Run to see Avengers: Age of Ultron when it is released, then, go run to see it again. I've only seen it once and now I feel like my life is incomplete until the film is released on May 1st and I can see it again. The film has so much depth that it is impossible to get the full story in just one sitting. However, I am getting ahead of myself.
Avengers: Age of Ultron picks up where the first Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier left off. The Avengers have been assembled, and in the absence of S.H.I.E.L.D. the crew has been hunting down the remnants of Hydra that have remained, including Strucker who has gained control of Loki’s scepter from the first film. Meanwhile, Tony Stark is bankrolling the Avengers and has them based out of the former Stark Tower, now known as Avengers Tower. Maria Hill works for Stark Industries, but her main function seems to be supporting the Avengers as they try and wipe out the remaining Hydra cells.
But Hydra is not the main villain of this piece. Ultron, a creation of Tony Stark, is the main foe of the picture. James Spader does a fantastic job bringing the villain to life in a completely unexpected way. This is not the Ultron you know from the comics. Those expecting that kind of character might need a few moments to get adjusted. It is not better or worse, just different. However, it works great on screen and I wouldn’t be surprised if this characterization of Ultron makes its way back to the comics (Disney fans will be happy to know that Ultron is a big fan of Dickie Jones).
The first film was all about the Avengers assembling. This time the action starts right at the beginning of the film without the slow burn. The action starts with the first frame, making it difficult to talk about the film without venturing into spoiler territory. So let’s just say a day has come where earth’s mightiest heroes must unite against a common threat, Ultron.
Which Avengers film is better? It is nearly impossible to say based on a single viewing. It's tough to recapture the magic of the Avengers’ origin story, but since we did not have to cover that ground more time was given to individual Avengers and the main villain, who is just spectacular. Those that felt slighted that Hawkeye spent most of the first Avengers movie brainwashed will be happy to learn that his character has some great moments in this sequel. Also the surprising developments between Black Widow and Bruce Banner are among the film’s highlights. The movie also sets the table for some fun in Marvel’s Phase Three, which begins next summer with Captain America: Civil War.
The only downside to the film is that it leaves you wanting more. The film hardly feels as long as its 141 minute run time. You want more Ultron, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver. It is not that the characters are not well represented in the film, it's that their development is so rich that you just want to learn more about them. It personally made me glad that they are splitting Infinity War into two films so that we can get more time with the characters without having a movie that is too long. This film just makes you want more Avengers. I want to learn about the Avengers activities before the film, I want to further explore the character’s back stories, I just want more!
With two ABC series, four Netflix series, and up to three films a year, it would be natural to wonder if Marvel would be running out of stories to tell. This film proves that there is plenty of fun to occupy all of these mediums. Avengers: Age of Ultron does not cause superhero fatigue, it just whets the appetite for the adventures that are to come.
I give Avengers: Age of Ultron 5 out of 5.