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Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron 

****

Avengers: Age of Ultron. So where are the articles, you ask? And I answer, “Here’s one of them.”

Sorry.

To best enjoy this film, remind yourself not to expect the impossible. Three years ago we all got shivers as we watched The Avengers and realized, “It’s really happening. After all the hype, it’s finally happening and I’m watching it right now!” Alas, that feeling only comes once per franchise, so don’t approach Ultron with unrealistic expectations. Just know writer-director Joss Whedon has done about as good a job with the sequel as you could hope for and enjoy.

Whedon stuffs the film with everything he imagines we want. There’s more action, new characters, a colorful villain, plenty of banter, inspirational moments, even a bit of romance. The movie runs two hours and twenty minutes, reportedly trimmed from a three hour cut (which should turn up on the Blu-ray, right?)

Ultron starts with the Avengers fighting what’s left of Hydra. Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) gets hurt, but never fear — he’s going to get extra screen time this go around to make up for being possessed for a good chunk of the first movie. Along the way we meet twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff/Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch (Aaron-Taylor Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen). He runs super fast and she has numerous powers, including the ability to induce “waking dreams.” The screenplay writes off the multi-power business by describing her abilities as “weird.” Not helpful. NOTE: The twins used to be Magneto’s kids, but not in this reality. And this Quicksilver is played by a different guy than the one in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Go figure.

After the fight, the gang gets to hang out, allowing some good humored moments involving the hammer of Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and some romantic bonding between Natasha Romanova/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Later, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) worry over their vanquished enemy’s advances in artificial intelligence. Linda Cardellini and Paul Bettany also appear, but that’s all I’m going to say about them lest I spoil any surprises.

Long story short (is that still possible?), the Avengers soon have to deal with Ultron (voiced quite nicely by James Spader), a self-aware robotic smart-ass who aims to make the world better by getting rid of humans. Logical plan, probably, but if it works who’s going to post all the videos of cute animals on YouTube?

The problem with plot lines in superhero super-team tales is that they must be awesome enough to justify the gathering of so many mighty heroes, and how often can you do that before it starts getting ridiculous? The answer is not often, so don’t worry about the plot, especially the part involving those damned Infinity stones that keep popping up in Marvel movies. Such a lot of fuss over jewelry!

Bottom line: I dug all the downtime scenes. Loved most of the exchanges between the characters. Appreciated the Avengers’ attempts to avoid destruction in population centers. The action scenes were very exciting and clever, but I had trouble keeping up with the visuals. Do you see how I’m trying to cram a lot into this essay before I reach my word limit? That’s what the movie does too. You’ll deal with it, I reckon.

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What others are saying (12)

Boise Weekly Avengers Tops Weekend Box Office With $77.2 Million, Hot Pursuit Flounders Disney and Marvel's comic book adventure has made $312.9 million domestically since debuting stateside ten days ago. by GlobalPost 05/10/2015
Portland Mercury Avengers Disassembled The hits and quips of Avengers: Age of Ultron. by Erik Henriksen 04/29/2015
Salt Lake City Weekly Avengers: Age of Ultron Early in Avengers: Age of Ultron, there's a scene that plays to some of the movie's biggest laughs, built around one of the pillars of the Marvel Universe: the fact that the hammer of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) can only be wielded by one who is worthy. by Scott Renshaw 04/29/2015
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Seven Days Avengers: Age of Ultron by Margot Harrison 05/06/2015
Gambit Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron Ken Korman says the latest installment in the Marvel Universe is missing the original’s charm by Ken Korman 05/04/2015
New Times San Luis Obispo Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron Ken Korman says the latest installment in the Marvel Universe is missing the original’s charm by Ken Korman 05/04/2015
Creative Loafing Atlanta ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ makes heroic effort to extend Marvel universe Joss Whedon’s heroic juggling acts get cluttered in ‘Avengers’ sequel. by Curt Holman 05/01/2015
The Coast Halifax Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron Still, go just for Thor by Tara Thorne 05/07/2015
Inlander Good Goes Bad The Avengers have to fight themselves in the CGI-happy Age of Ultron by Maryann Johanson 04/29/2015
Boise Weekly Avengers: Age of Ultron Scores Second Biggest Opening In History Globally, "Avengers: Age of Ultron" is a juggernaut, pulling in an estimated $627 million in 12 days of release. by GlobalPost 05/03/2015
Charleston City Paper While not as good as its predecessor, Age of Ultron still delights How do you improve on the third highest-grossing movie of all time? by Dan Hudak 04/29/2015
Colorado Springs Independent Celluloid heroes assemble in Avengers: Age of Ultron Age of Ultron is fundamentally about what makes humanity worthy. by Scott Renshaw 05/06/2015

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