In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) creates an A.I. system with the objective of ensuring peace on Earth. However, when the A.I., calling itself Ultron (James Spader), determines the only way to maintain peace on Earth is by human extinction, the Avengers are needed once again.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is the highly anticipated sequel to the 2012 film The Avengers. Writer and director Joss Whedon returns to helm the film. It’s definitely a challenging task in trying to outdo one of the most successful films ever made. Nevertheless, Whedon is able to deliver an entertaining summer blockbuster with Avengers: Age of Ultron. First of all, he brings back the witty banter between the team that made the first film so great. There are plenty of great comedic moments that add to the entertaining aspect of the film. Whedon ramps up the action as he attempts to outdo the action sequences from the first film. The sequel even starts off by throwing you right in the middle of a big action set-piece. These sequences definitely deliver and add to the spectacle element of this summer blockbuster. Whedon also does a good job expanding the setting of the sequel on a global scale.
It’s great to see this cast back together again. Robert Downey Jr. continues to entertain audiences with his portrayal of Tony Stark. Chris Evans delivers another great performance as Steve Rogers. The banter between Evans and Downey makes for some great moments. Chris Hemsworth seems to be improving his comedic timing as Thor. Mark Ruffalo continues to convey the struggle of balancing both Bruce Banner and the Hulk. There is a romance between Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow that does not feel forced, and actually feels very justified. Whedon does the character of Hawkeye justice in this sequel. We find out more about the character and just how important he is to the team. He is a major player in the sequel, compared to the first film. Jeremy Renner is fantastic in the role. He actually delivers some of the best moments in the film. New additions to the cast Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen do a good job in their roles as the twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. James Spader is able to bring his personality to the role of Ultron, who is a much more comedic villain than you would think.
Having voiced J.A.R.V.I.S. throughout many films in the MCU, Paul Bettany finally gets to appear on screen as Vision. The moment Vision enters, the film is raised up a notch. Bettany is simply terrific in the role. While he does not get much screentime here, it will be exciting to see him in future films. The film also includes entertaining appearances by Cobie Smulders, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Thomas Kretschmann, and Samuel L. Jackson. Andy Serkis is particularly good in his role as Ulysses Klaw.
Unfortunately, Avengers: Age of Ultron is not really the most memorable entry within the MCU and pales in comparison to the first film. The narrative of the film feels very rushed. There are a lot of plot elements that are glossed over such as the backstory of Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. It seems like the film could have used an extra 20 minutes or so, to give us some more intimate scenes. At a certain point, it seems like the narrative was simply getting us from one action sequence to the next. During the climactic action sequence, Whedon is trying really hard to outdo the Battle of New York from the original film. This results in the sequence feeling like overkill as the stakes are raised to an absurdly high level.
Another disappointing element in the film is the villain Ultron. From the trailers, it looked like we were going to be getting our best MCU villain since Loki. However, that is not the case. The development of his character is rushed through very quickly. He has a comedic overtone, that takes away from his menacing demeanor as a villain. Overall, he will not be going down as one of the more memorable villains in the MCU. There are also some plotlines thrown in to tease future films. There’s one with Thor that is executed rather poorly, which may leave viewers scratching their heads in confusion.
Ultimately, Avengers: Age of Ultron is definitely an entertaining summer blockbuster and a good start to the summer movie season, but it probably will not leave the cultural impact the first film did. It’s great seeing the great cast back together again, along with some impressive new additions. Whedon excels in delivering an exciting sequel that allows viewers to get closer with the characters. However, some noticeable flaws avert the film from becoming a truly memorable entry within the MCU. There is an exciting mid-credits scene, but there is no post-credits scene, so there is no need wait all the way until the end. Whether you’re looking forward to the narrative progression of the MCU or just looking for some summer popcorn fun, Avengers: Age of Ultron is an exciting summer blockbuster that is worth seeing.