“This is exactly where it went wrong,” says Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). “We’re mad scientists. We’re monsters.” He’s in Avengers Tower laboratory, talking to fellow scientist Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Together, Stark and Banner created sentient A.I. named Ultron (voice of James Spader) that would be, they hoped, part of a global protection initiative. But Ultron turns evil and uncontrollable. “Everyone creates what they later regret,” says Ultron. That’s the setup for this CGI- and character-filled spectacle.
Will Ultron’s world-destruction plan succeed? Is this the end of the Avengers? Does 2½ hours seem too long? For answers, see “Age of Ultron.”
In alphabetical order, back for this sequel to 2012’s original “Avengers” — Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo. Good performances from all, with witty and often smart dialogue by writer/director Joss Whedon. “Victory,” says comically serious Scandinavian noble Thor (Hemsworth), “should be celebrated with revels.” Says snarky Tony Stark (Downey), “So who doesn’t love revels?” Arriving unexpectedly at Hawkeye’s (Renner) farmhouse with all the Avengers, Stark says to Hawkeye’s wife (Linda Cardellini), “We would have called ahead, but we had no idea you existed.” That Hawkeye has a family — who knew? — adds to his back story.
New to the cast are Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Sokovian twins Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. James Spader is the voice and motion-capture for Ultron. “Destroy the Avengers and it will be a better world,” he says. “I wanted Ultron to be the anti-logical robot,” says writer/director Joss Whedon, “marching to the beat of his own completely insane drummer.”
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” is sci-fi, action adventure, bigger, louder and, if not better, certainly filled with more characters than your average comic-book movie. Joss Whedon fills the screen for 2 ½ hours with Marvel Comic superwomen and supermen, many with character flaws, quirks and interpersonal issues. “Ultron” also has massive battles, explosions, noise and general bombast — created by an army of special effects artists and technicians listed in the closing credits. Stay through the credits for a promise — “The Avengers will return” — and a look at the next movie’s bad guy.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action, violence and destruction — plenty of that — and some suggestive comments, “Ultron” runs (a long) 141 minutes.
Action — loud and bigger —
“Avengers” once again;
In the “Age of Ultron,”
Super women, super men.