Avengers: Age of UltronCultureCinemaMovie reviews
Three years after Avengers Assemble, Earth’s mightiest heroes are finally reunited on the big screen and it’s just as gripping, fun and stupefyingly big. With Joss Whedon once again in the director’s chair and last year’s Captain America 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy to live up to, Avengers: Age of Ultron has some big shoes to fill. The story centres around Tony Stark’s creation of Ultron, a computer program intended to defend Earth from threats on a cosmic scale. Ultron, however, has other ideas about what Earth needs defending from.
Taken at face value it’s a great film: the special effects team have truly outdone themselves and the fight sequences are once again outstanding. The story is mostly sound and there’s a great blend of action, romance, angst and humour. James Spader’s Ultron might lack the feral terror of the Winter Soldier, but he’s sinister enough to worm his way under the viewer’s skin, and while they don’t get much time to shine, the twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff make great additions to the film as characters.
When seen in view of the cinematic universe, however, the feature fares less well. Perhaps due to its special effects fatigue, Avengers: Age of Ultron is lacking the emotional impact of other recent examples of the genre, and there are certainly some aspects that will raise a few eyebrows amongst the more hardcore fans.
Whedon’s characterisation of the Avengers, which has always been a little at odds with their solo films, is a lot more noticeable now that most figures have several of their own spin-off stories. Captain America is somewhat one-dimensional – there’s not much of the scrappy kid from Brooklyn – and all of Iron Man’s well-earned character development from Iron Man 3 is removed. Though Whedon does a great job of breathing life into less developed characters, it can still be a little jarring to see the others so flat.
For the more casual viewer, the movie is exactly the kind of adrenaline-pumped adventure everyone’s come to expect from Marvel. The music is fantastic, splicing the theme together with scores from the solo films; the sound is seat-shakingly loud, and there are some CGI sequences that are unbelievably powerful. Avengers: Age of Ultron might not quite match up to last year’s additions to the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it’s far from perfect, but ultimately as fun and engaging as any other Marvel film.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is released nationwide on 23rd April 2015.
Watch the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron here: