Waiting three years for the sequel to Avengers has been a long haul, but it’s worth it. The story, special effects, acting, directing, cinematography, special effects, computer graphics, motion capture and more are amazing. Whether you are a sci-fi nut or just want to see a lot of explosive action on the big screen, Avengers: Age of Ultron puts you right in the center of the excitement. Sizing it up with the recent Furious 7 for production value and entertainment, it’s too close to call.
In this edition of the superheroes we find the Avengers being called into action to defend the world against a different kind of foe. The film opens during a skirmish between the superheroes versus Hydra and the twins, Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), to get Loki’s scepter that was taken by Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) during Captain America: Winter Soldier. Following the hard fought battle the group has assembled at Stark’s Avenger headquarters with the scepter.
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has been working on a new and more powerful war machine that will have artificial intelligence. With Loki’s scepter containing the infinity stone, he asks Bannon (Mark Ruffalo), to assist him with his new powerful entity Ultron. The two work on the project in Stark’s lab but get called into a meeting. While they are gone, Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S intelligence gets taken over by Ultron. Using the power that has been created by the union Ultron starts a war against the Avengers and the world.
Teaming up to face the impossible Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) get ready to face Ultron (voiced by James Spader).
Returning director and writer Josh Whedon keeps the fury going with another winning Avengers film. Making use of the primary characters, now icons for their super heroism, he leads them through the script fighting off an impenetrable monster that wrecks hell on anyone and anything within rage of his destructive powers. The comedy and banter between the six freedom fighters is still there, even greater since their friendship has escalated with the group more aware of each other’s idiosyncrasies. Whedon has formed the best sci-fi action adventure franchise since The Dark Knight series and if coddled should last for at least one more episode as Avengers.
The acting by the group that also includes Don Cheadle as War Machine, Paul Bettany as Vision, and Anthony Mackie as Falcon is perfection in every way. Their performances make the story work whether it be in a fierce fight or just clowning around. While Robert Downey Jr. however has top billing in the credits, it’s the love affair between Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) that takes center stage in this sequel. The two actually have a lot of chemistry much like King Kong and his gorgeous Ann Darrow. They even reenact a scene from the famous film with the big green Hulk reaching out to Widow during a touching scene in the midst of a battle.
The film connects many dots between previous Marvel hits like Iron Man 3, Captain America: Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World. With the return of the actors who make the franchise a hit, there can be an unending number of spinoffs and sequels. Up next is Chris Evans in Captain American: Civil War slated for a release in 2016 with Scarlet Johansson and Elizabeth Olsen returning.
Handing over the keys to the box-office that Furious 7 has conquered over the past 4 weeks, Avengers 2 should amass even a higher take. Its counterpart released on May 4, 2012 took in over a $1.5 billion for its summer run that extended 154 days in theaters well beyond expectation. I’m sure the pundits are projecting an amazing cash return, but the challenge is there with bumps in the road like Mad Max: Fury Road opening May 15, Tomorrowland on May 22, Jurassic World opens June 12, Terminator Genisys on July 3, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation opens July 31, Fantastic 4 on August 7, The Man from U.N.C.L.E releases August 14, and others that want a share of box-office-bingo.
In keeping with their previous film ratings Avengers: Age of Ultron has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of sci-fi action, violence and destruction, and for some suggestive comments. There’s also some rude language bantered around, but it’s all in fun. There is a scene of peril that may be frightening to the very young so please be aware of this before choosing to include the little ones in your plans to see the film.
FINAL ANALYSIS: It’s a blockbuster of the magnum kind. (A)
Additional Film Information:
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Idris Elba and James Spader
Directed and Written by: Joss Whedon
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action, violence and destruction, and for some suggestive comments
Running Time: 2 hrs. 11 min
Release Date: May 2, 2015 (USA)
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release Formats: 2D, 3D, IMAX and 3D IMAX