*** This review contains spoilers ***
After a knock back by a self made foe, Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk, Thor and other superheroes team up to stop the new threat with the help of gifted twins to save the Earth from a global catastrophe.
The Age of Ultron a sequel to Avengers Assemble and linked to the other recent Marvel film outings is a more satisfying superhero film than its predecessor thanks to some further character development, genuine emotion and the introduction of Ultron, perfectly executed by James Spader. Both Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Wanda and Pietro Maximoff are great in their roles.
Director Joss Whedon manages to tap into the style of Iron Man 3 and Winter Solider giving this addition more of a human edge. There is a clear gap between the two outings and no exposition is required to see where the characters are at. Paul Bettany with some great makeup design is a fine addition as Vision and the closing assemble of the new Avengers crew including the likes of Falcon and War Machine is interesting.
Danny Elfman’s music score is memorable and heightens the on screen robot action setups accordingly as the team look for Loki’s weapon, then later take on Ultron and his minions. Whedon and team like the first inning manages to integrate the comic book action with the drama and visual effects effortlessly.
Here Jeremy Renne’s Hawkeye gets much more screen time and storyline, Mark Ruffalo returns as Hulk/Banner alongside Robert Downey, Jr. (who again steals the show as Tony Stark even when looking for secret passages), Chris Evans, Don Cheadle, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson. A few sub- characters including S.H.I.E.L.D and Agent Carter also appear. While not perfect, the story feels more heartfelt and its biggest strength is its pacing, for such a long film it never lags and it remains pretty close to the early comic book spirit and roots.
Packed with more hit and miss one liners, outstanding effects (although I still feel Hulk is a little off) and great comic book characters it sets it up nicely for the next instalment with its tag on Thanos teaser ending.