Director: Joss Whedon
Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, James Spader, Samuel L Jackson
Plot: Tony Stark attempts to create an artificially intelligent program called Ultron that can protect the world, but it turns on the Avengers and intends to destroy mankind. The team joins forces with a pair of gifted twins to stop Ultron from carrying out his plan.
Review: It's pretty hard to top a hit film like The Avengers, and I have to say Joss Whedon put in a humongous effort to make Age Of Ultron awesome and memorable. To be honest, it wasn't perfect (then again, what film is?) but it never stops being hugely entertaining, and that's what essentially counts.
So in this film, the Avengers take down Hydra and retrieve Loki's sceptre, only for Tony Stark to use it to finish his Ultron program i.e. a peacekeeping program that can operate by itself. The plan of course goes south when Ultron decides to turn against him and eradicate mankind. The Avengers attempt to stop him, but he's more than prepared for them.
As usual, when it comes to Marvel films, technical elements are never short of perfect. The visual effects here are as good as it was back when they made the first Avengers, in fact it did a great job in keeping the action sequences exciting and visually decipherable. There are plenty of action set pieces to behold, the best of them being the Hulk taking on Iron Man in a Hulkbuster armor. In between all this, Whedon throws in the humour he is well known for, while adding more layers to the characters. For instance, Hawkeye, who got the least screen time previously, gets more to do here, and a relationship develops between Bruce Banner and Black Widow.
Acting wise, all of them deliver strong performances, with Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson standing out the most as they bring forth their characters' emotions and weaknesses. New cast members Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen also do well as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch respectively, the former doing a better job than Evan Peters in X-Men: DOFP in playing the same guy. Olsen successfully gives Scarlet Witch the vulnerability that is required of her, wielding powers that may be too much for her to handle. James Spader surprisingly gives a very human performance as Ultron, in the way he moves, talks and gestures. He kinda threw me off with that performance, but it's not a bad thing. Paul Bettany finally gets to physically be in these films as he evolves from being JARVIS to Vision, Ultron's creation. He too, puts in a splendid effort.
The only thing that bothered me about Age Of Ultron is the fact that it felt a little less coherent compared to its predecessor. Whedon threw in a ton of things here, and occasionally moves so fast you'd likely miss something. I think I may have to go back and see this film again, just to enjoy it one more time and properly take it all in.
To sum it up, Age Of Ultron is awesome and a whole lot of fun. If you've been following all of Marvel's films so far, there's no reason not to go see this one. Recommended. (8/10)