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Avengers Age of Ultron Movie Review

Review by Paul Bowler

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Earth’s mightiest heroes are back in Marvel’s incredible Avengers Age of Ultron. This action-packed superhero sequel from writer / director Joss Whedon, the man who helmed the first film, Avengers Assemble (2012), kicks off 2015’s blockbuster season in tremendous style with this epic Marvel superhero movie that will both thrill and entertain comic book aficionados and film fans of the genre alike.

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Following the Avengers latest mission to raid a secret Hydra facility and recover Loki’s sceptre, they return to New York where Tony Stark’s experiments with the staffs power to develop an advanced peacekeeping programme goes wrong and the artificial intelligence becomes a lethal sentient robot – Ultron! The Avengers: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), must unite in these dark times to face their greatest challenge as Ultron instigates his heinous plan to wipe out humanity. As Ultron’s power grows, the Avengers must stop him at any cost, and new alliances will be forged as the mighty Avengers battle to save the world from Ultron!

Avengers Age of Ultron is an exciting and witty superhero saga bursting with exhilarating action sequences, back stories, cameos, and adventure on a global scale. Whedon’s dynamic script gives everyone a chance to shine: Robert Downey Jr is on fine form as Tony Stark whose hubris unwittingly creates Ultron, Chris Evans is great as super-solder Captain America from the 1940’s, Chris Hemsworth is commanding and impressive as the mighty Thor, there’s also more focus on Jeremy Renner as we learn more about Hawkeye’s life outside the Avengers, and the close bond developing between Mark Ruffalo’s anguished scientist Bruce Banner and Scarlet Johansson’s former spy Natasha Romanoff becomes increasingly evident as Banner grows more troubled about the destructive power of his rampaging alter ego.

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Along with the threat posed by Ultron the Avengers also find themselves facing two new foes, the super-powered twins Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) aka Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is great as Quicksilver, and the super speedsters powers are well used on screen. However, it is Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and her uncanny telekinesis and mind control powers that makes the biggest impact when she uses her abilities to mess with the Avengers minds – causing them to experience haunting visions that play to their innermost doubts and darkest fears.

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Ultron makes a worthy adversary for the Avengers and this sentient robot with a god complex soon proves to be more than a match for the Earth’s mightiest heroes. James Spader imbues the voice of Ultron with an unsettlingly cold malevolence that is quite unnerving. Its a great performance, Spader clearly revels in every evil line he delivers as the films main antagonist, and Ultron’s ambition to facilitate the destruction of humanity also includes recruiting Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch and constructing a robot army.

Writer / Director Joss Whedon has a perfect handle on all these characters. The character development in Avenges Age of Ultron is second to none; Whedon uses the 141 minute running time to great effect, deftly balancing the plethora of sub plots, action sequences, and characters in a way that underlines just how well Whedon understands what makes a comic book adaptation work on the big screen. Moments of levity also nicely counterbalance some of the films darker themes. There’s lots of fun banter between the Avengers to enjoy, Tony Stark gets some great one-liners, and Thor’s attempts to understand 21st century America also provides some laughs.

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Needless to say the action scenes are absolutely stunning: the attack on the Hydra base is explosively exciting, Iron Man slugs it out with the Hulk in a spectacular building trashing smack down, and the final confrontation with Ultron is a breathtaking race against time as the Avengers battle to save humanity.

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The extensive cast also includes Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, together with Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, and Don Cheadle (James Rhodes / War Machine) in supporting roles. Perhaps most significantly Age of Ultron marks the highly anticipated debut of the mysterious Vision to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, played by Paul Bettany, who has voiced J.A.R.V.I.S in four films, and suffice it to say that the character more than lives up to all the hype generated by the films posters and trailers!

Avengers Age of Ultron is a brilliant film, Joss Whedon has done a fantastic job, the chemistry between the ensemble cast is superb, it’s packed with blockbusting action from beginning to end, and it also successfully sets things up for the next phase of Marvel films coming our way over the next few years.

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