Marvel’s The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron is a solid sequel to The Avengers (2012) – bet you didn’t see that coming. Directed by Joss Whedon, Age of Ultron delivers intense action sequences, consistent humor, and sub-par characterization.
Marvel’s 11th film opens to the Avengers attacking one of the few remaining HYDRA bases in Sokovia to obtain Loki’s Scepter. Inside the fortress, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker and Doctor Link, scientists who had been experimenting with human genetic experiments, unleash “the twins” – Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (you might remember them from the mid-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier). In the brief battle that ensues, Hawkeye is injured as Iron Man manages to infiltrate the building and retrieves the Scepter.
Back at the Avengers Tower, science bros Iron Man and the Hulk are granted three days to investigate the power in the scepter before Thor returns it to Asgard. With some examination, they discover an artificial intelligence within the gem and decide to upload it to Iron Man’s defense program, Ultron. On the 77th test, while the Avengers are celebrating their victory (and messing around trying to see who can lift Thor’s Mjölnir in one of the funnier moments of the movie), Ultron awakens, and decides that to save Earth, he has to kill the human race. After Ultron crashes the party and returns to Sokovia, Wanda and Pietro find Ultron and agree to aid him in destroying the Avengers.
The twins and Ultron visit a pirating base to obtain vibranium, but the Avengers intercept them and they fight. Scarlet Witch gets the best of Captain America, Thor and the Black Widow after hypnotizing them to see their pasts, and causes the Hulk to attack a nearby city. After Iron Man finds and controls the Hulk, the team, traumatized, returns to Hawkeye’s off-the-grid farmhouse. Thor leaves shortly after to pursue a vision he saw under the Scarlet Witch’s influence.
Meanwhile, Ultron and the twins visit the genetics lab of Dr. Helen Cho forcing her to help Ultron evolve to a human body using synthetic tissue technology. As the process of transferring Ultron’s brainwaves occurs, Wanda reads Ultron’s mind and, upon seeing his plans for complete destruction of Earth, turns on him and allows Cho to cancel the operation. Captain America, the Black Widow and Hawkeye attempt to retrieve the partially completed body with the help of the Maximoffs, which ultimately ends with Widow’s capture by Ultron.
Back at the Avengers tower, Tony and Bruce attempt to upload JARVIS into Ultron’s body, which causes conflict among the Avengers. Ending the argument, Thor strikes the body with lightning, creating the Vision, a new superhero with the powers of the Infinity Stone imbedded in his forehead. The team, now as a cohesive unit return to Sokovia to fight Ultron.
I’ll leave the synopsis at that to not spoil the ending; but suffice it to say, the epic story will leave you wanting to watch Marvel’s The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron “Thor”ever.
Characters swear throughout the film and there is some sexual innuendo. Typical to a Disney-distributed film, there is little gore and minimal on-screen killing, at least of humans. However, due to various fight scenes, there is a lot of destruction shown, particularly of cities and robots. Alcohol is not a main focus of the film, although there is one scene in which alcohol is present at a party.
Normal or Real 3D?
I saw the film both ways. If you can see it only once, opt for Real 3D. While the sound is more intense (to the point of seat shaking) in normal theaters, Real 3D has a higher video/image quality that definitely aids in the movie’s appeal.
As a huge Marvel fan, I was somewhat disappointed to see what Joss Whedon had done with Natasha Romanoff/the Black Widow’s characterization. Whereas in Captain America: the Winter Soldier, she is portrayed as a strong and knowledgeable female character, in Marvel’s The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, she is essentially reduced to the romantic lead at the side of Bruce Banner/the Hulk, even playing the part of the damsel in distress at one point. As an incredibly complex character, she becomes much weaker than she’s been in previous films for no real reason. Her backstory is not truly addressed, only confined to a short scene – now, where’s our Black Widow movie?
Otherwise, characterization in the film was well-done. The Maximoffs were surprisingly interesting characters, however, it would’ve been interesting to see their bond explored more throughout the film. Clint Barton/Hawkeye’s family, while unexpected to see, was terrific, and it was enjoyable to see Clint’s storyline develop. Thankfully, Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier was referenced in the beginning of this film, and Peggy Carter made a brief appearance in one of Captain America’s flashbacks.
Marvel’s The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron is rated PG-13 and opens nationwide on May 1, 2015. Our Kids recommends the film for ages 8 (with big-time parental guidance) and above.