When it comes to movies, the number one element that I most look to to help gauge and ultimately determine my interest is who the director is. I think I expounded on this with my Intersteller review, so I’ll just leave it at that and say that I highly anticipated the Avengers sequel because Joss Whedon, the director of the first Avengers film, returned for an encore. He’s perfect for the franchise because he’s a great action director who can inject timely instances of humor while successfully balancing a huge cast of characters with solemn moments of progressive character development. And he certainly didn’t disappoint with this one.
Age of Ultron is very much in line with its predecessor, from the Avengers fighting an alien army to them fighting an army of killer robots. The same recipe with a few new spices and it still worked great. The action was awesome and most of the returning characters had new toys to show off, which is great, but what I enjoyed most, and wanted more of, is of the main cast conversing with each other as their in-team banter and joking really brought the characters alive. Moreover, there was much more depth in this sequel as the first mostly dealt with forming friendships and working together as a team, but this one focused on betrayal and trust which is always an uncomfortable, yet familiar topic.
It’s so easy to focus on the story’s main conflict and ignore what the players are internalizing, but Joss Whedon does an excellent job in giving each character individual time to breath and grow in showing us what they each have done in between the films and what their hopes and motivations are as they continue to fight as an Avenger. And with Marvel’s smart foresight, there was much closure at the end for each character as we’re shown where each character is headed and what’s in store for the team in the their next story.
Another thing that this film got right was that we’re constantly reminded that the Avengers were formed to save lives as they go out of their way to make sure others are out of harms way. DC’s Man of Steel is a great Superman film that showcased Superman’s true physical potential, but it failed miserably to show us why he is humanity’s pinnacle as he fought General Zod with little regard to the people and city that were being destroyed around him. Marvel does much to show us that the Avengers do not simply avenge and stop bad guys, but to protect and rescue the weak and innocent which validates their existence.
My only gripe is that I thought Ultron, the main baddie, seemed a bit underpowered and weak. He’s supposed to be this super evil sentient robot who is out to eradicate all of humanity, and when we hear robot we tend to think intelligent, efficient, and powerful, but because he’s an AI with quite the personality, he didn’t seem to do all he could have to destroy the Avengers. He seemed overmatched.
In any case, I really enjoyed this installment and had a lot of fun with the team which makes me just want more of the Avengers, but too bad this is Joss Whedon’s last venture with the Marvel Cinematic Universe because he really knows how to do a comic book film well.
I rate this a 4 out of 5 stars. I’d definitely pay money to watch this again.