After 3 years of waiting for the worlds greatest team to come together again, I think my expectations were just about through the roof! ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’ is easily the best pure popcorn movie of this decade and the previous MCU movies were pretty fantastic (Captain America’s latest outing being the best by far). You add a bit of how great ‘Daredevil’ turned out to be with how entertaining ‘Agent’s of Shield’ is and you got yourself a company that seems like they can do no wrong.
Well, that’s because they can’t. ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is about as entertaining as movies get! It’s exciting, it’s hilarious, it’s heartfelt, and it’s a tad bit thought provoking at times. Mostly though, it’s just a blast! Within less than a minute it becomes pretty clear that the audience is in for quite an adrenaline rush. The opening sequence might just be the best scene in the entire movie. Similar to how director Joss Whedon ran a tracking shot between characters during the climax of the first one, the opening scene runs one uncut scene from Avenger to Avenger while they are attacking a Hydra base. It’s an absolutely radical sequence (my son chose that word)!
Truthfully, after this scene you may want to settle your Hulk rage down a little bit. That’s certainly what the Avengers do, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Before they leave the Hydra base, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is given a glimpse into the future by Scarlet Witch (a new super powered character played by Elizabeth Olsen). It is a future of death and destruction that he feels is all his fault. Sadly, it’s the vision itself that might be the real catalyst for destruction.
Tony’s fear leads him to build an artificial intelligence called Ultron and Ultron does not play well with others. In fact, Ultron believes that the only way to truly make the peaceful world that Tony wants is to rid the world of humans all together. Which is a pretty big reason for the Avengers to suit up again for a great big fight across the globe. Which is what you came to see anyway, right?
Well, if that’s not all you wanted then luckily for you this movie takes the time to deliver some extra back story for Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson). This should come as a warm welcome to most since neither of these characters has gotten much into their origins over the 3 previous movies they have been in. Black Widow’s bit in particular is quite powerful and may even bring a tear to your eye. Johansson is really fantastic in this movie.
Then you get a lot of time devoted to Tony’s attempt to save mankind using the proper artificial intelligence. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) does some soul searching for answers about the infinity stones (this will put a smile on every Marvel fan that’s been waiting for it). Cap (Chris Evans) imagines his greatest regret. Yet, the most important bit of time is spent with Ultron. Ultron is voiced by James Spader with a brilliant use of sarcasm and he is truthfully the best Marvel villain we have gotten outside Loki.
Ultron may just spend a lot of time justifying his master plan to Quicksilver (Aaron Johnson) and Scarlet Witch, but it’s hard not to revel in it when he is as cool as he is. I really liked him a lot. The last new character we get is The Vision, but I won’t tell you much about him since the trailers have mostly kept him a secret. Let’s just say that he is half organic, half robot, and totally bad ass! Which is pretty much what most of this movie is. Totally bad ass!
Sure, there are some issues with pacing and a lot of casual moviegoers may be lost with some of the references, but it’s hard to believe they won’t have fun. There is so much wall to wall action and humor that you could fit it into two of most summer movies. A late sequence involving all the Avengers fighting against an army of robots in slow motion absolutely had my son giddy with excitement. Which is what I imagine most of you will be. So, even though you didn’t need my seal of approval, I’m giving it. I hope you have a super weekend with the Avengers!