DIR/WRI: Joss Whedon • PRO: Kevin Feige • DOP: Ben Davis • ED: Jeffrey Ford, Lisa Lassek • MUS: Danny Elfman, Brian Tyler • CAST: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo
The first Avengers movie was always going to be a wonderful novelty geek fest, Hulk, Cap, Stark, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow and not to mention SHIELD getting together to kick some ass. It also had some good humor, pathos action, scenes that did not feel like they had been thrown into a Michael Bay blender. With those elements at its fore it is not surprising that it went on to be one of the most successful films of all time. Unfortunately, you can only do that trick once, the novelty is gone and the buzz of a Matrix style shot of the Avengers leaping through the air together to face the enemy does not have the same thrill as it did the first time.
And so it goes. The Second Avengers film is finally upon us and it looks likely to earn as much money as its predecessor. The plot has Tony Stark trying to reactivate an AI defense project to protect the Earth. But of course all he manages to do is kick-start the plot when instead he accidentally creates the demented Ultron, cheekily voiced by James Spader. Soon destruction of the Earth is on the agenda, which of course is not much of a surprise.
I really wanted to love this film but instead liking it is all I managed to do. There is sterling work on display and the best CGI Hulk thus far. The standout fight sequence was between Iron Man and Hulk but what’s with all the visual allusions to 9/11 or did I imagine it?
All in all this felt like the most expensive television episode I’ve ever seen, it even begins as if it were the continuation of an Avengers film we never saw. Its over-burdened roster of characters leaves no breath for the subplots presented and there is only so much superhero action/destruction I can take in a 141-minute running time. That said there are plenty out there that will love it.
12A (See IFCO for details)
Avengers – Age of Ultron is released 24th April 2015