[WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR “THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.”] Fun, fun, fun! Earth’s Mightiest Heroes roar back onto the screen with nearly all of the action, humor and spectacle of the wonderful original — I would give “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015) a 9 out of 10.
It’s got everything that you could ask for in a superhero movie, including another great villain in the form of James Spader’s “Ultron,” beautifully animated by CGI. A surprise standout was Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlet Witch. She’s a great young actress whose work I really liked in 2011’s terribly under-appreciated horror-thriller, “Silent House.” She’s got perfect line delivery. I’d love to see future Avengers films include her in the lineup, so that she can trade quips with Tony Stark.
There’s some great writing — the backstory for the twins was suitably dark, and was a perfect motive for a hatred of Stark. The banter might not be as funny as the first film, but was still quite good. And there’s some nice thematic continuity with Marvel’s planned “Civil War” storyline.
The movie falls short of perfection with the occasional misstep. For example, the flashbacks/hallucinations that various characters suffer were clumsy, overdone, and sometimes befuddling. Compare them with similar scenes in movies like “12 Monkeys” (1995) or “Donnie Darko” (2001), or well made television shows like “LOST.” Captain America’s worst fear is some lame “The war is over” existential bullshit? No. Cap is supposed to be the personification of freedom and democracy — his worst nightmare would be a totalitarian state. Or an undead Bucky. Or better yet, being a man out of time, it would be the loss of his friends, his family and his true love.
A key conversation between two key characters at the end about mankind’s future is just a little too depressing for an Avengers movie. Also a little sad? The suggestion that the team’s lineup would change. Our existing roster is terrific — the fan’s love ’em and I believe all the actors are under contract. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Postscript: this movie is interesting because it shows the same superhero starring in competing film franchises. Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s “Quicksilver” is the very same Marvel Comics’ speedster we saw played (and scripted with much more fun) last year by Evan Peters in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” (There, he’s simply referred to as “a guy” or “Maximoff,” for copyright considerations, I guess.)