The scepter is held by HYDRA, the organization and antagonist of the two Captain America movies, who employ the use many alien artifacts and dangerous weapons as well as “enhanced” humans, like Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who can run at incredible speeds and his twin Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen), who can control and manipulate objects as well as mess with people’s minds. to fight back and gain control.
In attempts to fight these powerful new threats, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), also known as Iron man, strives to create an AI, Ultron, to help protect the world, a sort of safety net. But, as it usually goes with AIs meant to protect people, things start to go haywire as Ultron grows out of their control. Designed to protect the world, Ultron decides the only way to protect the world is to eliminate the humans causing the problems… like the Avengers.
The movie is a tinge darker than most Marvel movies, but the jokes keep the mood light while still leaving the weight and tension of the danger the super hero team faces. Some of the jokes are cruder than the last, but overall it stays pretty clean and keeps audiences laughing with sharp and well-timed wit.
The writing is solid, though some of the elements feel forced, when they could be more organic if given time, like the relationship between Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). The movie relies a bit on Marvel’s Cinematic Universe to explain some aspects of the story. Since all Marvel’s shows and movies are connected, explanations are sometimes swept off to be addressed in the TV show or future movies. Parts of the film were also chopped, leaving remnants of secondary plot lines behind without much clarification.
Despite all this, the movie is still very enjoyable. In my personal opinion, I found the first Avengers to be better than Age of Ultron, but like both about the same. Avengers: Age of Ultron is a good movie. A little grittier, arguably still just as funny, and handles it’s huge cast of characters with ease. The acting is never weak, the new characters are compelling and pull you in. The story and action is well balanced, and it respects the continuity of the other movies, but seems to be too concerned about the future Marvel movies and stories and not it’s own tale.
In the end, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a great summer flick full of snappy dialogue, witty humor, and engaging action. It’s not quite like it’s predecessor, but it’s still good. There’s a lot of fun to have with Age of Ultron. It makes for a great movie to see a couple times over the summer and a good bridge that continues Marvel’s over-arching storyline.
Age of Ultron is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action, violence and destruction, and for some suggestive comments.
Avengers: Age of Ultron- 3 stars.