‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ performs as expected

By Jacob Pierce |@JacobPierce1_DE |Daily Egyptian

Let us not delay the inevitable. 

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (Rated PG-13; 141 min) directed by Joss Whedon, helps build the universe, but does not reach the heights of its predecessor.

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The Avengers, the world’s premier fighting force in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, are still fighting the good fight.

After The Battle of New York and the destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D, the team is taking care of what is left of the Chitauri technology and Hydra terrorist group.

But this is not enough for the man in the iron suit, Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr.

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He fears The Avengers will not be enough when the most powerful beings decide to take on earth. Him and Bruce Banner, played by Mark Ruffalo, start up an old artificial intelligence program called Ultron.

This backfires and the team find some of their worst fears coming to light. Once again, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes must come together to fight a greater evil.

The sequel executes a fun filled action roller coaster with amazing character development and execution. Everyone from Captain America, played by Chris Evans, to a lowly character like Maria Hill, played by Cobie Smulders, gets to shine.

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At the same time, the movie is all but unexpected. It is almost like the filmmakers took everything great from the first Avengers film and put it into here, making a few more mistakes along the way.

It has too many jokes and ends up having the same villain problem present in every Marvel movie.

But, Whedon uses a lot of his talent to build new dynamic characters and add unique motivations to already existing characters. 

The character interaction still makes this movie. The functioning world, and expanding universe seems real and concrete.

It is almost like an extension of our own universe, just with a few changes. We learn more as the picture grows clearer, yet so much still lays excitingly undiscovered.   

The introduction of Scarlett Witch, played by Elizabeth Olson, and Vision, played by Paul Bettany, are handled wonderfully.

Presenting of a new character in a film like this could be difficult and end with flat characters. These two never come off like this, being great additions to the film overall.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” also does a lot to flesh out the original cast. Seeing an origin story for Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, brings us closer to her.

Stark’s growing fear of failing adds more to such an eccentric character, and a character like Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner, finally becomes a charismatic, sympathetic individual.

On the other end of the spectrum, the movie fails in a lot of ways the original succeeded. 

Not bad by any means, the film seems above average. This is incredibly disappointing when you remember how much of a spectacle “The Avengers” was.

Ultron, played by James Spader, is one of comic books greatest villains. Artificial intelligence representing the folly of a hero and a bad guy wanting to do the right thing, he is a staple of the Marvel comic book universe.

In this film he is a poor man’s Loki. While having a different motivation as the original film’s villain, both his dialogue and mannerism are an attempt to recapture old glory.

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Ultron should be the missing puzzle piece to the MCU, another villain to admire and hate all at the same time.

Not even the frightening tones of Spader can bring anything charismatic to this character.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” has a bigger problem of being a constant joke machine. The entire film does not stop being “funny,” even in its darkest moments.

What brings a unique quality to Whedon’s writing and the original movie becomes a critical dilemma in an otherwise compelling romp.

Stars: 3.5 out 5     

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