Joss Whedon’s challenge with the first Avengers film was to deliver a watchable, broad appeal superhero team-up film, something he managed in spades. With this sequel, the expected outcome is a little different, with the surprise factor of his superlative prior effort being near-impossible to recapture. Although Age of Ultron is at times awkwardly shoehorned into the timeline of the larger Marvel film universe, Whedon is able to build upon the strong foundation he’s already put in place, laying down a challenge to DC’s upcoming Justice League films as well as his successors in the Avengers franchise moving forward.
With the team already established, no time’s wasted before showing off their combined combat and quips in an opening action sequence that quickly summons a grin as well as showing that Whedon’s got a firmer grasp on how to deliver the big CGI that’s required. His trademark zingers are in full effect, peppering the film from start to finish, and he once again shows his knack for ensemble casts, with the film’s characters existing in harmonious balance (at least in storytelling terms).
Like most modern blockbusters, Age of Ultron runs a little long, but fortunately there’s not too much padding and its new characters grab shares of screen time in direct proportion to how entertaining they are. It’s always a pleasure whenever principal villain, the hilarious anger-bot Ultron, voiced by James Spader shows up, while siblings Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are best-served by mostly staying in the wings until it’s time to show off their powers.
As Age of Ultron enters its latter stages, a welcome visual spectacle helps enliven what’s becoming a bit of an over-familiar end-of-the-world action movie scenario. Familiarity shouldn’t be a dirty word though, since the film hits all the right notes, serving as a welcome return of the Avengers amusing team dynamic and essentially asking “what more could you want?”
‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Movie Times (also in 3D)