The eleventh movie in the MCU, and sequel to The Avengers is Age of Ultron, which begins with the Avengers on the trail of Loki’s sceptre, which Von Strucker has been experimenting on. After a brief introduction to siblings Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch), the avengers leave with the sceptre. After discovering an A.I inside the gem, Stark and Banner use it to create Ultron without the team knowing.
Ultron immediately decides humanity is a threat, and after a fight with the Avengers he escapes with the sceptre to begin building an army. When they confront him, his new recruits the Maximoffs wreak havoc, especially Wanda, who gives most of them haunting visions, including Banner, causing him to rampage as the Hulk and setting up one of the things I was looking forward to the most when I first saw this movie: Hulk vs Hulkbuster. This scene was well worth the wait.
Ultron then forces Dr Helen Cho to create a synthetic body for him using the gem from the sceptre, which he begins to upload himself into. As he does, Wanda is able to read his mind and learn his true plans, and the brother and sister turn on him. The Avengers arrive and retrieve the synthetic body, but Black Widow is captured. Stark, in a move in which the phrase ‘pushing his luck’ is an understatement, then secretly creates Vision by uploading J.A.R.V.I.S into the body. The team quite obviously react negatively to this and a fight breaks out until Thor shows up to declare that, actually, this time Stark is right.
So the Avengers and their new additions leave to rescue Black Widow and defeat Ultron, who has constructed a machine to lift the capital city of Sokovia in the air and drop it down, creating mass extinction.
The movie definitely begins like it means business. The opening sequence sees the Avengers working perfectly as a team. All the fight sequences are good, but the standout sequence is the ‘Hulkbuster’ fight. I think overall the action is on a par with the previous movie. As is the soundtrack.
The acting is once again great from a main cast now settled and familiar with their roles, as well as from newcomers Olsen and Taylor-Johnson. James Spader is awesome as Ultron, and it was also good to see Bettany (who had voiced J.A.R.V.I.S in the previous movies) become Vision. We again have the humour, one-liners and clever conversation. We have more Avengers too. These are all great reasons to watch this movie. But I still think this falls short of reaching the heights of the first movie, and here’s why:
The Avengers never actually seem to be in that much danger. There are situations where they should feel in peril, but these are handled by the Avengers using witty jokes or have comedy elements to them, so it seems at times they aren’t taking it seriously. I’m pretty sure this happens in almost every, if not every, fight. From both sides of the fight. Sometimes it’s funny, like the “Never Surrender!……I’m going to surrender!” of Von Strucker at the beginning, but not all the time.
Another reason why they don’t ever seem to be in that much danger is that the story suffers from a real pacing issue. When I said as soon as Ultron is created he decides humanity is a threat I wasn’t joking. There is no real build up, not even to the scene beforehand where it’s just one quick discussion and “yeah, let’s make another one”. Then you have the Avengers facing Ultron on a few different occasions and the most damage he does to them at any time doesn’t even come from him, it comes from Scarlet Witch, partway through (except one scene at the end, I’ll get to that in a second) when she comes closest to actually wrecking the team, and manages to turn the world against them. Ultron himself is basically spanked by the avengers every time he tries to do something. His new body, which holds an infinity stone, even gets taken by them before the end fight.
If you haven’t seen the movie, skip this paragraph. The death of Quicksilver at the end is pretty stupid in my opinion. As I mentioned, the Avengers never seemed to be in much danger beforehand, and his death (shot saving Hawkeye and a child) doesn’t make sense considering we have already seen him move much faster in this movie, plus it is over with too fast, plus we haven’t really seen that much of him, to be of real impact. On watching again I also noticed he doesn’t even seem to be that close to the people he saved, who are behind a car and thus protected. Was he deliberately standing in the way?
Overall I think this has all the elements to make it at least as good as the previous outing, but while being an enjoyable action movie, it suffers from not making the villain more of a threat and some pacing issues. Still a decent Marvel movie and sets the stage for Civil War.
Movie info from Wikipedia:
|Directed by||Joss Whedon|
|Produced by||Kevin Feige|
|Written by||Joss Whedon|
|Based on||The Avengers
by Stan Lee
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios
|Box office||$1.405 billion[3|