And so they’re back, not quite from out of space, the Avengers return in the Age of Ultron. The usual gang’s all here: Iron Man, aka Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), Hulk, aka Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America, aka Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Black Widow, aka Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson, Hawkeye, aka Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Thor, aka Thor (Chris Hemsworth).
In a surprising twist, this time round Tony Stark decides to do something a bit on the maverick side by taking a program started by Hydra for artificial intelligence and restarting it with the intention of creating a global peace-keeping Iron Man force.
Needless to say it goes wrong and the resulting Ultron (voiced excellently by James Spader), as you’ll have seen from the trailers, goes bad-ass on the Avengers. The Avengers fall out, helped in no small part by the powers of Scarlett Witch, aka Wanda Maximoff (the excellent Elizabeth Olsen) who can fuck with people’s minds. They must then re-group in order to save the world from extinction.
If the above sounds like I’m being a little flippant then I’m sorry, but you’re right. You see we’re into just the second Avengers film and, whilst it is very good, there’s a pattern emerging already. Grab something from the bad guy(s), fall out, re-group, save the world. It’s not necessarily a bad thing (well it’s a little bit a bad thing), I guess I just expected more.
Now I’m not saying the film is bad, it isn’t. It’s action galore including some excellent CGI’d to the max fight scenes with the usual touches of humour thrown in. There’s destruction on an almost Michael Bay level and in IMAX 3D it pops and strikes excellently. The acting is good, we perhaps concentrate on Hawkeye, Hulk and Black Widow more in this one then previously. Thor seems to bounce in and out of scenes like he can’t make his mind up if he wants to be in the movie or not.
There is a great fight between Hulk and Iron Man and Captain America kick a lot of robot arse too. The new people to the scene, Quicksilver, aka Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his sister Scarlett Witch add a fun, interesting dimension, though I would have like to see them playing the Avengers against each other a little more. Paul Bettany, for years just the voice of Jarvis, finally makes it into the world with the fully make-up’d, cape wearing Vision.
Will there be more? Of course there will, you know there will as they’ve already been announced and we get a glimpse of the next bad-guy (I won’t give it away) during the end credits. Rumours abound as to what the line-up will be for the next films, not just who the Avengers will be but who the actors will be. There’s a suggestion at the end that it will be a new line-up of Avengers with a few familiar faces, perhaps it will go the same way with the actors too.