First there was Loki and the Chitauri in New York. Now the Avengers go up against their greatest enemy yet: an Artificial Intelligence dubbed Ultron. It seems that Marvel has done it again!!! Avengers: Age of Ultron as we know is the sequel to the smash hit 2012 blockbuster The Avengers and the final film in the Marvel Phase 2 slate of films (aside from Ant-Man being released in July as the official final film for Phase 2).
When I think about sequels, they tend to take the original film and step up their game by just a bit with more depth and storytelling. And what worked for me is the way that this movie was telling its' story to tie Ultron into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with its biggest hero, being Tony Stark instead of Hank Pym like in the comics. It had such great character development and a lot more action than the first one ever did and it totally stepped its game up with everything that a superhero sequel (especially to The Avengers) needs to have. This has to be the best sequel to the best superhero film of all time and dare I say it? This is Marvel's best film ever!!!
Even with something as big as this, Avengers: Age of Ultron gives us more depth and a foreshadowing of what may come to pass in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (particularly 2016's Captain America Civil War and 2018/2019's Avengers Infinity War). It takes some detail from previous films (preferably Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and the original Avengers and mixes it with a few great twists and turns around every corner (wait for my spoiler filled review to find out more).
With every Marvel film, you gotta have a great villain. And in this movie, we finally see Ultron played by James Spader. Spader brings Ultron to the big screen through motion capture and voice acting which undoubtedly makes him Marvel's biggest villain yet. Does he outwit Tom Hiddleston's Loki? You bet he does. While Loki is now slowly becoming a hero (which we saw in Thor: The Dark World), Ultron takes his place as the main villain with the intention of destroying humanity. He is bigger and badder with an army of not aliens but copies of himself behind him. So think of Ultron as a cloned villain if you will. Ultron is also regarded to be Marvel's best villain yet aside from Loki.
Not only must the Avengers fight off this Artificial Intelligent robot, they must also deal with two newcomers dubbed Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, who are played brilliantly by the couple from last year's Godzilla: Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Though some people may be a little confused with Evan Peters' portrayal as Quicksilver in last year's smash hit X-Men Days of Future Past, that version of the character was regarded by Fox's own X-Men universe with the mutants while here in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we may think of him as a person with the ability to move 'faster than a speeding bullet'. In regards to Scarlet Witch, she toys with the Avengers by having them hypnotized to realizing their darkest demons through their own individual pasts.
In some cases, the film itself is a bit darker than what we've seen before in the original Avengers. Though I do not particularly buy that this superhero film is darker than it's predecessor, we can definitely believe that even some superhero films can get dark.
Now on the other side of the camera, we find that this is Joss Whedon's final Marvel film. Though I am sad to see him leave the MCU, I am still very satisfied that he brought these characters together in the first place. And with films like this, Whedon can take several characters and make them all relatable and relevant towards one another. And that is one of the best things about this film: there is so much character development in this film, I had my hopes up all the way through from start to finish (and sensed a little bit of romance between Banner and Romanoff here and there). But I believe that the Russo brothers (of Winter Soldier fame) will follow up to what Whedon has left behind in 2018-2019 with the two part Avengers: Infinity War. But I believe that Whedon has given us the best that he can give just before he departs the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In terms of location, this film goes beyond where the first film went. This is a movie that goes all over the world from New York to South Korea to London and even to South Africa. And I am very pleased to see that this film went all over with the characters and that they are very much down-to-earth as to where they go in the film. A great film that takes us all over the world is right there.
So all-in-all, the stakes get higher, the villain is more devious, the team grows and we finally get a sense of going all over the world with the Avengers. The team is still relevant with each other, the newbies in this film are awesome and everything from The Avengers is stepped up and it is all around AMAZING!!!
(Stay tuned for my spoiler filled review)
How did you feel about this movie? Was it better than The Avengers? What's your favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe movie overall? Leave your thoughts below.