Director: Joss Whedon
Featuring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, James Spader, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders
Genre: Comic, Adventure, Action, Sci-Fi
Age Rating: 12A
Running Time: 141 Minutes
Just when you think that Marvel can do no more to improve on the likes of Avengers: Assemble (2012), Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014) and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), they go and do just that! Joss Whedon, I have two words for you… Mind Blown!
Avengers: Age of Ultron brings back the team following their previous battles and triumphs, still threatened and conscious of what stands against them. Perhaps the most paranoid of the bunch is Tony Stark who is convinced that a higher-level of artificial intelligence is their only potential solution to prevent future wars. This is what leads to the creation of Ultron, which goes on to shape the story of the film. As this is a strictly NO SPOILER review, I will say no more about the plot!
What I can say though is that once again Whedon creates his own cinematic universe which serves as a two and a half hour form of escapism, which, if assisted by IMAX 3D, truly makes you feel as though you are a part of the Avengers.
The astounding cast of Chris Evans (Captain America), Robert Downey-Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), alongside recurring actors like Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) and newcomers Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver) is breath-taking enough. Yet, when you match this with incredible special effects and battle scenes, infectious comedy and the exploration of more characters’ backstories, you cannot get enough of this film.
What perhaps Whedon was unable to generate in the first film, in terms of character development and story detail, he makes up for in this one! Avengers: Assemble (2012) was understandably more about merging the initial films together and creating one super-team. However, this resulted in it appearing that only two or three characters were being focused on, with the others being simply soldiers following orders, belittling the status of characters like Thor and Hulk in particular. In Age of Ultron on the other hand, all characters’ journeys were explored equally, which was heavily influenced by the introduction of Scarlet Witch and the powers which she possesses. Personally, it was great to see the development in the ‘story arcs’ of Hawkeye and Hulk in this film.
Another thing which Whedon is incredible at is inter-linking his films and preparing his audience for the following instalments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Bring on Ant-Man (July 2015) and BRING ON Captain America: Civil War (May 2016)!
Newcomers Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson were brilliantly cast as the mutant twins Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and although I did prefer Evan Peters’ Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past, the character’s story was stronger in Avengers. Additionally, credit must be given to Ultron (voiced by James Spaden), a villain with the wit and frustration of Tony Stark, the intelligence of Jarvis, and the strength of Thor, which keeps the viewer wondering throughout, just how will they defeat him?!
This was the first of many eagerly anticipated blockbusters of 2015, and it certainly lived up to the excitement. It packed non-stop, and, at times, overwhelming action scenes, comedy brilliance from the likes of Thor and Iron Man, and an IMAX experience which I will cherish for a long time (or maybe until the next big blockbuster!).
The only negative thing I can possibly say about my experience is that there were not any superhero movie previews, and when you have the likes of Ant-Man, Fantastic Four and Batman V Superman coming up over the next year, you have to ask WHY?!
Finally, if you’re a Marvel film fan, I shouldn’t need to say this by now, but please do not leave your seat as soon as the credits start rolling. Once again… Wait for half-way through the credits. Do not wait for an after-credits scene though as Joss Whedon has especially mentioned this time to avoid sitting through “40 minutes of credits!”
We’ll be seeing the majority of this cast again in Captain America: Civil War in 2016. But until then, it’s time to hang up those uniforms…
Recommendation: IMAX 3D. Do it! Your bank account may hate you for a little bit but please do it! Assemble Cinema-Goers!