Avengers Assemble which released in 2012 brought together the bouquet of Superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That film not only went on to be the third biggest earner of all time but was a critically acclaimed film too. What stood out was the immensely thought out action set pieces and also the humorous exchanges between all the characters. So when the sequel is here, the expectations are raised even further. Does the film maintain the balance between wit and action just like the first part?
The Avengers descend on an Hydra station in Sokovia lead by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who has been experimenting on humans using the scepter previously wielded by Loki. They recover the scepter and also meet Pietro and Wanda, who were two live human subjects of Wolfgang’s experiments. Once back, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) builds a global defense program called the ULTRON programme to defend the earth against future attacks. Ultron is a sentient AI being. The clash arises when ULTRON decides that the only way to save earth is by ravaging humanity from the earth itself. Our Superheroes travel to different countries and regions to defend against various attacks by the ULTRONS which ultimately leads to a stellar climax.
Joss Whedon knows his pop culture and knows his comic books unlike anyone out there and it is yet again visible with ‘Avengers Age Of Ultron’. He seamlessly manages to capture the high voltage action pieces along with the camaraderie of the group we have come to love, known as ‘The Avengers’. Joss is a master at throwing different characters of different traits together and letting them react to each other and in ‘Avengers Age of Ultron’ this comes to the fore. Yes, he does seem to go a bit overboard sometimes with the references and the cool action sequences but we can’t expect any less from the super-fan turned director. Even though it runs for almost 2 and a half hours it never feels too long because the pace is brisk and the screenplay is layered like a cake made in the finest bakeries of France.
‘Avengers Age of Ultron’ feels like the biggest movie spectacle because of the tremendous thought given to the planning of the scenes and the action. Everything comes together neatly because of the fine editing. The cinematography captures the gloriousness of the team and the production design highlights the lavish budget of the film. All other departments work in tandem and make for a great cinematic experience which should only be experienced in a theatre.
For the film to work so well and for the characters to remain believable even in such a highly glamourised fictional fantasy world, the acting has to be great and ‘Avengers Age of Ultron’ extracts some fine performances from the majority of the cast. Most noteworthy are Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffallo (who play Black Widow and Hulk). Their performances keep the team rooted and their chemistry is sublime and subtle without taking it overboard. Jeremy Renner finally has something to do and he also gets a cool backstory which lends a touch of humanity to Hawkeye. Robert Downey Jr is at his flamboyant best and manages to capture the inner turmoil of Tony Stark perfectly. Chris Evans ably leads the Avengers as Captain America but we can’t wait to see his clash with Iron Man in Avengers 3. Chris Hemsworth is powerful and effective as Thor and delivers the goods. Aaron Taylor Johnson and Elizabeth Olson are the newest members of the cast and are decent. Samuel L Jackson, Cobie Smulders and Don Cheadle are all first rate repirsing their respective roles. James Spader voices the villain Ultron and shows his class. The Boston Legal and The Blacklist man manages to spook the Avengers with his sheer voice. Perfectly cast.
‘Avengers Age of Ultron’ is a fitting follow up to one of the most loved Superhero films of all time and manages to retain the essence of the earlier film while at the same time the stakes get higher (a lot higher). We all knew it would be one of the biggest earners of all time, but we couldn’t have anticipated the quality of this sequel. We were spell bound by the action scenes and by the exquisite visual effects at display. Families around the world (and in India) will lap up Avengers Age of Ultron and this film should bring smiles back to the Indian theaters. If there has ever been a film that you cannot miss in the theaters, then Avengers Age of Ultron is that one film in recent times. Go feast yourself and Marvel (hey!) at the spectacle.Rating: