After Tony Stark awakens an alien A.I and tries to use to his advantage, he and the rest of the Avengers are faced with the consequences; global destruction. It's up to the Avengers to fight together and stop Ultron from carrying out his evil plans.
"Avengers: Age Of Ultron" the sequel to 2012's "The Avengers" had a massive task to pull off; recreating the same magic that the first film had. For the most part, the film pulls it off, but realistically speaking, nothing will ever be as special as seeing these characters on screen together for the first time.
After S.H.I.E.L.D is no longer around to surveillance the globe, the Avengers are tracking down the 'Scepter', Loki's mysterious weapon from the first film that HYDRA is now using to enhance humans, turning them into super powered beings. The film is off to an explosive start as the Avengers storm Baron Von Struckers base in search of the weapon which HYDRA has successfully used on the Maximoff twins who with their new powers prove to be a problem for the Avengers.
After the scepter is recovered Tony discovers that he can use something inside it to advance his "Ultron" programme, a peace keeping force that will get rid of the need for the Avengers and protect the Earth at all costs. The A.I misconstrues Tony's idea for peace and decides that true peace can only be achieved with a 'fresh start', wiping humanity off the face of the Earth and starting over.
The plot for "Age Of Ultron" is much darker than its predecessor yet still has the heart, tone and humor that make Marvel's Cinematic Universe films stand out from the rest. The film's first trailer promised us a much darker tone and some dark things certainly happen, but Marvel's signature spirit is still here. Sometimes the humor would unfortunately detract from a lot of the more serious moments.
The film really hits the ground running in terms of action and it never really lets up, every scene either felt like set up for action or indeed actual action and sometimes because of the marvelous visuals and so much happening on screen at once, it can be hard to follow. The visuals are spectacular, certainly something worth seeing on the big screen. Seeing Hulk go up against Tony's Hulkbuster armor was one of the stand out scenes.
Whedon is praised with his talent to deal with so many big characters and making them all feel relevant. He did an excellent job with that in the first film and perhaps an even better job here, all the heroes get their impressive action moment as well as great development, the character who drew the short straw in the first film was Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye, but that's not the case here, as perhaps he gets the most development out of anyone.
Your favorite Avengers are all back and they're better than ever, each and every one of them gets their moment to shine, even Don Cheadle as War Machine gets his moment. The new characters of Ultron, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Vision were done incredibly well. We last saw the character of Quicksilver in "X-Men Days Of Future Past" although there is no connection. Visually speaking I enjoyed this Quicksilver more, but he didn't have the humor that Evan Peters brought to the character in X-Men.
Scarlet Witch and Vision both have moments in which they show off their unique abilities and both brought something different to the film. Scarlet Witch uses mind tricks to show the Avengers their fears, or visions from their past or future. Vision is the evolution of Tony's JARVIS A.I, Paul Bettany breaks out of his purely voice acting role and puts on his own superhero suit, creating one of the most powerful and funny heroes in the MCU so far.
As with every Marvel film, fans are expecting a barrage of easter eggs and references to future films but that's not exactly the case here, Whedon even stressed that including easter eggs was not his main goal here, there are certainly enough in the film, but not one around every corner like some of us were expecting. There is a mid credits scene, which is one of the best Marvel have ever done, but there isn't a post credits scene, so no reason to wait around for the end of the credits.
One of my issues with the first film is that our group of heroes are just going up against faceless CGI creatures who are being controlled by our main villain, and unfortunately that is the issue again here. Ultron's army of CGI robots were cool to look at but once you get past that there is no real drama or stakes because they aren't fighting real people. Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix had great action and it worked so well because our hero was going up against physically real enemies.
Marvel isn't exactly known for giving us the best villains, Loki being the only unforgettable one, but Ultron is definitely one of the best they've given us. He's witty yet maniacal, and despite being completely made from metal and hell bent on global destruction, he has a very human personality. My one gripe about Ultron is that his set up feels quite rushed but after that the character really delivers. James Spader as the robotic mastermind was a perfect casting choice, not only is his voice menacing, but he incorporates humor into his dialogue. If you look closely you can really see Spader's facial movements within Ultron's face as the actor also provided motion capture.
Perhaps the most entertaining aspect of "Age Of Ultron" is the character interactions, seeing these heroes interact with each other either during action or relaxing at a party is a marvelous sight. It's still remarkable to me that we can have Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Hulk in the same movie.
I was personally hoping for a darker movie, one that was teased to us in the films first trailer. The film wraps itself up in a nice bow, the ending does tease the stories of upcoming films such as "Captain America: Civil War", "Thor: Ragnarok" and even "Avengers: Infinity War" but don't expect an open ending which will lead directly into the next films.
"Avengers: Age Of Ultron" isn't quite the tour de force we were all expecting, but its one of the best entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. Providing the action, laughs and great characters that we've come to expect from this great franchise.