Avengers: Age of Ultron

"Good"

Avengers: Age of Ultron Review


Marvel fans will love the action mayhem in this Avengers sequel, but everyone else will vividly feel the fatigue that has descended over this franchise. After the bright spark of originality in last summer's Guardians of the Galaxy, we're back to the same tired formula involving terrific actors battling for screen time in between gratuitous, brutal action sequences that are so digitally animated that they're technically cartoons.

The film opens in the middle of the action as Captain America (Chris Evans) leads Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye (Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner) to recapture an Asgardian sceptre. Tony then discovers that the sceptre could be useful for Ultron, his artificial intelligence project to create a global peacekeeping force. But this goes badly wrong as Ultron (James Spader) springs to life and decides instead to obliterate humanity to make space for his population of smart machines. So the team races from America to Africa, Korea and Eastern Europe, facing off against Ultron and his super-powered twin cohorts Pietro and Wanda (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen), who of course defect to the Avengers. They also get help from a human-computer entity called The Vision (Paul Bettany).

Yes, there are a lot of characters in this film, and writer-director Joss Whedon is exceptionally good at giving each of them something to do, both dramatically and in the thick of the action. These brief moments of humour and emotional depth are what make the movie enjoyable, giving the solid actors some meaty material to play with.

Johansson and Ruffalo have the most memorable plot strand, and Renner also gets a decent story of his own involving a wife (Linda Cardellini) at home on the farm. Spader gives Ultron a deliciously villainous sense of humour. And Taylor-Johnson and Olsen also have some terrific moments, leaving us wanting more of their characters. By comparison, Downey, Evans and Hemsworth seem almost distracted by their own separate movie franchises. And the vast array of cameos includes both old and new faces.

But all of these things simply vanish during the action set-pieces, most of which could be cut from the film without changing the story. The scale of the chaos has to be enormous to include all of these characters, but the film cheats by keeping everything under a PG-13 threshold, trying to suggest that only robots are being killed (which is frankly impossible). And the effects work, while eye-poppingly impressive, is so overused that nothing looks remotely real because our heroes turn into rubbery animated versions of themselves the moment a battle kicks off. Serious fans won't care about any of this, because they'll be caught up in the high-energy action and throwaway comedy. But people looking for originality and coherence in their movies will hope Marvel will stop having to save the world in every single film.


Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer

 



Avengers: Age of Ultron

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 142 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st May 2015

Budget: $250M

Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures

Production compaines: Marvel Studios

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Kevin Feige

Starring: Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man, as Steve Rogers / Captain America, as Thor, as Bruce Banner / The Hulk, as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, as Clint Barton / Hawkeye, as Ultron (voice), as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver, as J.A.R.V.I.S. (voice) / The Vision, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, as Maria Hill, as Colonel James "Rhodey" Rhodes / War Machine, as Sam Wilson / Falcon, as Erik Selvig, as Peggy Carter, as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, as Ulysses Klaw, as Heimdall, Claudia Kim as Dr. Helen Cho, as Laura Barton, as Madame B, as Hulk (voice), as Thanos, as Dr. List, Nick W. Nicholson as Dr. Taryl Jenkins, Dominique Provost-Chalkley as Zrinka, Isaac Andrews as Costel, Dilyana Bouklieva as Sokovian Citizen, Daniel Westwood as Asgardian God, as Balett Instructor, Imogen Poynton as Lila Barton, Isabella Poynton as Lila Barton

Contactmusic


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