Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) | Director: Joss Whedon | Rating: 4 Star
Just as Avengers Assemble did for phase one, Avengers: Age of Ultron rounds off the second phase of Marvel Studios cinematic universe and its safe to say, it doesn’t disappoint.
Given that director Joss Whedon chose to use nine avengers and a multitude of side characters in the sequel to the third highest grossing movie of all time, Age of Ultron was in serious danger of suffering from too many characters, too many plot-lines and egocentric debates between characters. Having said that, Whedon shows Amazing Spiderman 2 director Marc Webb exactly how not to overcrowd a movie.
The movie begins with an incredible action sequence (you’ll hear a lot about this). Tasked with recovering Loki’s sceptor, the original avengers – Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) – battle their way through an army of Hydra agents before discovering a dormant artificial intelligence programme.
After “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” Tony Stark triggers the programme, which just so happens to be a psychotic robot hell bent on destroying the entire planet. Ultron (James Spader) and his two sidekicks Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) set off on their mission to destroy the Avengers.
On paper Ultron may be the main villain, but it is Scarlett Witch who is the main antagonist. Her power to control minds paves the way for some of the franchises best battle scenes to date; queue Hulk Vs Iron Man.
The fight choreography is expertly executed by the cast and combined with inventive visual effects, the battle sequences demonstrate just how much of a team the Avengers have become; Thor using his hammer to smash Captain America’s shield through multiple enemies.
Whedon’s eagerness to bring forth the personalities of some of the let’s say, less charming characters, pays off in Age of Ultron. Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), notorious for being the Avenger that fans care least about, excels in portraying the sacrifices a superhero living in the real world has to make.
Mark Ruffalo stands out once again as the troubled Bruce Banner aka The Hulk, only this time round he has to deal with the advances of Black Widow. The mutual attraction between the pair, which stems from her ability to calm down the werewolf-like monster, provides the film with a surprisingly softer, human side that audiences can sympathise with.
Inevitably for a superhero sequel, it’s a little darker. But the interplay between characters in battle scenes, coincided with the exchange of witty jokes and lad-like banter makes Avengers: Age of Ultron is a must see. The climax does share similarities to its predecessor, but considering how good the battle of New York was, is that a bad thing?