Well, this is interesting. Two reviews of the Avengers sequel. And they’re different. Like CJ, I didn’t read a lot of Avengers comics. But I did read them occasionally. I couldn’t tell you a lot about their overall plot lines and such, but I knew enough about the characters to be aware of them and what they could do. I was busy reading Batman, and more DC stuff and eventually the DC Vertigo line (Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, Sandman, etc.).
But I can tell you this for sure: Avengers: Age of UItron is a solid and entertaining second chapter to this group of costumed heroes. Tony Stark has found what he thinks is a way to bring to life an artifical intelligence he’s been working on, but as the saying goes, the best laid plans often go awry. Stark’s Ultron program sees humanity – and the Avengers – as a threat to peace on Earth. Now, the Avengers must rally together to try to stop Ultron from enacting his globally destructive plans.
Obviously, there is an expected level of excellence in the visual effects department. Well, don’t worry, they live up to all of it. It is, once again, a spetacle of comic book superhero awesomeness. They even slow the action down once or twice to give the audience (full of comic book nerds) a full Avengers group action pose. It’s something to see, for sure, and something to else to witness a sold out theater of nerds cheering for that one slow-mo shot of a comic book splash page come to life. When you realize you’re one of those people cheering, you know you can never again tell anyone that you’re not a big nerd. You really just have to accept it.
Yes, even though the initial rush of seeing these characters live and on the big screen together has waned, Avengers: Age Of Ultron offers moments like these to keep the nerd adrenaline going. And of course, along with all the returning members of the Avengers, we get the excitement of some new faces, like Scarlett Witch, a wonderful Elizabeth Olsen, who adds some depth to her role and is one of the films highlights. Also on hand is Quicksilver, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who manages to not fuck up his Russian accent. He’s much better here than in Godzilla, thankfully. And on top of that, Vision arrives played by Paul Bettany, who is fantastic.
There’s some more focus on Hawkeye and Black Widow storylines here, which suits me fine. Most of the other characters like Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor, have their own films so we get plenty of their stories, so it’s cool to flesh out the other two a bit.
And as Ultron, the always amazing James Spader turns in a delicious turn. I’d say he only voiced Ultron, but they did the whole motion capture thing on Spader, so as I’m watching Ultron, his movements are so much like Spader’s that I really felt I was watching him live and not a CG robotic character.
And the star list is huge here. Lots of returning faces, like Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Anthony Mackie, and Cobie Smulders, as well as new ones like Julie Delpy, Andy Serkis, and more!
And though Avengers: Age of Ultron is darker in tone, there is still lots of humor here. Joss Whedon has really found the balance between story and action, and knowing where to get his laughs. You can tell he has a passion and a knowledge of the subject matter. He’s a fan, making a film for other fans. Avengers: Age of Ultron is just a big, fat, good time at the movies. If you loved the first Avengers film, you’ll love this one. Real close to five kittenhands. I just had a great time.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, embracing my nerdness – and after seeing the trailer, looking forward to the Ant-Man movie.