Avengers: Age of Ultron Review
by Sam Brigham on Friday, May 22nd, 2015
On May 1, the highly anticipated Avengers: Age of Ultron was released by Marvel Studios. Directed by Joss Whedon, this movie is the second in the highly successful Avengers series, the first movie grossing over $1.5 billion worldwide. While I personally didn’t enjoy this movie as much as the original Avengers, I thought it was a solid film nonetheless. Fans of superhero movies should not pass up a trip to the theater, and thus far have not, as the movie has grossed $1 billion in two weeks.
Age of Ultron picks up soon after the original movie left off, with the team trying to capture an AI-infused scepter, previously wielded by Loki– the last movie’s antagonist– in order to activate a dormant peacekeeping program. Robert Downey Jr., one of the most popular actors in Hollywood, returns to play Tony Stark, an eccentric billionaire weapons designer who becomes Iron Man once he puts on his specialized armor. The artificial intelligence that Stark develops, named Ultron, becomes a major force, both in favor of and against the other protagonists. Chris Evans comes back as Captain America, the shield-wielding super soldier. Chris Hemsworth plays Thor, a hammer-swinging prince from planet Asgard, and Mark Ruffalo returns as Bruce Banner, a reserved but brilliant scientist who turns into the Incredible Hulk when angered.
While the movie contains the same central characters as the original Avengers, it tries too hard to include more minor characters, who ultimately prove to be ineffective. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, a pair of superhuman twins played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, oscillate between good and evil and create some drama, but above all else, their presence creates confusion. Moreover, Nick Fury, the team’s leader and a major character in the first Avengers played by Samuel L. Jackson, barely appears in the movie. Thankfully, the movie succeeds in adding depth to minor characters such as Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) introduced in the previous movie. In this latest movie, Black Widow engages in a relationship with Banner, and Hawkeye shows the rest of the Avengers that he has a normal family.
For action-movie junkies, the movie is satisfying. However, without giving away too many details, I will say that some of the plot is downright confusing. Many minor characters come and go during the movie, and a new major character– A.I.-turned-superhuman-android Vision– has a rather convoluted place in the film. There are light-hearted battles between members of the Avengers team that, just like in the first movie, seem to serve as fillers. There are a couple of ongoing jokes between the members of the Avengers team, but again they seem like fillers rather than scenes that improve the movie (the scene where many of the Avengers try to lift Thor’s Hammer is a notable example). Even the movie’s villain, a corrupt manifestation of Ultron, is somewhat sarcastic. The movie tries to elicit cheap laughs in order to become an action-comedy hybrid, but the overall effect only distracts the audience from the movie’s main purpose: providing epic action to die-hard comic book fans and the general public alike. Despite the movie’s flaws, the action and a few visually stunning scenes in particular lead me to recommend this movie to anyone who likes action movies and superheroes, or to anyone who doesn’t want to feel left out of the ongoing saga.
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