Film Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron

avengers age of ultron

Earth’s mightiest heroes return in Avengers: Age of Ultron

We’re only in April and already Avengers: Age of Ultron has claimed its stake as the blockbuster movie of the summer. The epic follow-up to the biggest superhero movie of all time has opened to rave reviews and taken a hefty $201.2M on its opening weekend.

For those who have been living in hibernation for the past 3 years, Avengers: Age of Ultron is an American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers. The film is the sequel to the 2012 film Avengers Assemble and features an all-star cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, James Spader, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Written and directed by Joss Whedon, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a high energy, action packed film that sees Earth’s mightiest heroes including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye (aka the Avengers) work together to defeat Ultron, a technological enemy bent on human extinction.

The action starts from the blistering opening scene which sees the whole gang – Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) – hurtling through a frozen forest, dispatching enemy troops singlehandedly, as they race to reach the fortified mountain top of Hydra’s headquarters. The team have assembled under the mercurial leadership of Tony Stark, otherwise Iron Man, to recover Loki’s sceptre, a powerful weapon that could impose absolute power on Earth.

Upon their return to the Avenger’s headquarters and unknown to his comrades, Stark begins experimenting with a dormant peacekeeping program. But the artificial intelligence experiment goes awry and a terrifyingly dangerous new enemy is born, named Ultron. It is up to the Avengers to stop Ultron from enacting his plans to destroy humans but The Avengers soon realise that they are actually fighting against a hideously parodic version of their own ally Stark.

James Spader provides the voice for the villainous Ultron, the artificial intelligence programme housed in a metal body with its Predator-like mandibles. The villain is aided by two reluctant sidekicks, the psychic Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and the super-fast Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).

The usual crew return as The Avengers including Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man/Tony Stark, Chris Evans as Captain America and Chris Hemsworth as Thor, the latter providing the most entertainment with his witty one-liners and an ongoing joke about his hammer. The only disappointment is that Tom Hiddleston doesn’t make an appearance as the magnificently evil Loki.

Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, whose bow and arrow make him the quaintest warrior of the group, gets his substantial moment in the spotlight. We also see the developing chemistry between the troubled and introspective Dr Bruce Banner (aka The Hulk) played by Mark Ruffalo and Natalia Romanova (aka Black Widow) played by Scarlett Johansson. The unexpected and complex relationship makes for interesting viewing as we watch them flirt over cocktails in one scene before having a startlingly honest conversation about their respective futures in another.

The film ends with a climactic battle with state-of-the-art visual effects that are second to none. If you get chance to catch this at the cinema, it is certainly worth the extra pennies in IMAX 3D.

Love it or hate it, there is no doubt that The Avengers is a popular franchise for Marvel Studios. The 2012 movie is one of the highest grossing films of all time and Avengers: Age of Ultron has already made an impressive $201.2M in its opening weekend at box office. No surprise then that two sequels are planned: Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War Part 2, scheduled to be released on May 4, 2018, and May 3, 2019, respectively.

4 out of 5 stars

Avengers: Age of Ultron is at UK cinemas from 23 April 2015