The Avengers unite against A.I. Ultron
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” is the sequel to Marvel Studio’s massively successful 2012 film “The Avengers.” Taking place after the events of “Iron Man 3,” the film sees the titular group of heroes face off against a new foe: Ultron, a robotic villain set on destroying humanity.
Ultron is the creation of Tony Stark, as Stark creates an artificial intelligence to control his many autonomous Iron Man suits, known as the Iron Legion. Eventually, the A.I. becomes self-aware and creates a body for itself to enter the physical world.
This sequel sees the inclusion of two new superheroes, twins Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Ultron uses these two as pawns to fight the Avengers. The twins are the result of experimentation with Loki’s mind-controlling Chitauri Scepter by terrorist organization HYDRA, a fact shown during “The Winter Soldier”’s post-credit scene. In addition to the twins, the hero Vision is created as a counterpart to Ultron.
Marvel Studios had a lot of hype to live up to with the addition of this new installment. “The Avengers” was a financial and critical success for the studio, and everyone expected this sequel to exceed the first movie.
In addition, the wild success of 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” seemed to indicate that Marvel could do no wrong, no matter the source material or genre their movies drew from. This is all despite some lackluster films produced during Marvel’s Phase Two, notably 2013’s “Iron Man 3.”
All that being said, the film isn’t bad — but it certainly isn’t great either. It does not surpass the first film by any means. The film feels bloated and out of control at times, with certain sub-plots and set pieces clearly being edited or cut down for time.
The addition of even more characters besides the core Avengers makes the film feel slightly unwieldy, as no character gets an adequate amount of screen-time to develop. Whereas the first film felt like a culmination of the Phase One movies, this one feels like it only exists to set up the many plot lines for Phase Three. The disagreements between Captain America and Tony Stark feel forced, mainly to serve as foreshadowing for 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War.” In an attempt to set up 2017’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor disappears halfway through act two, only to reappear in the climax with little explanation.
The various sub-plots all lead to a climax that somehow feels simultaneously rushed and too long. The humor that made the first film so enjoyable is overstuffed here, as every character makes some sarcastic quip every other sentence.
All in all, this isn’t a bad film. It’s still enjoyable. It’s just that Marvel has created better and funnier films. This film is about mid-tier when compared to much of the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The film currently holds a 74 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.7/10 on IMDb.