Last month I saw one of the most hyped up films of the year: Avengers: Age of Ultron. This is the sequel to the biggest movie of 2012, as well as the third highest-grossing movie of all time, The Avengers, and it delivers very well.
One of the great things about this film is that, instead of going bigger, like many sequels do, this one actually went a bit smaller and darker in scope. It's much more mature, has very deep themes, and, as every fan of Joss Whedon will know, packs in the wit too. This time, however, the humor is much more dark and dry, as opposed to being more upbeat like in the previous film.
Most of the humor in this film comes from its principal antagonist, Ultron (James Spader), a menacing, homicidal robot created by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) who is bent of destroying all organic life on earth after witnessing the damage that humanity has brought onto itself. Even though Ultron is a robot he actually does have some emotion in the film, hence the sense of humor mentioned earlier. Also, in a long line of LACKING Marvel villains in film, Ultron is definitely worthy of being one of the BEST in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, along with Loki, Red Skull, etc.
In the story, the Avengers, composed of Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and newcomers Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olson), Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and the Vision (Paul Bettany) come across various obstacles in their path to defeat Ultron. At the same time, however, it feels like the guys at Marvel are trying a bit TOO HARD to set up future Avengers movies, as well as solo films in the franchise. One example is when the Avengers come across Ulysses Klaw (Andy Serkis) in Africa as they are attempting to foil Ultron's plan. This is obviously a setup for the Black Panther movie (since Klaw is the arch nemesis of the character).
But probably the films biggest setback is the amount of characters it contains in it. There are so many that there is not enough time to develop the characters enough, especially the new guys. In fact, I'll be honest, I actually think this movie should have been a little LONGER than what we were given in order to further develop the characters, especially Ultron. As they say, "A movie is only as good as its villain." Don't get me wrong, Ultron is a great villain. He just needed a tiny bit more development and exposition in his arc. In fact, the original cut for the movie was supposed to be approximately 2hours 50 minutes, which is 30 minutes than what we were given. I have a feeling that a lot of those deleted scenes were full of character and plot development.
Overall, this is still a must-see movie! It may not be quite as good as the first film, but it is still worthy of a trip to the cinema. Again, it really just needed to be a bit longer. I say go see it, you won't be disappointed.