Joss Whedon’s 2012 film ‘the Avengers’ is one of the biggest and most popular movies of all time. Loved by young and old, and with a star studded cast, it is very well one of the highlights of his career. How do you top something like that?
You make the second one.
‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is the newest Marvel blockbuster, in which Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) attempts to create an artificiallly intelligent robot, Ultron (voiced magnificently by James Spader) to replace his team, the Avengers, and keep the peace for them. But, when the plan backfires and Ultron tries to destroy the world, the Avengers must defeat their sentient, self-multiplying villain.
Whedon’s Dream Team is back, and as bad-ass as ever. Captain America and Black Widow’s stunts kick ass, Iron Man and Hawkeye are as cool as ice, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor physique is impressive, and the Hulk… smashes butt. But more than just the action, this movie has more heart than the first. Clint has a wife, a family, and a home life. We see glimpses of Steve’s post-war trauma, and the horrors of Natasha’s past and assassin training. Bruce and Natasha even get a little romance. It’s a different angle on our favourite superheroes, but a good one.
This film sees a few new characters join the Avengers’ ranks; James Spader’s voice acting as Ultron is one of the highlight performances of the film. Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson join as Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, a.k.a. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, twins with superhuman abilities. Scarlet Witch’s ability to cast spells that cause lucid dream-like hallucinations causes havoc amongst our Avengers, whilst the inclusion of the super-fast Quicksilver caused controversy in the Marvel-production world – this character was also portrayed by Evan Peters in last year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. But Taylor-Johnson’s character is different, more emotionally driven and serious, than Peters’. And new character The Vision has me divided; he felt under-developed as a character, leaving me thinking that he had both every reason and no reason to be in the movie at all. But in terms of continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he worked, bringing an important element of the Universe into play. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next.
One thing that’s not new to the Avengers, though, is the humour, and there’s no shortage of that this time. From having a go at picking up Thor’s hammer, to Clint’s renovation plans, to Steve’s “language!” comment, this film is as fun as the last.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is great for both comic book fans and new fans alike, and definitely as enjoyable as the last one. Question is, how will Whedon top THIS?
Also, because I feel that a blog post by me is incomplete without a list of my favourite things, here are my top five favourite movies that the Avengers’ stars have been in besides the Avengers:
1. Lost In Translation (Scarlett Johansson)
2. Begin Again (Mark Ruffalo)
3. Kingsman: Secret Service (Samuel L. Jackson)
4. Now You See Me (Mark Ruffalo)
5. Nowhere Boy (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).