: Age of Ultron is largely based on this fact.

The whole team– Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Bruce/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Steve/Captain (Chris Evans), Natasha/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Clint/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)–has just successfully recovered Loki’s scepter from a Hydra facility in Sokovia. While they are there, they discover that Hydra has been experimenting with the scepter’s effects on humans. Newly transformed twins, Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) Maximoff, help defend the compound during the battle. Pietro is lighting fast and Wanda can manipulate minds and throw energy. It’s Wanda and her telekinetic powers that allow the Avengers to take the scepter. (You find out why later).

Thinking their mission is complete, the Avengers prepare to attend a farewell party. What they don’t know is that Stark and Bruce have secretly conspired to attempt to harness the scepter’s power for a program they created, called Ultron. It will act as the first line of defense for Earth against all terrors, foreign and domestic. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) As Tony leaves Jarvis (Paul Bettany) to continue diagnostics while the party commences, Ultron (James Spader) is born and becomes self-aware. He makes a sinister entrance at the end of the evening and takes the scepter.

In a twisted game of déjà vu, the Avengers must once again retrieve the scepter, stop Ultron before he destroys all of humankind, and do their best not to destroy each other in the process. Ultron is creating an army using Stark’s Iron Legion and the twins are assisting him on his quest. What happens next is a rollercoaster of highs and lows–action and plot development. You will by no means be disappointed, but you may find yourself with plenty of opportunity for bathroom breaks.

The action is impeccable, as always. The effects are great, the acting is superb for a superhero movie, and the entertainment is guaranteed. My issues are silly, at best, so I apologize ahead of time. And truly, there are only three.

First, I must say the introduction of a possible romance between Natasha and Bruce is 100% unnecessary. Why? Just, why? Apparently the writers felt there needed to be some sort of sexual tension to keep the audience entertained. Dear Marvel, It’s an Avengers movie! The audience is there to see some superhero whoopass! Not the Hulk and Black Widow awkwardly flirting to fill time. If you even want to call it that.

Second, you will also learn that one character has a secret family in a farm house somewhere…for no other reason than to offer a contrast in scenery. Seriously, that’s the only reason. Moving on.

The first two help play in to my third fault: the slow bits are really slow. The movie stands 141 minutes, but the action doesn’t flow as well as the first movie did. Instead you receive a staccato effect of adrenaline between filler. Lots and lots of filler.

Other than my nitpicking, this movie is epic and delivers everything you’d expect from the Marvel universe. The only reason my rating isn’t as high as one might expect is because I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first. Plain and simple. This movie introduced new characters, and gave old characters a chance in the spotlight that haven’t before. The writing is nearly perfect–you’ll laugh out loud during several scenes, I assure you. And did I mention Andy Serkis makes an appearance??

For those of you who haven’t seen this yet, check your local showtimes and get to a theater pronto! Just be sure to bring a snack.

As I said, the first Avengers will forever be my favorite. Marvel also introduced a new band of misfits last year with Guardians of the Galaxy. In case you somehow missed that.


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