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‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Review: Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans & Scarlett Johansson

“In a world this vulnerable, we need something more powerful than any of us.” –Tony Stark

Avengers: Age of Ultron is fun, entertaining, nerdy and exciting. A solid sequel to 2012’s Avengers, also directed and written by Joss Whedon, Age of Ultron reassembles our Avengers and introduces us to new characters and a new villain threatening to overthrow our favorite team.

When Tony Stark, aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) creates a robot named Ultron in order to bring about global peace, it backfires on him. The robot develops artificial intelligence and is able to put himself together in Stark’s lab. When he emerges in full robot form after a party at Stark’s penthouse, he threatens to annihilate the Avengers and eventually the rest of the world. Now it’s up to the Avengers: Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) to take down Ultron and his army of evil robots.

Joss Whedon certainly knows how to make an action movie, using sweeping long shots and slow motion to get the audience’s blood pumping and excited for what is coming next. There is a gorgeous long one-shot used at the very beginning of the film that mirrored his one-shot during the Avengers battle in the first film. And it’s no secret that he is phenomenal at writing female characters. Black Widow and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) were given ample screen time and interesting backstories to flesh out their characters. Hawkeye is given more to do here than the first film and we are shown a little more of Bruce Banner’s inner turmoil as the Hulk, while Captain America is still portrayed as the heart of the team. However Iron Man and especially Thor felt underused and not as prominent which was a bit disappointing.

age of ultron chris evans

The action sequences are definitely the strongest part of the film, though Whedon does include some scenes with interesting dialogue that give the characters more dimension. In one particularly heartbreaking scene between Bruce Banner (The Hulk) and Natasha (Black Widow), Natasha confesses that after her training in Russia she was made sterile and could never have children. Johansson’s performance in this scene is beautifully done, making it one of the best scenes in the film. I love that Whedon includes these moments versus just making a full-out action movie.

Whedon did not shoot the film in 3D but rather converted it in post-production and the results are good. I would recommend seeing the film in IMAX 3D just to get the full experience and watch it on the biggest and loudest theatre you can find.

Age of Ultron introduced us to several new characters including Ultron, voiced by James Spader and The Vision played by Paul Bettany. Spader is great as the evil Ultron, though his presence is never quite as strong or menacing as Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in the first film. It would be hard for any actor to measure up to Hiddleston since his Loki is so memorable and interesting.

avengers age of ultron elizabeth olsen

But the two new additions that stole the film are the Russian twins Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who can run at incredibly fast speeds and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), who can bewitch minds and use telekinesis to fight. These two played well together, at first fighting off the Avengers then fighting with them. Olsen has an amazing on screen presence that cannot be touched and she stole every scene she was in. One of the best moments in the film is when she emerges from the church and uses her telekinesis to fight off the bad guys – it’s completely badass.

Though Age of Ultron has some missed opportunities here and there and some characters were underused and wasted, the sequel is entertaining and solid for Marvel fans. Joss Whedon will certainly be missed in the next two films, but it will be interesting to see what the Russo brothers (2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier) will do with the franchise. Russo brothers, next time, can we have more Chris Hemsworth, please?

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