Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgard, Linda Cardellini, Thomas Kretschmann, Andy Serkis, Stan Lee
Director: Joss Whedon
2015 | 141 Minutes | PG-13
“No way we all get through this.” – Tony Stark
“I’ve got no plans tomorrow.” – Steve Rogers
It’s no secret that I am a huge comic book movie fan and I absolutely LOVED The Avengers. It was the first time that a comic book TEAM movie felt so expertly crafted. Sure, there are some faults but they are always far outweighed by how freaking awesome the characters and action are. I had read some less than stellar reviews of Avengers: Age of Ultron but tried to hold off on my own judgment until I had actually seen the movie.
In an effort to protect all of humanity against future threats, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) creates an artificial intelligence known as Ultron (James Spader). Soon Ultron has assembled a physical body as well as an army of Ultron drones with the mission of destroying all human life. It’s up to Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and new Avengers Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) to stop Ultron and protect the Earth once again.
One of the major complaints that I had read about Age of Ultron was that things got too jokey. I’ll agree with that sentiment a bit but there was really only a couple instances for me where the jokes didn’t hit or felt a bit forced. Most of the humor worked and was actually quite fitting for each character.
One of the things that these movies have done so well is giving the spotlight to all of the characters involved. By the end of the movie The Avengers have nine members in battle and none of them felt like they were short changed in story or action. The movie even made up for the lack of past focus on Avengers like Black Widow and Hawkeye on top of introducing us to Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Vision.
My first impression of James Spader as Ultron, based solely on the trailers, was that his voice sounded too human for a robot baddie like this. Well, after actually seeing the movie, I can officially say that Spader’s slightly altered voice was perfect for Ultron. My one and only complaint was that Ultron had a couple instances where he was making some quippy jokes and it just didn’t fit the AI robot bent on the Avengers’ destruction.
Age of Ultron manages to find a really nice balance between developing established, new and future characters and storylines as well as giving us some really edge-of-your-seat, extended action sequences. All of the characters play really well off of each other in conversations and battles. Captain America really stands out for how well he and his shield combine with other heroes to create some really awesome attacks that could only exist in an Avengers movie.
In another review I had read that if you like Joss Whedon then you will like this, if you aren’t a Whedon fan you won’t. Well, this is the second time I’ve seen anything Joss Whedon has done. Both were Avengers movies. I have thoroughly enjoyed both movies but I would never describe myself as a Joss Whedon fan. I am an Avengers fan and these movies do the characters and comic book source material justice. And most importantly, they are an absolute ball to watch. I just saw AOU last night and I would totally go watch it again right now.