What Marvel Studios has done with its movies in the past couple of years is impressive.
The first Avengers film served as a culmination of both Marvel Studios and Joss Whedon and was a commercially–and critically acclaimed–success. Expectations for the sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, were a little on the high side and, in the end, dampens what is otherwise a enjoyable movie.
The film begins right away with our favorite superhero team raiding a “Hydra” outpost where humans are being experimented on using the power from “Loki’s” scepter from the previous movie. At this outpost, the team encounters two enhanced humans, twins “Pietro,” played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and “Wanda” who is played by Elizabeth Olson.
“Tony Stark,” played by Robert Downey Jr., and “Bruce Banner,” played by Mark Ruffalo, end up finding the final key to Stark’s global defense program and an artificial intelligence named “Ultron” that was found in Loki’s scepter.
Unfortunately, Ultron, voiced by James Spade, is an unhappy artificial intelligence and turns on his creator, making it his new goal to destroy all humans for “global peace.”
It’s great watching a Marvel movie that doesn’t have to deal with an origin story. Instead we get to jump right out of the gate and see the team in the middle of a mission.
Where the film runs into problems, however, is that it feels a little lazily written.
There are still a ton of great Whedon zingers sprinkled throughout, but the plot feels a little tread on–one of the Avengers’ mind is controlled/hypnotized and turns against the team, Iron Man and Captain America disagree, and Thor runs off at one point. It felt a little like the writers thought just throwing the characters out there and watching them beat up some kind of army would be enough.
The main entertainment lies in the fact that the Avengers finally meet a villain that is the ultimate enemy. Each individual Avenger has his/her own struggle to overcome, and Ultron is superior to the Avengers in every way, even finding ways to use all the strengths the Avengers usually have against them. This makes all the fight scenes entertaining and worth the Red Box price to rent.