The Avengers: Age of Ultron: Rated “PG-13” (2 hour 22 minutes)
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Okay boys and girls, it is now time for us to talk about what we can only describe as the epic follow-up to the biggest Superhero movie of all time — Watchmen — Heh, just kidding, we’re clearly here to talk about the second Avengers film; which hits theaters the first weekend in May (to coincide with Free Comic Book Day). As the film starts out, it ties into the continuity of both last year’s Captain America: Winter Soldier, and the ongoing TV show, Agents of SHIELD to the current Marvel film franchises, especially, Avengers. Starting off in the middle of the action, the super team is putting a powerful hurt on one of the remaining Hydra bases; this one commanded by Baron Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann), and housing not only Loki’s Scepter, but a room full of technological marvels, as well as a pair of very special power-enhanced twins.
The Avengers take the base (‘natch), recover the weapon, and put Strucker in custody, before returning to Avengers’ Tower where Tony “Iron Man” Stark (Downey, Jr.) talks Bruce “Hulk” Banner (Ruffalo) into attempting to build a world-wide peacekeeping program — code-named Ultron —in order to protect the Earth from future alien invasions. Unfortunately, as this is the Avengers (and Tony is an arrogant narcissist, who for all his brilliance can’t ever imagine things possibly going wrong) things go wildly awry causing Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, to have to suit up once again in order to defend the planet from a great evil. Now the fate of the planet hangs in the balance including as the team is put to the ultimate test as Ultron emerges from Tony’s FUBAR causing all sorts of havoc and destruction, requiring the Avengers to (once again) save the world.
Yes, these films are big, bold, loud, brash, and full of unbelievably amazing and thoroughly colorful people with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, but that is entirely beside the point, as it isn’t the colorful costumes, the amazing superpowers, or even the spectacular feats of daring do that attract us to these films, it is the story content that propels them forward. Over the course of the past few years, we have garnered an ever-widening window into the lives of these characters as we jump from film to film. We have become emotionally involved in their lives (both those of you who are relatively new to then, having just met them via their film incarnations; as well as those of us who have been following their adventures in the comicbooks that spawned them for the past 50 years).
The film is dense, packs wall-to-wall with dynamic CGI action-packed heroics, espionage-lever subterfuge, and more Easter eggs than you can shake a fanboy’s dreams at. Yeah, this is the kind of film that is clearly being packaged by people who not only respect the source material, but have the vision to elevate it to a plateau beyond what their original visionaries dreamed. This film is amazingly cool, and hits on all cylinders, so yes, this film bypasses the over-blown, over-stuffed middle issue tale of trilogy superhero films, and manages to be every bit as exciting and entertaining as the first Avenger film and makes us hungry for more.
Next up for Marvel’s Avengers is Ant Man (July 17, 2015) and then Captain America: Civil War (May 6, 2016). Oh yes, not only does and the film follow directly after the April 27th episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. but Stan Lee make his usual cameo, but there is one (mid-credit) Easter egg trailer set in this film that teases what’s next for the full team,
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web.