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Avengers: Age of Ultron

Coming Soon

I can still remember the first time that we were treated to a smorgasbord of superheroes in The Avengers back in 2012. I was in awe upon witnessing all of the A-list Marvel characters sharing the same screen at the same time. There was no way to digest everything in a single take. This was a course that would require going back for seconds and possibly thirds! After everything was said and done I couldn’t wait until the next time. Three years can seem like FOREVER when anticipation of what’s to come is at it’s highest. Well here we are in 2015 and once again the gang has assembled in Avengers: Age of Ultron. The question now becomes with the expectations being so high, will this second collaborative chapter provide enough of a blissful smash to the senses or will it feel more like a cold piece of iron across the face?

Avengers: Age of Ultron really hits the ground running as Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Falcon (Anthony Mackie) among others are in an all out battle to acquire Loki’s scepter, which had fallen into the possession of Hydra. Eventually the item is recovered and upon doing some extensive testing on the object, Tony Stark (Downey, Jr) and Bruce Banner (Ruffalo) discover that there is much more to this mystical scepter than originally thought. This new revelation leads the group down a perilous road that will change everything. And it all begins with the creation of a new sentient being who calls himself Ultron (James Spader).

The cast of Avengers: Age of Ultron is a virtual who’s who of recognizable actors. In addition to the characters previously mentioned, Marvel Studios found a way to shoehorn in a couple more relevant characters. Fans may have gotten a first glimpse of Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) during the mid-credits scene of 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The twins are much more prevalent in this feature with much of the action (and carnage) revolving around the fictional European country of Sokovia where two were being held by Hydra and experimented on. There is one other character that is introduced who has a major impact on the outcome of the battle but some things are best left for the viewers to discover with their own eyes.

Even with a cast so massive and storylines branching out everywhere, director Joss Whedon does an excellent job reigning everything in while avoiding the common pitfalls often associated with these types of ambitious projects. Thankfully even with a runtime of 141 minutes, Avengers: Age of Ultron did not feel like a grueling marathon. It also didn’t feel rushed which gave it a nice balance. There are some aspects of the plot that may seem unnecessary to focus on but it is my belief that these are necessary evils in the grand scheme of things. Remember, we are dealing with a uniquely intricate overall “big picture” of the likes we’ve never experienced before. In Kevin Feige we trust.

The one knock that I will put on Avengers: Age of Ultron is that the CGI is a bit heavy handed. In addition to the normal Iron Man and Hulk destructive craziness going on, Ultron is total CGI which in and of itself isn’t terrible. As a matter of fact the mannerisms in which Ultron displays (the head cocking in particular) are eerily similar to those of its human acting voice, James Spader. What takes it overboard is all of the other robots he has fighting with him. Too much of a something, no matter how realistic it may look, runs the risk of being a bad thing and that’s exactly what happens in this case.

Outside of the sometimes heavy-handed CGI, all of the other aspects of this movie are pretty much very well done. So to revisit the earlier question of how this Avengers sequel will fare. Avengers: Age of Ultron is a fun, enjoyable movie that is a well placed bridge leading to the bigger picture of where the Marvel Cinematic Universe is heading. Audiences should enjoy this latest treat and Marvel Studios will definitely have yet another box office success added to their already impressive resume. I say bring on the next chapter. The clock starts now.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler


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