Title: Avengers: Age of Ultron
Director: Joss Whedon
Original Release: 2015
My Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Growing up, I wasn't so into superheroes. They were okay but Star Wars and D&D were much bigger parts of my life. Getting to be friends with Mock changed all of that. The man lives and breathes comic books, especially Marvel and especially The Avengers. Partly out of curiosity and partly in an effort to know my new friend better, I asked to borrow a stash of comics. He enthusiastically obliged and I have been playing catch up ever since.
We went to see the first Avengers movie together - midnight showing on the first night. I didn't enjoy the film as much as he did - full disclosure, I fell asleep - but I felt honored to ride shotgun for his personal pilgrimage. I haven't done such a good job following the movies since, thus the last minute cramming.
Meanwhile, my daughter has, at age 12, unexpectedly caught the superhero bug. She is partial to the X-Men but is curious about all of them. So now I'm working on catching her up with the movies, too.
Okay, so back to Age of Ultron. Upon discovering a new trinket with artificial intelligence, Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) and Bruce Banner (Hulk) plug it into one of Stark's projects. In so doing, they accidentally create a sentient being, Ultron, who demolishes Stark's A.I. buddy J.A.R.V.I.S. then sets off to destroy all of humanity.
All the Avengers from the first movie are back: Iron Man (played by Robert Downey, Jr.), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). They gain some new personnel in the movie, though that would be spoiling (except to say that two of the newbies joined the gang in much the same way they did in the comic books back in the 1960s - yeah, I did my homework! - booyah!). A few internal storylines are introduced, too: a growing affection between Banner and Black Widow and a growing family for Hawkeye. His wife, Laura Barton, is played by the uber-talented Linda Cardellini - always happy to give a shout out for Freaks and Geeks alums.
I'd say I enjoyed Age of Ultron more than the first Avengers movie. Black Widow and Hawkeye got much needed development and I enjoyed all of the new characters. The depth and personality of Marvel heroes has been a major selling point of the franchise for over half a century and the best parts of the movies honor that tradition. There is a lot more story to follow but I managed to keep up. Ultron (James Spader) is not as good a villain as Loki (Tom Hiddleston) but that's a high bar to clear.
Trivia challenge again for August! Pick your own movie to share. Post three clues on Friday, August 5th. Post your reveal and review on Friday, August 12th. Meanwhile, please visit my friends today: