While Age of Ultron doesn’t capture the charisma of its predecessor, still, Earth's Mightiest Heroes are exuberant and eye-popping summer entertainment.
Age of Ultron sends off the vibe of this summer’s fireworks glee to geeks and non-geeks alike. 2008’s Iron Man unhatched the start of a universe engulfed with superheroes and beyond for the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. And the audience’s long and enduring wait finally paid off in 2012, when we got to see our first look at the group of superheroes come together in Marvel’s The Avengers. Fanboys were ecstatic, while others were aroused with some great superhero pulp. We finally got to see Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and The Hulk come together all in one comic book package.
Marvel’s The Avengers had charisma, wit, energy and action splendor. Of course, with every box office domination Marvel was on pace to follow it up with a powerhouse sequel. So far, the eleven MCU films are connected but also can stand on their own turf. As for Age of Ultron, does it have the hype of the first Avengers? Yes. Is it as good or better than the first Avengers? Sadly no. However, Age of Ultron is still packed with high energy and most importantly, fun. Director and writer Joss Whedon (Marvel’s The Avengers) returns to the director’s chair and explores a darker root of our watchful team. He digs into bruised psyches and wholesome fears of future destruction.
Whedon does take some shaky routes along the way but recovers like a champ to give the audience a spectacular finish. Tony Stark/Iron Man (a sharp Robert Downey Jr.) screws up big time. Stark’s fear for future events over shadows his recklessness as he creates a robotic force of artificial intelligence, Ultron, that’s gone bad. Ultron (voiced by a malice James Spader) is out-of-control and wishes to release hell onto the rest of the world. We can’t have that happen now, can we? Cue team Avengers! Its time for Steve Rogers/Captain America (a fantastic Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth and his golden flow), Bruce Banner/The Hulk (a calm Mark Ruffalo), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (a kick-ass Scarlett Joanansson) and Clint Barton/Hawkeye (a canny Jeremy Renner) to suit up!
Age of Ultron is filled with emotional heft and vivid backstories of both Black Widow and Hawkeye. Whedon and his team also try to spice the film up with introducing a bash of powerful newbies (Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlett Witch). These Eastern European twins are identified as “he’s fast and she’s weird.” Just wait until you see them both on the screen. Marvel’s FX experts unveil exciting new action scenes for us as our team of friend’s battles this worthy foe. And that’s not all, when James Spader’s Ultron isn’t stealing the show; it’s Paul Bettany’s The Vision. I won’t spoil any of the fun, but Bettany’s version of the super powered moral A.I. is a visual treat.
While Age of Ultron doesn’t have the same pow as the first time around, Whedon’s last hurrah captivates your imagination. It’s sad that Whedon won’t be return for Avengers: Infinity Wars, Part 1 and Part 2; which is starting production next year. The Russo brothers (Captain America: The Winter Solider) have already filled in for the director’s chair. As of right now, Avengers: Age of Ultron makes this Whedon’s last Marvel directorial film ever. And just as one should do, Whedon takes a bow and sends our fighting heroes out to battle to keep our universe safe. Bravo Mr. Whedon.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned). For intense sequences of sc-fi action, violence and destruction, and for some suggestive comments.
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