Avengers: Age of Ultron: Film Review – The Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are back!

When a movie boasts of 4 super-superheroes, 2 "Marvel"lous supporting characters, and a supervillain that literally brings you down to your knees, you know it’s a recipe for disaster. Seems just a little too overwhelming, doesn’t it? But then, The Avengers proved us wrong. And now, the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are back for another battle of epic proportions!

This time, the Avengers are all set to take on the titular supervillain – Ultron, an A.I. that propagates destruction under the guise of evolution. What make him truly indestructible, however, are the two secret weapons in his arsenal – Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). It also doesn’t help that disagreements, fights and the Scarlet Witch’s chaos magic threaten to tear the Avengers apart. Will they rise up to the challenge once again? Or will things be different this time around?

Saying that Avengers: Age of Ultron opens on a high note would be a gross understatement, if there ever was one! The opening sequence of the film is a crash course in action filmmaking. Unfortunately, a stellar opening scene works against the film, since it promises more than the movie can deliver.

Apart from the high-octane action, what takes the scene to an all new level is the elimination of the McGuffin. For the uninitiated, a McGuffin is any object (in this case, the Sceptre) that is used to drive the characters to a common goal. However, the object serves no purpose to the larger scheme, making it feel redundant. Though the Chitauri Scepter started off with a grand storyline, it did suffer from a classic case of sequel fatigue. Fortunately, Avengers: Age of Ultron wastes no time on the McGuffin and gets straight to the action!

"I miss the days when the weirdest thing science ever created was me."
This simple dialogue uttered by Steve Rogers puts the whole franchise into perspective. Things have certainly changed since 2008’s Iron Man. Some good, others… Not so much. Let’s focus on the good first. With the evolution of the Black Widow and the introduction of the Scarlet Witch, Marvel has certainly taken a huge leap forward when it comes to its female characters. Other characters, who have usually taken the backseat, get their moment in the sun too. The film offers an insight into Hawkeye and The Hulk, which is surprisingly one of its finer aspects.

Another welcome evolution is that of Marvel’s action and visual effects. Though it might seem impossible, the franchise has somehow managed to surpass itself. The dazzling action scenes are unlike anything we’ve seen before, even from Marvel. Each action sequence is as graceful as a ballet, but as cutthroat as a street fight. We don’t know about you, but we’re not complaining!

As always, the film also manages to incorporate a number of elements in record time. Though this works on some levels, it keeps you from ever truly focusing on a single plot, making the film lose the very thing that makes the franchise work. With all the new characters, it also becomes hard to truly connect with any of them. Take away the gadgets, the action and the explosions, and The Avengers was just a stellar film about people who want to do good. People who you could connect to. People who you could aspire to be. However, the inclusion of so many characters takes away the soul that made us root for these characters in the first place.

Another qualm with the film is that our heroes don’t have nearly enough scenes together. Don’t get us wrong. They do interact, and treat us to some of their wonderfully witty banter, but we could certainly use a few more scenes with all of them together on screen.

The film also overlooks some of the character developments that we’ve seen in phase 2, which leads to inconsistencies in their portraits. Had this film been the follow-up to The Avengers, it would’ve worked perfectly. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case with the film, which causes a regression.

Why should you watch this film?
All things considered, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a noteworthy addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though it doesn’t live up to its predecessor, it is still an entertaining action flick for the summer. If you want to watch all your favorite heroes in action once again, this is your chance!

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