Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner
Avengers: Age of Ultron throws us straight into the middle of the action as the Avengers lead an assault on a HYDRA base. We are introduced to a cohesive team instead of the disjointed group of Avengers Assemble. These Avengers spark off one another and even the fight scenes are filled with quips and cool choreography such as Thor using Mjolnir on Captain America’s shield to take out a tonne of bad guys. But this cohesion is put to the test as the group face Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch, Wanda Maximoff, and her super-fast twin brother Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). During the assault on the HYDRA base Scarlet Witch causes Tony Stark to have dreadful visions and it magnifies his trauma from the attack on New York. Stark convinces Bruce Banner to help him resurrect the dormant peacekeeping A.I. Ultron. However, once ‘alive’ Ultron (voiced superbly by James Spader) decides that the best way to save humanity is to destroy the Avengers and get rid of the main threat to the human race, Mankind itself. So starts a global race to stop Ultron and the Maximoff Twins, complicated by the fact that the Scarlet Witch’s powers have brought the team’s worst fears to life.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is a HUGE film and it goes to show the genius of Joss Whedon that he can give us the action set pieces, deliver the necessary exposition for the complex plot and yet still keep the nuances of the characters. The one complaint could be that there are too many characters, too many franchise strands to draw together and seeds for new franchises to be sowed. I admittedly haven’t read any of the comics but I have watched all the Marvel films and the Agents of Shield Series and even I was overwhelmed at points. That said Whedon does control this the best he can and we have some lovely moments with all of the Avengers. Hawkeye and Bruce Banner/Hulk, who were underused in Avengers Assemble, get interesting subplots. Oh and we get to see the Hulk truly unleashed.
Age of Ultron is a darker and bigger sequel to Avengers Assemble filled with some great action set pieces and a cast you just can’t help but love. It was a good two hours plus of entertainment and I think it’s the type of film that you will appreciate even more on the second viewing.