Avengers: Age of Ultron
Synopsis: “When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jumpstarts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and the rest of the Avengers to reassemble. As the fate of Earth hangs in the balance, the team is put to the ultimate test as they battle Ultron (James Spader), a technological terror hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they encounter two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff.”
Avengers: Age of Ultron is awesome. It is the perfect summer blockbuster with its epic action sequences, great comedic moments, and unique characters. While Age of Ultron is not as groundbreaking as The Avengers, and much darker in tone, it is still a very fun time at the movies and deserves repeat viewings, especially if you are a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
All of the original Avengers cast members reprise their roles in the sequel and not only give justice to their individual characters, but continue to improve their performances as the film series continues. This is most notable with Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk, Chris Evans as Captain America, and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye. The sequel allows their characters to have better individual moments, especially for Hawkeye, who gets much more screen time than his appearances in Thor and The Avengers combined. Regarding the new additions to the cast, I really enjoyed Elizabeth Olsen’s take on Scarlet Witch and Andy Serkis brief performance as a certain African arms dealer (fans of the superhero Black Panther know the importance of the character). However, Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s performance of the speedster Quicksilver is boring and I did not care at all about his character.
The true standout performances and scene-stealers are James Spader and Paul Bettany. Spader’s brilliant take on the villainous Ultron not only makes the evil robot the best MCU villain, but one of better movie antagonist in recent memory. His is able to give Ultron layers; he could be very funny at one point, but be convincingly frightening and intense seconds later. Now, Bettany is not new to the MCU for he has been around since the first Iron Man movie as the voice of Stark’s A.I., JARVIS. But he gives his first physical performance in Age of Ultron as the fan-favorite Vision. The character is beautifully realized from the comic books and steals every scene he is in, including those with Spader.
The action set-pieces that superhero movies are known for do not get any louder or extravagant than those in Age of Ultron. While they are indeed entertaining and visually stunning to watch, especially Iron Man’s battle with the Hulk, the action does become repetitive and too familiar to the ones featured in its predecessors. Fortunately, those scenes are given extra weight thanks to the real star of the film: the screenplay. Director Joss Whedon’s script is consistently funny and intense, with dialogue and one-liners being dropped in every scene, and a deeper exploration into the minds and souls of these characters, especially Ultron and Black Widow.
My final thoughts include my excitement of seeing the film again and having more appreciation for its connections to the previous 10 films, and foreshadows to Marvel’s upcoming films. This is a really fun movie and is both an awesome sequel and the most entertaining film of 2015 so far. Avengers: Age of Ultron receives 4 out of 5 stars.
*For fans who know about Marvel’s famous post-credits scenes, there is only one mid-credit scene. Do not stay for the entire closing credits.