‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Review: Some Assembly Required

Walt Disney Studios via IMDb
Walt Disney Studios via IMDb

Everything that made “The Avengers” so fun and thrilling is present in its sequel, “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, and is amped-up and ready to deliver early summer fun at the movies. So, in theory, the second film should be just as good, right?

And yet.

It’s not to say “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is bad but there is a strange disconnect between all of the dazzling action and everything else that occurs in this movie. The dialogue heavy interludes really create a narrative lull within the movie but director Joss Whedon never has any trouble bringing the audience back to the action. Featuring some phenomenal tracking shots, moving in and out of the action without a visible cut, makes for an immersive sequence. This is why people will keep seeing “Avengers” films.

The other reason these films are so successful is the ensemble cast, who are all back and ready to save the day again. As the movie opens, the entire team is already in action. Led by Tony Stark, or Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), they are fighting their way into the HYDRA base to obtain a special staff, which belonged to Loki. Inside they meet twin siblings, Pietro and Wanda, or Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen).

Tony wants to protect the world with a new set of robots, but ends up creating Ultron (voiced by a menacing James Spader). Ultron wants to destroy the Avengers. Tony needs a little help from his friends, of course, so Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) must pull together to take on the nefarious Ultron.

There’s a lot going on in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and it falls short of expectations and maybe in the filmmaker’s ambitions. Whedon’s script shines in individual moments between the Avengers and their back-and-forth banter and one-liners but there is a sense he really is trying to stretch the narrative here. Too much of the movie feels like filler.

But narrative woes, be damned. We are here for explosions and fights and in that sense “Avengers: Age of Ultron” delivers. The cast is ready to please and they have not lost their sense of camaraderie and chemistry. Spader is a great addition to the cast, giving Ultron, essentially one big hunk of metal, a threatening presence.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” reportedly cost $250 million to make and has already made the majority of that back overseas. It will not struggle to do business domestically. People have been waiting and they will see it opening night. Heck, someone out there is probably already in line for “Avengers 3”.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” rates 6 out of 10

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