For the longest time ever, I have been a fan of comic book superheroes and have taken a liking to Hollywood film adaptations of them. Therefore, it is no surprise that I am extremely eager to watch this movie I am about to review. After a tremendous billion dollar box-office success with The Avengers in 2012, comic book publishers Marvel green-lit a sequel for release in 2015.
The sequel in titled The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Joss Whedon returns to the helm to direct and write the film. The sequel reunites the cast from its predecessor; Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johannson, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, and Cobie Smulders. Joining the assemble cast are Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olson, and James Spader. As with all Marvel films, Kevin Feige returns as producer.
Will the sequel be better than the first film? Do read on…
The assemble of Earth’s mightiest heroes known as The Avengers is on assignment to retrieve Loki’s (villain from previous film) scepter hidden by Hydra in an Eastern European country. After successfully completing their mission, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) decides to use the energy from the scepter to create a robot with artificial intelligence named Ultron. To their surprise, the robot Ultron begins to take a life of its own and is hell-bent on destroying Earth. It is up to our superheroes to stop it.
|Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)|
Scattered and mildly strong. Following the success of the first film which received raved reviews for its storyline, uncommon for comic book superhero films, this sequel was slightly disappointing. Although the storyline is pretty straight forward, at times it tends to cramp a lot all at once. It seems that Marvel is trying to set-up multiple storylines for future films involving each individual superhero character. In other words, there are too many sub-plots to supplement the main storyline plot. This eventually led to more dialogue scenes to explain a lot of what is going on in the film. On the bright side, the wit and humour is as good, and maybe even better, than the first film. Quite good characterization of roles as we get to see more of the human side of our heroes rather than focus on their special abilities.
|Captain America (Chris Evans) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth)|
With an ensemble cast of established actors in one film, it is expected for each and every actor to bring their best to the screen. I am happy to say that all perform well. I particularly liked the performance of the new cast in Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and James Spader. Although we only hear Spader’s voice, he sounded menacing as the main villain of the film. Paul Bettany, who in previous Marvel films only provided the voice of Stark’s artificial intelligence software Jarvis, is given a bigger role as a live-action member of the cast. His performance is remarkable and somewhat a scene stealer for the film.
|Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)|
Excellent but can be a little over the top. Director Joss Whedon is known to be true comic book fan. In my opinion, Whedon brought comic book artistry to life in the first film. He does it again with the second film and it is just as exciting. As with blockbuster movie franchises such as this, movie studios tend to provide more budget to produce sequels. Whedon took advantage of this by staging more spectacular action sequences and included more visual effects compared to the first film. Everything is on a bigger scale this time around. The visual effects are top notch and there are some very creative shots.
|Director Joss Whedon on set with Clint Barton / Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)|
Moderate at best. When there is a lot of dialogue to explain the film’s plot, it feels a little slow. However, it is balanced out with some wit and humour the Joss Whedon ‘style’.
|Tony Stark / Iron Man building Ultron|
As the world is faced against an unpredictable force of evil, our Earth’s mightiest superheroes must put aside their ago and petty differences to protect humanity from what could be a global disaster.
|Newcomers Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen as twins Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch|
The editing could have been better. Multiple sub-plots can be turn-off for audiences.
|Director Joss Whedon giving some pointers to Elizabeth Olsen|
Great action sequences and visual effects which is complemented by some nifty sound effects design.
|Captain Amerca / Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) in action|
Personally, I feel the first film is better than this second film. However, it is worth a watch because it is highly entertaining. It is not necessary to watch the first film in order to understand the second film but it would be a better experience have seen both.
7 out of 10.