Avengers: Age of Ultron –A Sequel Done Right
By: Paul Alberici
Back in 2012, Marvel Studios released “The Avengers,” a movie which took their famous heroes such as Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor from their previous stand-alone movies and packed them together to fight one common enemy. This movie was a worldwide phenomenon and became the third biggest launch in movie history. It was hard to imagine what Marvel would do to top this.
On May 1, Marvel went for a second round with their team-up movie with “Avenger, Age of Ultron” and just like the first one, it was nothing short of impressive from my perspective and the perspective of our fellow students at Brandywine.
This movie starts out with Tony Stark, otherwise known as Iron Man (portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.), and Dr. Bruce Banner, otherwise known as The Hulk (portrayed by Mark Ruffalo) realizing the planet needs some sort of global defense force in the form of artificial intelligence for the battles the Avengers couldn’t fight so that the world would always be safe.
This went disastrously wrong as this A.I. system with an attitude and a god-complex known as “Ultron” (voiced and motion capture performance by James Spader) came to life without them knowing and became convinced that the Avengers were part of the problem, not the solution. He sought to destroy them and bring peace to the world. The resulting battles and stakes superseded what panned out in the first Avengers movie.
“Because of the bigger stakes and the previous movies to set it up, there was more destruction and more peril,” sophomore Mark Gurenlian said. “It made it much better and more intense than the first one.”
The main antagonist is a peculiar character and personally one of my favorite villains in the series. Ultron’s task is to create a safer world, which actually confuses him because of how disoriented the world already is. Instead of just being homicidal, he was fiercely intelligent and indifferent towards the loss of life in completing that mission.
He wants peace for the world yet believes that the only way for this to be achieved is through extinction. And James Spader’s voice and motion capture performance truly brought a hunk of metal to life and made him even more creepy and intimidating.
“He was so creepy and was such a great villain,” freshman Sam Dimarco said. “Even visually, he looked alive which made him even more amazing. It is crazy that somebody that evil was created by the Avengers.”
Along with Ultron being new to the fight, there is also the addition of the super-powered twins: Quicksilver (portrayed by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen). With her telekinetic powers she can manipulate objects and minds and he has super-speed, they actually start out helping Ultron but by the end have a change of heart.
These characters were introduced at the mid credit scene of “Captain America, The Winter Soldier,” but “Age of Ultron” really showed them off as characters and already have fans split on who is their favorite, despite basically being brand new. They truly bring a brand new dynamic to the team with their powers as well as their emotional back-story.
“My favorite new hero would have to be Scarlet Witch!” sophomore Taylor Monkman said. “I loved how they incorporated a mind control hero in this movie.”
“He [Quicksilver] was a perfect combination of action and comedy,” freshman Derek Osborn said. “He had so many good scenes with his super-speed and was an overall comedic character.”
The third new hero was the omnipotent AI known as Vision, who basically turns out to be what Ultron was supposed to be, without the whole “homicidal maniac hell-bent on worldwide extinction” part.
With the first Avengers movie, it took most of the movie for the team to finally come together. This time around, they are already a team, and right from the get-go they are able to get much more accomplished. There is much more cohesiveness in this movie between the Avengers.
Yet with this team already pre-established, this gives the writers more of an opportunity to dive deeper into the specific characters, both new one and old ones. This is something I think was done well for a movie with so many moving parts now with nine separate heroes. While the question the team was faced with in the first one was, “how will this team work together?” The question they face now is, “how will they stay a team?”
“This movie had a much more personal feel,” junior Liz Gramlich said. “This movie went more into their backstories that we may not of known about for each individual character. It didn’t feel like an Avenger held an advantage or did more than the other, everyone was important.”
After asking five different people, nobody could really agree on which scene was his or her favorite scene of the movie, as each person (including myself) stated to like a different scene. This is a testament to the movie that one specific scene does not share a more unique moment over the others. This movie is a non-stop action movie that also has a coherent storyline that makes you feel for some of these characters on some occasions.
As the eleventh movie in this series, this movie truly stands as one of the elite. The stakes are getting higher, the fights are more intense and the strain is pressing more on the team now, it will be interesting where this goes from here. This movie to me earns a 3 and ½ out of 4 stars in my book.
This movie ends by setting-up some of the upcoming films such as “Captain America, Civil War,” “Black Panther,” “Thor, Ragnarok,”as well as the next Avengers movie, the two part “Infinity Wars.”The next movie in the series will be “Ant-Man,” starring Paul Rudd due out this summer.