Avengers: Age of Ultron – Movie Review
Avengers: Age of Ultron – PG-13
Release Date: Fri 01 May 2015
First and foremost, Avengers: Age of Ultron had to not ruin the impressive universe set up by both the previous Avengers movie and the rest of the Marvel cinematic universe built around it. It passed that test. While the novelty of seeing all of these separately built characters come together – particularly to play off Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man – has been diminished, the second Avengers movie is still an impressive blend of a dizzying yet understandable array of moving parts.
Of course we still have all of the Avengers themselves. This film seems to give a bit more screen time to Hawkeye, a character who has not had the benefit of his own standalone film series. This helps us get to know this character while also setting up some emotional punches toward the end. We’re also introduced to several new characters, but there is enough time and space set aside for each that none feel rushed in. Instead, the first third of the film provides an origin story for Ultron, a robotic villain voiced by James Spader. Twin siblings Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver become a bigger part in the middle of the story and finally Spirit is introduced in the latter third.
The Marvel movies do a great job of establishing the characters independent of the comics so that movie fans never feel like they’re missing out. If you know the plot that the movie is setting up for Thor, Hulk and the third Avengers movie (which will be split into two movies), then you’re likely coming from the comics that inspired those stories.
After many movies with post-credits stingers, Avengers: Age of Ultron forgoes this, with a brief glimpse of Thanos in the mid-credit break. We’ve seen Thanos teased a couple of times now; He was at the end of the first Avengers and made an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy as well. His story is the likely one to be resolved in the third Avengers film.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is a fitting chapter in the Marvel cinematic universe. While it does’t have the wow factor or novelty of the original, the magic is still there. Even more amazing is that the other movies are keeping pace and not an unwelcome chore to sit through. Sure you could watch this movie all by itself, but you’d be missing out on the fun of the Iron Man series, the first Avengers film and the movie that most bridges the two: Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This is a very pleasurable way to spend 142 minutes.
Amber, Aaron, Cal and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car: