Avengers: Age of Ultron

I’ll readily admit that I wasn’t as enamored with “The Avengers” as the rest of the world. I thought it was too talky and that the whole process of assembling the team took too long and that there was too much mystical alien mumbo jumbo that quickly made me lose interest in the story.

Well, problems fixed! Not having the burden of showing the origin of the team totally frees up “Avengers: Age of Ultron” to hit the ground running and results in a highly entertaining film full of great comic book action, humor and even a tear. Yes, I did well up at one point watching this film.

Let’s dig into 5 Questions about “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

1) What’s it about?

After the alien attack of the first film, Tony Stark wants to create a security blanket for the world through artificial intelligence. Unfortunately his ambitious intentions result in the birth of Ultron, a sentient android who’s determined to eliminate the human race. Assisting him are super-powered twins Pietro (Quicksilver) and Wanda (Scarlet Witch) Maximoff.

Comic book fans will also be in nerdvana when the Vision makes his debut. His look is spot on, and I loved watching him in action battling alongside the Avengers.

ultron12) How are the action scenes?

There are more action scenes in “Age of Ultron” than “The Avengers” and they are all executed impressively. The visual creativity and choreography are ever stimulating and always trying to show you something new. From the opening act with the Avengers storming a castle to the one-on-one battle between Iron Man and the Hulk and finally the climax against a battle of Ultron’s army, the action is amazing.

I do hope however that future Avenger films go a different direction from the group fight against faceless drones approach. We’ve seen this in both Avengers films now and it’d be nice to see them battle someone truly formidable as a team.

And I still don’t understand how the Black Widow is effective at all in their battles. Shooting bullets at the metal robots is useless and while she may be able to take down a robot or two with her martial artistry, she just can’t compare to the prowess of a Thor, Iron Man or Captain America.

3) Will I laugh?

Yes. A lot. The audience is no longer burdened with the forced getting to know each other exercises of the first film. The Avengers are now close friends and not afraid to crack a joke at each other’s expense. As a result their interaction is much more natural and humorous. There are also a few great random one-liners throughout the film that will definitely have you laughing out loud.

ultron24) How does this Quicksilver compare to the version in “X-Men: Days of Future Past?”

After watching that amazing fight sequence featuring Quicksilver in “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” I had doubts that the “Age of Ultron” version of the same character could even come close to being as cool. I’m so glad I was wrong. Quicksilver is given a much larger role in this film and I loved being able to see his powers in effect in more than just one scene. He plays a key role in battling Ultron and proves to be just as heroic as any of the Avengers.

5) Are there any Marvel Comics Universe Easter Eggs?

Besides the obligatory Stan Lee appearance (he plays a drunken sailor), there are a few nifty Easter Eggs that hardcore fans will instantly recognize. The Avengers’ search for Ultron leads them to Wakanda, the country known not only for its vibranium, but also for being the home of the Black Panther. The Black Panther is slated to receive his solo movie in the coming years so it’s really cool to see the planting of that seed. There’s also a quick scene where Vision saves the life of someone who in the comics he becomes very attached to. Let’s see if that plays out in the future Avengers films. Oh, and of course there’s a mid-credits scene that sets up the future films of the series.

Freedom in storytelling gives “Avengers: Age of Ultron” a more natural, comfortable vibe than the first film and as a result is much more entertaining overall. It’s like when you’re playing a sport. “The Avengers” was the warm-up portion where you work out the stiffness and kinks, just getting a taste of what’s to come. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is the actual game time. You’re loose, relaxed and just enjoying the experience. Let’s hope that the next Avengers films cross the line with a strong finish.