In the blockbuster event of the year, director Joss Whedon takes audiences on an absolute thrill ride with the highly anticipated sequel to 2012’s The Avengers with Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
With S.H.I.E.L.D destroyed and the Avengers needing a hiatus from stopping threats, Tony Stark jumpstarts a dormant peacekeeping program called Ultron: a self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence. However, his plan backfires when Ultron decides that humans are the main enemy and sets out to eradicate them from Earth, leaving it up to Avengers to stop him.
A Roller-Coaster From Beginning To End
From the very first frame the stakes are raised in this new addition to the Marvel Universe, as Whedon goes all out with a film that is equal parts big action, and new character development. With large action set pieces such as the storming of Baron Strucker’s Hydra base, to the all-out war between Hulk and Iron Man’s Hulkbuster, to the penultimate final stand that the Avengers make against Ultron, audiences are in for a real treat. But it’s not just the action that drives the film forward, as important motivations and fears are brought to life that showcase new sides to our favourite characters. Highlights include the beginnings of a conflict between Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) and Steve Rodgers (Chris Evans), an exploration of a possible relationship between Natasha Romanoff (Scarlet Johansson) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), and a previously unseen side to Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton, and the significance of his role as the team’s everyman. Every character is given significant room for growth, and with each new strand that is added, you feel Whedon’s mastery at work (he’s even able to bring more of the lager Marvel Universe into the film, in a very clever way).
The New Recruits
In addition to the return of the Avengers, we also get some new recruits to the franchise in the form of the hot headed twin siblings Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, as well as the god-like android The Vision. With the introduction of Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (Aaron Taylor – Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen), Whedon introduces a youthful edge to the franchise, as well as creating extra tension, as these young enfant terribles are hell-bent on causing as much trouble as possible. While Johnson is adept as the quick-tempered Pietro, it’s Olsen’s Wanda, with her balance of goth-like rage and sadness, that cements the purpose and direction of the twins. Both actors play off of each other, and their unique powers (superspeed, universe manipulation/telekinesis) are pretty cool to see realised on the big screen. Additionally, we get the appearance of Vision (Paul Bettany), whose appearance, powers, and importance to the film promise new direction, and game-changing implications for the Marvel Universe.
Cutting The Strings
In Age of Ultron, we get a villain who not only bears grand significance to the history of the Avengers, but whom also highlights our own fears that we face in this technological-obsessed world in which we live. Ultron, a villain long connected with the Avengers, makes his appearance as a rogue sentient entity who, though created for good, is twisted by its own awareness and god-complex. Bringing this diabolical villain to life is the brilliantly cast James Spader, who brings both a good amount of irony and humor to Ultron. This super villain also proves himself an equal match for The Avengers’ skills, forcing them to push harder than ever before. For a bigger and bolder story, a bigger and bolder villain was needed, and Whedon got it right with Ultron and Spader.
Avengers: Age Of Ultron is the next step in Joss Whedon’s promise to continue the expansion and growth of the Marvel Universe, where new stakes are raised, and our heroes are truly put to the test. A true rock n’ roll ride from beginning to end.