When Tony Stark and Bruce Banner try to jump-start a dormant peacekeeping program called Ultron, things go horribly wrong and it’s up to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.
Title :Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Release : 12 May 2015
Genre :Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Writers: Joss Whedon, Stan Lee
Stars :Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo
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Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) trailer
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) review
Joss Whedon has done everything in his power to create a movie that’s everything at once. He goes for romance, drama, comedy, thrills, spills and death-defying acts of derring-do. Avengers: Age of Ultron features more characters and personalities than I care to count and he’s doing his absolute best to manage them while also telling a cohesive story that not only builds on the ten movies that came before it, but also safely fits in with the eleven movies planned throughout 2019. This isn’t a task I would wish on anyone, but given the parameters he was working with, Whedon has delivered a nearly 2.5 hour movie you’ll remember largely for its one-liners as the length begins to weigh on you and the action becomes one big, dull blur.
To breathlessly describe the film’s narrative and the role of each of the characters would be a fruitless task as it has become very clear there’s hardly a single thing that takes place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe that truly matters other than the one small nugget of information alluding to what is to come in future films. This isn’t to say Whedon doesn’t do what he can to give these characters some measure of reason to exist other than to simply fight the manufactured villain (quite literally this time). For example, a romance is brewing between Black Widow (Scarlett Johnasson) and The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) while Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) is used as the emotional core of the film as he’s given a wife (Linda Cardellini) and family, which should be interpreted as “something to live for”. Cardellini, as a new member of the cast, carries the heavy weight, however, of having to say, “You know I support your Avenging,” and keep a straight face. She manages, but the audience not so much, as chuckles erupted at such silliness.
But Whedon knows this is ridiculous and Marvel has made a point of being self-aware and self-deprecating whenever possible to make sure you don’t take things too seriously. “The city is flying, we’re fighting robots… and I’ve got a bow and arrow,” says Hawkeye late in the film as the action stops for a beat, providing a signature Whedon moment of serious-meets-humor. It’s the best one liner the film has to offer among several and thank god for that as the action sequences may be big, but boy are they boring.
To give you just a nugget of plot detail, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner (Ruffalo) have used a discovery within Loki’s scepter (remember, Loki is Thor’s brother) to create Ultron (voiced with sarcasm and verve by James Spader), an artificially intelligent robot meant to protect humanity, though Ultron sees humanity as the disease infecting the Earth. He’s essentially the singularity dumbed down for ease of consumption as there is talk of evolving and so forth. This results in him amassing an army of robots, which ends in battles that eventually destroy a small African town, make the world second guess their avenging heroes (cue Captain America: Civil War plot points) and send a fictional European city into the atmosphere for meteoric destructive purposes.
Added to the mix are newcomers Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the Maximoff twins, genetically altered humans with powers of telekinesis and super-speed respectively, and Paul Bettany joins the fun not simply as the voice of Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S., but as a new character named Vision. I don’t think I’ve mentioned Captain America (Chris Evans) or Thor (Chris Hemsworth) just yet, but they are here as well, including a side-excursion Thor makes in the middle of the movie to gain the knowledge necessary to propel the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the next several years of movies.
In all honesty, for anyone to put all this together and make for anything resembling a cohesive story is impressive. Age of Ultron definitely has its moments of fun and despite how big it seems, Whedon has done a wonderful job keeping everyone involved and managing this large group of characters. The biggest misstep is the action, which simply doesn’t excite and there’s so much of it, the bludgeoning nature of it is stifling. It’s either a bunch of flipping and twirling with obvious bits of CG enhancement or just a big mass of everything and everyone punching, kicking, shooting and whatever other superpowers may get involved. You know the good guys are punching the bad guys (or robots in this case), but you are just waiting for it to end because it’s not even cinematic as much as it is just a swirly-twirly mess of images.
Whedon has already said this is his last foray into the Marvel universe as a director and I don’t blame him. I can’t imagine the headache it must be to keep all of this mayhem under control, appeasing both the Marvel suits and an audience that demands bigger and better, but nothing too risky so as to throw them for a loop. To that I say, don’t worry, Hulk gets mad, buildings and cars are destroyed by the hundreds and new characters fit nicely into this world, but something different is definitely in order.
The continued threat of global destruction with the continued threat of an alternate attempt at global destruction has grown so tiresome it’s no longer a question of superhero fatigue — the superhero movie has been accepted — but at least give us some stories above the threat of humanity’s demise. We know that’s not going to happen, but maybe killing off a few of these heroes might throw us for a loop, there certainly are more than enough to spare.