A few weeks ago Hollywood gave us “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,” a sequel no one asked for. Now we have “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” a sequel most everyone has been asking for since the moment they walked out of the theater after seeing the first Avengers in 2012.
All your favorite superheroes are back in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and many more. This time around, the group must stop an artificial intelligence being known as Ultron (played by James Spader) from destroying mankind. Joss Whedon returns as writer/director.
Being the sequel to a global phenomenon like “The Avengers,” not to mention following arguably three of the better Marvel movies (and the worst in “Thor 2”), “Ultron” had a huge shoes to fill. And for the most part, it follows up its predecessors with great success.
Right off the bat, the best thing about “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is the dialogue, and the interactions it creates for its characters. There is plenty of heart and soul in this sequel, but also honestly, as of May, this is the funniest film of 2015. Utilizing Robert Downey Jr.’s amazing charm and wit, the film gives him and the other Avengers hilarious one-liners and banter, but at the same time never feels like it is sacrificing its dignity for the sake of a joke.
The film is also filled with some of the most fun and ingenious action shots I may have ever seen in. I won’t ruin any of them, but Whedon really played around with moving the camera, and it resulted in some pretty amazing shots. The variety of action scenes vary, and each one brings a different flavor to the film. The opening sequence of “Ultron” is the most fun I’ve had at the movies in a long time.
“Ultron’s” biggest asset may also be its biggest flaw, and that is in the writing. While the dialogue is fantastic, the plot itself is a bit messier. Characters receive life-threatening injuries simply to have the scene abruptly end and they are never heard of again. Did they live? Did they die? Did they find Jimmy Hoffa? Who knows. Ultron also doesn’t seem to know what exactly his master plan is, continuously switching how he wants to achieve his goal. And then there is this “rare chemical” that seems to have a half dozen different uses, depending on what the plot needs from it (come on, “Avengers,” leave that lazy writing for “Thor 2”).
The finale is also a bit overlong, eventually becoming faceless villain henchmen being lined up like cattle for slaughter (same situation as “Iron Man 3” and the first “Avengers,” so if you were fine with it there then this isn’t going to irk you).
There really isn’t too much wrong with “Avengers: Age of Ultron” from a summer blockbuster perspective. It’s a lot of colorful fun, and if that’s all you want, then you’re going to love every minute of it. If you were hoping for a mind-blowing epic that redefined the superhero genre, then it won’t meet those expectations, however it’s entertaining as anything, never feels like its 2+ hour runtime, and you get 11 superheroes for the price of one ticket. How many times can you say that?
Critics Rating: 8/10