You want to protect the world, but you don’t want it to change. You’re all puppets, tangled in strings… strings!
– Ultron “Avengers: Age of Ultron”
With “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” director Joss Whedon faced the impossible task of topping the success of 2012’s “The Avengers.” Thankfully, Mr. Whedon did not fall victim to the temptation to try to outdo the original film.
After all, if Age of Ultron tried to up the ante on the original film, we most likely would have been forced to sit through a three and a half hour spectacle that would have called into question just how many Hulk smashes and Thor hammer throws you can fit into one film versus how many you should.
Unlike most blockbuster sequels, this film doesn’t attempt to outshine or duplicate its predecessor, but instead builds upon it. Which is refreshing.
That’s not to say that the film doesn’t have its fair share of action. The penultimate showdown between the whole Avengers crew and the many, many incarnations of Ultron is one of the most beautiful fight sequences Marvel has put on screen to date.
However, what makes this film great, and what keeps millions of fans flocking to see the latest and greatest from Marvel is the characters and their stories. Their complexity, likability, and growth is what keeps us coming back for more.
In round two of the Avengers saga, all the favorites are back and taking on a new enemy, Ultron (voiced by James Spader). A rogue creation of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Ultron was created to help protect the world. But with a mind of its own, he determines that the only way to achieve his programmed purpose — world peace — is to remove those that stand in the way — the Avengers and all of humanity.
To make matters more interesting, Ultron recruits two of Hydra’s (remember the Nazi organization from Captain America?) experiments, Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), to assist with his takedown of the Avengers. Also known by their alter-egos, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, the twins have the power to move at supersonic speed and manipulate minds and energy (respectively).
Wanda’s power in particular proves to be an obstacle as each of the Avengers has to fight some inner-demons while facing her hallucinations.
If all that sounds incredibly heavy and deep for a two and a half hour superhero movie, then you’ll be happy to know that Age of Ultron is not without a sense of humor. That wit and snark (aka – Robert Downey Jr.) that we’ve grown to love in Marvel’s films is still there. More importantly, the film never takes itself too seriously. There’s a running testosterone-fueled joke surrounding the male Avengers’ ability to lift Thor’s hammer that is flawlessly worked into even the film’s darkest moments.
It’s an epic story with an amazing cast, and yes, some amazing action scenes. If you’re already a fan, or have been living under a rock and are new to Marvel, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is worth seeing.
…be warned, if you plan on just watching “The Avengers” ahead of seeing Age of Ultron, there will be plot holes, but “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” should get you mostly up to speed.
…just for fun: