Avengers: Age of Ultron is a 2015 American superhero film that is produced by Marvel Studios, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers and the sequel to the 2012 Avengers movie. When Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Bruce Banner (the Hulk) try to activate a dormant peacekeeping program called Ultron, things go terribly wrong and it’s up to the Avengers to prevent the villainous Ultron from executing his destructive scheme. As a complete Marvel and Avengers fan, I could not pass up the opportunity to watch the second Avengers film when my friend offered to send the movie to me.
Since the previous Marvel movies have already introduced the principal protagonists of the film, Age of Ultron is able to open with an intense and exhilarating action scene. Each Avenger is given fighting time on screen as the team moves in on a HYDRA facility run by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who is spotted in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I really like that straightaway from the start, Age of Ultron throws our heroes into roaring action, drawing us immediately into a surfeit of explosive and visually-omnipotent action spectacles that allow every smashing, pounding, flash of beams, and flight assume near-impossible forms of eye-catching extravaganzas. It is when all these heroes engage together in combat against their enemies that the movie subjugates all our hungry eyes and grasps total domination over the audience’s attention. In general, the action scenes were entertaining and thrilling to watch, especially the battle between Iron Man and the Hulk; as usual, Marvel movie special effects almost never disappoint. Sprinkles of humor are tossed into Age of Ultron (I enjoyed a good laugh when the Avengers competed to try and lift Thor’s hammer at the party), but ultimately I did not find that the comedy was woven in nearly as well as it had been in the first Avengers film. Furthermore, many of the slow scenes such as the one at the farm, Hawkeye’s home, felt a bit bogged down and dragged out.
In Age of Ultron, the audience is introduced to a new villain — Tony Stark’s secret peacekeeping program – “Ultron” – designed to allow the Iron Legion to operate independently and safeguard Earth under the direction of an advanced A.I. Ultron is the epitome of faith in technology running amok; he fancies himself as a robot deity and builds other smaller robot replicas of himself. When Ultron is born, he is immediately angry at his creator, Stark, in a murky “you betrayed me, father” manner, but their conflict does not get enough time to fully manifest. Ultron’s relationship with Stark needed much further development, and Ultron could have been further utilized as a vehicle to explore deeper themes about humanity, war and peace. Ultimately, Ultron does not receive nearly enough build-up as a villain and does not come off as threatening as he could have been with his ability to infiltrate all these computer systems. He’s supposed to be this enormously powerful A.I who has the internet at his disposal, yet all he appears to do is find ways to blow things up.
Robert Downey’s Iron Man remains as a formidable figure despite his usual cynical and highly confident posture, while Chris Evans provides a reliable alternative with Captain America’s leadership. There is also an implicit undertone playing beneath the trajectory of these two leaders’ relationship, and that serves as an indirect catalyst to what occurs in Captain America: Civil War. This movie also shines light upon some of the previous installment’s less-utilized characters. Hawkeye turned out to be my favorite character of this movie, mostly because he got such a short amount of screentime in the first Avengers film but really got to develop depth in this second one. It was also interesting to learn more about the backstory of Natasha Romanoff and how she was sterilized as part of the Red Room’s “graduation ceremony.” Nevertheless, the sudden romance between Romanoff and the Hulk was completely random, underdeveloped, and in my opinion, unnecessary; their romantic attraction quite literally came out of nowhere.
In this movie, we are also introduced to new members of the Avengers team, including the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Vision. Firstly, I felt that the extent of the Scarlet Witch’s superpower was not very clear, as it appears that she can do more than tamper with the minds of others. What exactly the Scarlet Witch’s ability is remains quite ambiguous. Moreover, the true strength of Vision’s power was not really highlighted in the movie, and Quicksilver’s death was very sudden and not as emotionally distressing as I expected it to be. Instead of feeling utterly devastated, I just found myself thinking, “wait what?” when he died. The Scarlet Witch's traumatic reaction to his death was definitely more impactful than Quicksilver's death itself. Additionally, the Falcon, Nick Fury, and War Machine all make cameos in Avengers: Age of Ultron. While I enjoyed seeing familiar faces again, their characters served no purpose in the movie. In fact, as a whole, Age of Ultron had an overcrowded cast, thus making the appearances of the aforementioned characters pointless.
If you are looking for a movie with amazing CGI and spectacular visual fight scenes, then Age of Ultron will satisfy your desires. However, anyone looking for a movie with thorough character development, smooth pacing, a potent villain, or hilarious humor will not be very content with Age of Ultron. Overall, I did enjoy seeing my favorite superheroes, Captain America and Iron Man, in action again; however, Age of Ultron is certainly not without faults.