The follow up to 2012’s The Avengers, Avengers : Age Of Ultron is a 2015 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film was written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast that includes Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, James Spader, and Samuel L. Jackson.
In this film, the Avengers (Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye & Black Widow) raid a Hydra outpost deep in the woods of fictional Eastern European nation Sokovia where Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who has been experimenting on humans using the scepter previously wielded by Loki. They encounter two of Strucker’s experiments – twins Pietro, who has superhuman speed, and Wanda Maximoff, who can manipulate minds and project energy – and apprehend Strucker, while Stark retrieves Loki’s scepter. Stark and Banner discover an artificial intelligence within the scepter’s gem, and secretly use it to complete Stark’s “Ultron” global defense program. The unexpectedly sentient Ultron, believing he must eradicate humanity to save Earth, eliminates Stark’s A.I., J.A.R.V.I.S., and attacks the Avengers at their headquarters. Ultron gets away with the scepter and using the Hydra resources in the old base builds an army of robot drones and begins to upgrade his rudimentary body. He recruits the twins who believe that Stark is responsible for their parents’ deaths by his weapons.
Together, they go to the base of arms dealer Ulysses Klaue in an African shipyard to obtain Wakandan vibranium. The Avengers pursue them, but Wanda subdues the Avengers with haunting visions, causing the Hulk to rampage until Stark stops him with his anti-Hulk armor. The team goes into hiding as the world media paints them as terrors and they seek refuge in Hawkeye’s home, far away from the cities. Thor departs to consult with Dr. Erik Selvig on the meaning of the apocalyptic future he saw in his hallucination, while Romanoff and Banner plan to flee together after realizing a mutual attraction. However, Nick Fury arrives and encourages the team to form a plan to stop Ultron. In Seoul, Ultron forces the team’s friend Dr. Helen Cho to use her synthetic-tissue technology, together with vibranium and the scepter’s gem, to perfect a new body for him. As Ultron uploads himself into the body, Wanda is able to read his mind; discovering his plan for human extinction, the Maximoffs turn on Ultron. Rogers, Romanoff, and Barton find Ultron and retrieve the synthetic body, but Ultron captures Romanoff.
The rest of the Avengers argue but Stark uploads J.A.R.V.I.S. – who is still operational after hiding from Ultron inside the Internet – into the synthetic body. Thor returns to help activate the body, explaining that the gem on its brow – one of the six Infinity Stones, the most powerful objects in existence – was part of his vision. This “Vision” and the Maximoffs accompany the Avengers to Sokovia, where Ultron has used the remaining vibranium to build a machine to lift a large part of the capital city skyward, intending to crash it into the ground to cause global extinction. After rescuing Romanov the Avengers battles the drones while Fury arrives in a Helicarrier with Maria Hill, James Rhodes and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to evacuate civilians. Pietro dies when he shields Barton from gunfire, and a vengeful Wanda abandons her post to destroy Ultron’s primary body, which allows one of his drones to activate the machine. The city plummets, but Stark and Thor overload the machine and shatter the landmass. The Hulk leaves in a cloaked quinjet, not wanting to put Natasha in harm’s way by being with her while the Vision confronts and destroys Ultron’s last remaining body.
As the movie ends the Avengers having established a new base run by Fury, Hill, Cho, and Selvig, Thor returns to Asgard to learn more about the forces he suspects have manipulated recent events. As Stark and Barton also leave, Rogers and Romanoff prepare to train new Avengers: Rhodes, the Vision, Sam Wilson, and Wanda. In a mid-credits scene, Thanos, dissatisfied by the failures of his pawns, dons a gauntlet3 and vows to personally retrieve the Infinity Stones. Which probably means we will see more of the new characters in the next two films that are already planned. It’s a romp fest of action fueled by tons of special effects and choreographed fights but little in the terms of story telling. I like it but yearn for more story lines.
An 8.5 outta 10!