Director: Joss Whedon
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Elizabeth Olsen, Mark Ruffalo
Synopsis: When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jumpstarts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and the rest of the Avengers to reassemble.
As the fate of Earth hangs in the balance, the team is put to the ultimate test as they battle Ultron (James Spader), a technological terror hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they encounter two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff.
From the word go, “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” screams Joss Whedon. It’s fun, it’s smart, it’s funny – seamlessly maneuvering between building drama to a fever pitch and then setting up the franchise for further films.
From the jump, there were times that I would have liked to see more of Vision or Ultron. But having that many top billed actors vying for time can be cumbersome. However, what Whedon and company did with Hawkeye, a lesser explored character from the first film, was fantastic. And Jeremy Renner proved once again why we love him and why exploring his character was worth the wait.
There was fear that using James Spader would make this film too dark and heavy, but his wit and intellect made for an Ultron you could believe in. With a humanity in a hulking machine running on artificial intelligence that you would be hard pressed to find in anyone else.
If there would be any issue here, it would be that this movie reaches awful hard to set up titles like Hulk, Thor, and Black Panther, that are clearly on the horizon. It couldn’t just be strong on its own. Setting an odd animosity that felt forced between Captain America and Iron Man that can only be for a Civil War tie in for a later date.
There has always been the great water cooler debates between comic book fans asking questions such as “what would happen if” or “who would win this” with comic book heroes facing off against one another. Without giving too much away, the film creates definitive answers to those types of questions hardcore fans would never have wanted to see answered. *we can discuss any of those after you’ve seen it and want to debate*
The addition of Quicksilver, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Scarlet Witch, played by Elizabeth Olsen, made for what feels the brightest additions to the cast. (Their stereotypical Russian accents were only mildly overstated.) Their characters stole the show with great lines and amazing scenes.
This was not the Ultron film I expected. But it was perfectly suited for its place in the movie mythology. It had no mention of Hank Pym, or Black Panther. It was fun, fast paced, and at times the most heart wrenching film in the franchise to date. If you are a fan of the series, this film will not disappoint. If you’re new to the series, honestly, where have you been?
“The Avengers: Age of Ultron” hits theaters Friday May 1st, 2015.