Review: "Avengers: Age of Ultron" offers a well-crafted extravaganza
This Friday the highly anticipated sequel to Marvel's "The Avengers," "Avengers: Age of Ultron" hits theaters. While fanboys and fangirls alike have been anticipating the new installment for half a decade it's finally being unveiled for their fevered eyes. The film sustains its predecessor's ability to provide an enthralling experience.
Action, sharp-wit, and the relentless aggressive team dynamic are here again but the real attention is meant to be focused on the more human aspects of the story: relationships, forgetting the past, and trying to move on. The Avengers may be superheroes but they have human problems, with the added bonus of a film score.
Writer-director Joss Whedon, helmer of the first “The Avengers," who returns for the sequel, said in interviews prior to the release that he wanted this film to be “bonkers.” And he did follow through.
Whedon’s lived up to his word through action and tension-inducing scenes. In one scene, an entire European city is ruined courtesy of hyper editing and stunning CGI that allowed you to see the action rather than blurs of colors alluding to an epic moment. Not to mention his use of alternating close-up and mid-shot camera angles to truly involve the viewer in the line of action.
The wide cast (Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner) all play their roles as expected. It’s especially hard to believe Chris Hemsworth’s arms to not be truly blessed from the Gods of Asgard.
In addition to the cast, newly arriving twins Wanda and Pietro Maximoff and played by Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson perform to convincing lengths, bringing to the film a maniacal and all-we-have-is-each-other sibling dynamic.
The storyline involving Tony Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S. being taken over by an artificially intelligent force, and taking the Loki’s scepter leading to the Ultron defense program that goes invariably asckew while planning to destroy all of mankind for the sake of peace, is well-written and gives the heroes a real challenge.
The film's only slow section comes in the second half when it focuses on the non-super hero aspects of the story, particularly when it touches on those age old questions like "can we coexist peacefully?"
Meanwhile, the Avengers are all dealing with issues of their own. Black Widow, is wanting to define and further a relationship with the Hulk (she loves those green biceps). Tony Stark as Iron Man is just enjoying life and accepting the tribulations. Captain America reminisces about the past and what could have been in his relationship (from the previous "Captain America" movie). Thor understands the risk he takes going back to Asgard. Hawkeye is playing his distant father role in which he knows his life is at risk everyday for his family. His transformation as not only a dad to his children but offering fatherly advice to the Maximoff twins is a nice, personal touch.
Overall the film plays 20 minutes longer than what would be ideal but you’ll find yourself enthralled with the soundtrack, well-crafted action scenes, sharp dialogue, and of course a cameo from the one and only Stan Lee.
As the Avengers age and ultimately find unity and understanding in each of their lives, the ending of the film leaves you with nothing but anticipation for the next installment.