By: Nick Salacki, Columnist
For millions of viewers, the three-year-long wait has finally ended. The next epic superhero flick written and directed by Joss Whedon is finally here, and this may possibly be the most talked-about movie of the summer.
All of the Avengers have returned to face their next foe, an artificial intelligence machine named Ultron. This enemy, played by the hilarious Robert Downey Jr., was created by someone on the side of justice itself, Tony Stark.
Through sheer confidence, wealth and power, along with the brains supported by Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner, this could be the inspiration behind Stark’s decision to build Ultron. In the film, though, we never get a blunt reason or purpose. Nonetheless, Ultron becomes super intelligent, achieves a mind of his own (created by Stark in the first place, so some part of Stark is in Ultron) and builds his own master plan to begin a new world of peace.
In the movie, we learn that Ultron’s plan was an aspect of Stark’s own yearning for world peace. However Ultron believes wiping out every last human, starting with the Avengers, is a logical form of action.
The Avengers must continue their quest for worldwide peace yet again. This happens after defeating a criminal in the beginning of the film from another villain of the Avengers, Hydra. When Stark eventually introduces Ultron as a work in progress to Banner, he hopes he can help complete the project. As mentioned earlier, Ultron goes rogue and leads the Avengers to come together and save the world. That part, I believe, was a bit cliché.
A couple of new faces have graced the Whedon screen. Twin orphans, Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch, team up with Ultron in his master plan to combat each Avenger in a series of battles. The super-speed of Quicksilver and the mind manipulation of Scarlet Witch gives this duo super strength in battle.
Taylor-Johnson and Olsen are masters of the screen. Their Russian accents are spot-on and their chemistry couldn’t be any more obvious. They were a perfect pair in last year’s “Godzilla” and they are even better in the latest Whedon picture; by far my favorite characters of the film.
One interesting aspect of this film that I enjoyed was when Scarlet Witch used her mind manipulation powers to hinder the Avenger’s fight for justice. Scarlet Witch forced each Avenger to see into their most haunting thoughts. It was very interesting to see how the mighty Avengers looked when they thought ‘all was lost.’
Scarlet Witch also used her powers to turn each Avenger against one another by getting them to resent each other. But the internal building of courage and trust between teammates brought out the audience’s inner child as they smiled at the unity of our favorite superheroes.
The elements of comedy that we have come to expect from Tony Stark (and Robert Downey Jr. altogether) and the connections and conversations he has with his teammates, felt a little lackluster this time. Yes, there are multiple little chuckles from quick whips and funny lines, but it definitely felt forced for me and it took me out of the action. It seems like Whedon knew his audience was going to laugh inevitably, so Stark could have done practically anything to bring laughs, but when it’s one after another constantly, it gets old fast. Especially with the tame child-friendly jokes as this is in fact a Disney movie.
There were some good jokes and a few that really hit the target, but others that almost went right past me due to poor delivery.
Overall, this action-packed hell of a ride is a satisfying sequel where justice is delivered to the characters and story. Without the new characters, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Ultron, and what the three of them had to offer to this different story within the Avengers universe, I feel this would’ve been just as the same as the 2012 flick, with nothing so special in comparison. I went for the Avengers, but stayed for Taylor-Johnson and Olsen’s performances; another success story of an epic by Whedon that drives audiences to movie theaters everywhere.
I give this flick 4 out of 5 stars.