By Nico Beland
Movie Review: A+ (4 stars)
Director Joss Whedon (Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity) and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are back in the highly anticipated sequel to the most successful comic book movie of all time, Marvel’s The Avengers. The first film is undeniably a blast from start to finish and it was amazing seeing everyone’s favorite Marvel heroes together on the big screen for the first time, plus it was pretty much the movie that defined 2012, sure The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man made money that year, but come on, The Avengers was the highpoint of that year, even months after it came out I was talking constantly about it.
Of course due to The Avengers’ success, we finally have the sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron which offers just as much rock ‘em, sock ‘em, Hulk Smashing, thunder clashing excitement as its predecessor. Just add in new characters, more supporting Avengers, an intimidating and funny villain, and more Hulk screen time. Everyone’s favorite characters are back, weapons developer, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder, Sherlock Holmes, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), Mighty God of Thunder from Asgard, Thor (Chris Hemsworth-Star Trek, The Cabin in the Woods, Rush), Super Soldier, Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans-Fantastic 4, Scott Pilgrim VS The World), scientist exposed to Gamma radiation, Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo-The Kids Are All Right, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and master assassins Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner-The Bourne Legacy, The Hurt Locker, American Hustle) and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson-Lost in Translation, The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie, Lucy) assemble once more to defeat a new villain in town.
Some time after the events of all the Marvel movies after The Avengers, we find the Avengers breaking into a top secret Hydra base led by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker who has been experimenting on humans using Loki’s scepter. During their heist the Avengers encounter two of his experiments, twins, Pietro/Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson-Kick-Ass, Nowhere Boy, Godzilla) and Wanda/Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen-Martha Marcy May Marlene, Godzilla) Maximoff, who both possess extraordinary powers, Quicksilver is a super fast speed demon who gives the Flash a run for his money and Scarlet Witch who can harness witch magic such as hypnosis and telekinesis, and were experimented on to destroy the Avengers.
After their Hydra heist, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner begin developing a peacekeeping program known as the Ultron Program, an artificial intelligence built to preserve the world’s peace. Unfortunately when they use the scepter to activate the Ultron Program, things go horribly wrong as the villainous Ultron (James Spader-The Office, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Lincoln) emerges and plots to destroy humanity by creating an army of robots, but he says he stands for a good cause, yeah, right!
So Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Hawkeye, and Black Widow, with the help of Col. James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle-Hotel Rwanda, Crash, Flight), Air Force Pararescueman, Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie-The Hurt Locker, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders-Veritas: The Quest, How I Met Your Mother, The Lego Movie), and former director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson-Pulp Fiction, Shaft, Django Unchained) must re-assemble to put an end to Ultron’s A.I. army and save the world once more in an explosion fest with one-liners and nukes.
Overall, Avengers: Age of Ultron is an equally entertaining sequel to an amazing movie. Although the film does hit many “Been there, done that” moments from the first Avengers movie but unlike that film, Age of Ultron’s story is darker and a bit heavier on character development, which I’m glad they did because I didn’t want a shot by shot copy of the first Avengers, what happened in the first Avengers? The heroes meet each other, hate each other, learn to become a team, and blow things up.
In this film, pretty much the entire middle act takes place at a safe house where we learn more about Hawkeye and Black Widow, and the character development is surprisingly decent for a movie that runs on goofy one-liners and explosions. But don’t worry, it all comes full circle and leads up to an exciting climax that strangely resembles the climax from the first Avengers, just add in super speed, witchcraft, War Machine, a robot army, a flying city, and lots of nukes and Smashes.
I enjoyed Avengers: Age of Ultron a lot but I think I still prefer The Avengers just a little more, mainly because seeing all the characters together for the first time was absolutely amazing and watching and listening to them work off each other, this movie swam in a lot of familiar waters but there’s enough new elements thrown in to make it float.
In my opinion, this is the must see movie of the year, if you’re a fan of the Marvel comics and movies or big budget summer blockbusters, then why are you still reading this review? Just go see the movie and enjoy some action, trust me, I’m not done watching it yet.