Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW
Synopsis: Earth’s mightiest heroes are back to take on Ultron (James Spader), who is destined to destroy humanity.
Read Kyal’s review of the original here.
Review: After Joss Whedon’s first Avengers film shattered box office records and became a fast fan favorite, many fans were anticipating what he would do with his second effort. It blew the first out of the water.
After retrieving the Loki’s scepter in Sokovia, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) use its power to create the Artificial Intelligence robot known as Ultron to help save the earth. However, a malfunction of sorts goes horribly wrong, and Ultron decides to save the earth, it must be void of humans.
Ultron unleashes attacks across the globe with the aid of twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen), who have super speed and the power to manipulate minds and throw energy, respectively. It takes all the Avengers have – with a little help from a few friends – to put a stop to Ultron and save the human race from destruction.
Unlike the first film that kept most of the action in New York, Age of Ultron takes the fights globally, including the aforementioned Sokovia, parts of Africa, and South Korea. It’s a nice change of pace showing that the Avengers are out to save not just the United States, but the entire world from chaos.
Age of Ultron is one of those rare films that combines action, romance, and humor seamlessly and sets the standard for those to follow. The relationship blooming between Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) and Bruce is one of the subplots of the film that is heightened by seeing how the Hulk is slowly destroying Bruce from the inside.
Clint Barton also has an expanded role in this film, introducing us to his family, including his wife Laura (Linda Cardellini) and his young children. Clint becomes the glue that holds the Avengers together throughout the film, revealing him to be the silent leader.
The humor in this film, a Whedon staple, is seen many times through the film including Steve Rogers’ (Chris Evans) mistake of scolding Tony on saying a bad word – giving the rest of the team reason to make fun of Steve, to everyone trying their abilities to lift Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) hammer at different points in the movie.
While Ultron definitely is the villain of the film, James Spader’s performance is brilliant. From the insecurities of an A.I. discovering itself, to Spader’s traditional wry sense of humor, Ultron definitely is a step up in villains compared to Loki. Spader is a master actor, and although you never see him in the flesh, he holds his own against any of the other cast.
There are also some nice surprises in way of characters appearing in the film. If you happened to look at the movie poster, you’ll realize that James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) appear in the film. There are a few others as well, including a hilarious cameo by Stan Lee.
Age of Ultron leaves the Avengers in a very different place than the beginning of the movie. It’ll be very interesting to see where Avengers: Infinity War. Part 1 and Part II take the series from here.
Final Grade: 9.5/10