Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Marvel's Avengers - Age of Ultron

Marvel Studios is back with Avengers: Age of Ultron, the epic sequel to one of the largest superhero movies made. The Avengers find themselves facing the experiment of HYDRA leader Baron von Strucker, twins Wanda and Pietro Maximoff (Elisabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson) during an assault of his castle. Wanda has the power to warp reality and takes down the entire team of Avengers. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is worried after getting a glimpse of a possible future and decides to use Loki's scepter to bring the A.I. to life that he and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) were creating: Ultron. Ultron (James Spader) was designed to protect Earth, but being an A.I., has a mind of it's own and decides humanity needs to evolve - by being exterminated so machines can inherit the Earth.

There is a lot going on in Avengers, and writer-director Joss Whedon does a good job of allowing each character to get their own moment, and what a cast of characters. Robert Downey Jr. returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, with the additional support of Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, Stellan SkarsgÄrd as Erik Selvig and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

There is plenty of humour and action packed sequences. The Hulkbuster was definitely my favourite! Some of the stories feel too contrived (Natasha and Bruce?) but maybe that can't be helped with so many big characters. We do get to see some of the backstory of the characters through the visions they have when Wanda works her powers on them which was quite interesting, though Thor's vision was a bit confusing and made me think they just wanted to have material to spin-off for more standalone Thor movies. James Spader makes a delicious villain (but I only heard a more sinister Alan Shore from Boston Legal) and you can't help but cheer when he is finally defeated. I'm not familiar with the comic-verse, but you do find out who will be in the new Avengers film.  Avengers drags on a little bit near the end, especially with a two and half hour running time. Make sure to stay through the credits for an extra scene.

Overall, Avengers: Age of Ultron doesn't capture the same excitement as seeing all the heroes together for the first time,  but nonetheless it was an entertaining movie worth seeing on the big screen.

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