Marvel has another surefire hit with Avengers: Age of Ultron. The sequel to 2012’s The Avengers improves over that film in all aspects – the drama and character development is deeper and the action more epic than ever before.
Once Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) latest invention, an artificial intelligence known as Ultron (James Spader) becomes self aware (and diabolical), the Avengers are once again forced to face a great threat that has the potential to wipe out the entire human race.
The Avengers saving the world from potential annihilation is a similar plot to the first film. Combine the evil A.I. theme and Age of Ultron doesn’t really show us anything we haven’t seen before, however it’s the characters that really make the film worthwhile. The Avengers team is now well-established and the on-screen interaction between them seems genuine. Director Joss Whedon ups the drama in this film by including a romance element between a couple of the characters and providing more attention to, and grounding characters such as Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). This extra character work makes for a nice change of pace in between the many epic set pieces.
Whedon has also raised the bar of action in this film, witch each sequence being larger than the last. There are some really cool shots amongst all the fast-paced, zippy camera movements that can be a turn-off for some, however it is all very entertaining. The 3D element adds a depth to the images on the screen, though it is barely noticeable during the action scenes so it doesn’t really enhance the film in a big way overall.
The film’s biggest strength is its melding of character arcs, story and action scenes. It could however also be considered one of it’s biggest flaws. For instance, there are several new characters in this film and at over two hours long, the film still seems to fly through everything, which doesn’t give us much time to emotionally connect with any one single character or appreciate the gravity of the situation the Avengers are in. Thankfully though, the characters the film chooses to focus on is enough to look past that.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is a fun and entertaining film and that’s all you can really expect from Marvel offerings. It’s not the type of film you would go see and discuss the deeper meanings of it afterwards, rather it’s the spectacle you go for and Age of Ultron succeeds in hitting that mark flawlessly.
James Spader was Joss Whedon’s first and only choice for the role of Ultron, because of his “hypnotic voice that can be eerily calm and compelling while also being very human and humorous”.