In the sequel to the 2012 original, and eleventh instalment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe sees our heroes return to face off against Ultron.
Avengers: Age of Ultron introduces the warped and crazed artificial intelligence that is hell-bent on human extinction. Don’t worry the Avengers aren’t just punching the internet! Ultron is an eight-foot killer robot that is inadvertently created by Tony Stark.
The film begins in the heat of battle, demonstrating that the Avengers are now a fully formed and well-oiled superhero machine.
They have tracked down a base of the terrorist organisation known as Hydra, where they discover Loki’s Chitauri Scepter. This holds the key to Ultron, enter Frankenstein’s Monster with genocidal tendencies.
The opening sequence is one sweeping shot ending with all the Avengers leaping into action side-by-side in slow motion. That’s just a taste of what to expect from the rest of the movie, amazing action packed set pieces mixed with lots of cheeky one-liners. All thanks to a Joss Whedon’s script and direction.
While battling Hydra, we are introduced to the Maximoff twins. Super speedy Pietro, aka Quicksilver, this time played by Kick Ass’s Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Wanda, aka Scarlet Witch, played by Elizabeth Olsen. Wanda utilizes her power to create a division within our band of heroes.
Chris Evans shines once again as the all-American clean-cut super soldier. This time he shares the leadership role, and the limelight, equally with Robert Downey Jr’s Ironman. Chris Hemsworth once again serves as our hammer-wielding Asgardian, with more maturity but still a garnish of humour. Hawkeye, who in the original was under used spending most of his time as a mind controlled zombie, plays a more prominent role. Add in a blossoming romance between Mark Ruffalo’s Banner/Hulk and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, and all our heroes play an intrinsic role in the plot.
What are superheroes without a nemesis? Well, Ultron is more than a match to our band of heroes! Voiced and played, via motion capture, by James Spader, he is perfectly evil.
Cameo’s from Don Cheadle as War Machine, Anthony Mackie as Falcon, Idris Elba as Heimdall and Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue add to this film’s star power. We also get to meet The Vision where Paul Bettany finally gets to stretch his legs!
At over two and a half hours the film might sound long, but with so much action pack mayhem, and inter-woven subplots, it’s tightly packed and edited in such an enjoyable way that it doesn’t allow you to stop and look at your watch once.
There is so much in this film that Marvel fans will definitely return for seconds, or even thirds, to explore this vast comic book universe.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is one fully loaded superhero sandwich that hits the floor running, and doesn’t let you rest until the very end.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is out in NZ cinemas from 23 April.
Reviewed by Ian Wright.