There is no sophomore slump in Avengers: Age of Ultron. It delivers on the epic superhero moments we’ve been led to believe are the linchpins of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the most thrilling collection of comic-connected films we’ve ever had.
Watching the film I realized the value of having the Avengers movies serve as the hub in Marvel’s movie plans because otherwise you would be hard pressed to squeeze in the characterizations of the lead characters. Instead, coming in to Avengers we know the backstory to Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man, and the film doesn’t need to waste time in telling us how they react to the attacks made against them. Instead that time is spent on giving us more nuggets about Black Widow, Hawkeye, Hulk, and the new additions Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
This movie never drags, but has quieter moments that don’t seem as if the director is being forced to take a time out like in a Michael Bay movie.
James Spader is great as Ultron, and his take on being an evil super robot as a sarcastic ghoul rather than a soulless world conqueror is refreshing, and makes more sense than the alien invasion in the original Avengers – well, as much sense as comic book superhero villainy can make while stil conceding this is a fantasy world. As a lifelong fan of said fantasy worlds I’m quite content with the Ultron plot.
Perhaps my only qualms are about how the introduction of the newest Avenger is handled, as it felt a little grafted on to the story but it is also understandable that this character doesn’t warrant his own standalone movie (though with the upcoming Ant-Man, it seems like nearly every Marvel character could have their own film franchise, which is a good thing for us comic fans).
Avengers: Age of Ultron delivers the thrills and continues to set up the universe for more ultra-superheroics, and when you realize that future installments will include one of the best superheroes ever, Spider-Man, I just can’t wait to see what else Marvel delivers.