Monday, May 25, 2015

Movie Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) written and directed by Joss Whedon

The Avengers take out a heavily fortified Hydra base where they collect Loki's staff and encounter two enhanced people, twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. He can move faster than fast (he's Quicksilver in the comics, who appeared also in X-Men: Days of Future Past); she uses magic and can read minds as well as put thoughts into them (she's Scarlett Witch in the comics, no priors). She does a number on most of the Avengers before leaving (Hawkeye is quick enough to stop her, quipping "I've already done the  mind control thing, didn't like it!"). They are haunted by those thoughts as the return to New York to celebrate recovering the staff.

Back at Avengers HQ, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner analyze the staff before Thor takes it off for safekeeping. Tony discovers an artificial intelligence in it and attempts to modify it so he can complete his Ultron project. Ultron will bring about "peace in our time" by securing the Earth from hostile aliens. And presumably other earth-bound baddies. Tony and Bruce head off to the party while the Ultron AI hangs out with JARVIS (Ironman's AI assistant). While the Avengers have fun and get a little drunk, Ultron takes out JARVIS and escapes into the internet, quickly infecting several Ironman suits and starting on a project to bring about "peace in our time," basically by wiping out the Avengers and the rest of the human race as well. Ultron recruits the twins, who don't catch on to the second part of his plan because Wanda can't read mechanical minds. A globe-spanning fight ensues.

The movie has a well-balanced mix of action, comedy, and character development. The cast is rather massive (the original six Avengers, the twins, Ultron, and a few others thrown in) but Whedon's script gives everyone enough time and personal scenes to make the characters more believable and interesting. Whedon's trademark witty banter is in fine form as well. The plot is also massive and suffers a little bit--they do so many things that it's hard to keep track of why certain things are important or even necessary. The story moves along so quickly that viewers are swept up in the action and it's easy to let the odd plot points slip on by.

This is a big, fun summer blockbuster, well worth seeing.

And yes, it is already available for pre-order on Amazon!

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