"Avengers: Age of Ultron" stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, and Samuel L. Jackson. Released on May 1, 2015, the film has Tony Stark creating a peacekeeping program known as Ultron, but when Ultron was set free to destroy humanity, the Avengers must join forces once again to save the world from his devious plan.
The film is directed by Joss Whedon, who is known for directing the first Avengers movie. It is a sequel to Marvel's The Avengers and the 11th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This film has received a lot of hype from Marvel fans since the first trailer was released. I was one of those fans but I kept my expectations at a minimum so that I don't come out of this film disappointed. It's a good thing I did, because I had a lot of fun with this sequel.
The performances from the cast were great, ranging from Downey Jr. as the humorous Stark to Jackson as the entertaining leader of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury. All of the characters, including the supporting characters, have a chance to shine and Whedon delivered what we promised. I was concerned about the addition of Don Cheadle, Idris Elba, Anthony Mackie, and Haley Atwell because they might be a bit too much for this movie to handle, but the crew handled this issue pretty well. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen played the newest members of the Avengers, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, and they did a nice job with their portrayals, even though the Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past was a bit better than the one in this movie. But wait, what about James Spader as Ultron? How did he do? All I can say about him is that he's like the robotic version of Loki. Spader managed to channel his inner evilness into Ultron and the result is pure gold. What I love about the first Avengers movie is that they have a villain that poses a threat to not only humanity, but also to the Avengers and their friendships with one another. That is Loki. Here, Ultron is exactly like that. The only addition to his character is that he forces the Avengers to face their personal fears. The action sequences were outstanding and fun to look at, especially with the creative use of CGI. I could imagine Michael Bay watching this and be amazed at all of the CGI glory with a few explosions. The story is a bit deeper than the first movie and it was handled very well along with the humor. There were some moments where I fully laughed and not just chuckled. I also like that they have some scenes that tease some upcoming films from Marvel such as Captain America: Civil War and the two-part Avengers sequel, Infinity War.
There were a couple of issues I had with this movie. Unlike the first film, the pacing and editing felt a bit rushed at times even though the film is two and a half hours long. Seriously, when the movie starts, the action starts along with it. The reason for this issue is that Joss Whedon mentioned that the first cut was over three hours long. Hopefully we'll get an extended version on home video soon. I'm also concerned that even though the film is made for kids and their parents, there are certain scenes that can be a bit too intense or even scary for the little ones. The themes about the consequences of creating artificial intelligence have been played out already but it managed to pull through thanks to its solid screenplay.
Overall, "Avengers: Age of Ultron" is not a perfect sequel, but it managed to have something that made Marvel's The Avengers such a fun time at the movies. Characters we care about, action sequences that blow our minds, and a villain that's worth a challenge to our heroes. The film also has a solid screenplay, great performances, a sense of fun and its mixture of humor and emotion to make it one of my most entertaining movies of the summer. If you like the first movie, you'll definitely have fun with this as well because there are definitely no strings on this movie.