Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron (12A)

It is a somewhat unsettled band of superheroes that survey the world in Marvel’s latest blood-and-thunder opus.

Our brave band finds itself up against Ultron, a supreme artificial intelligence created by inventor Tony Stark as a global peacekeeping initiative. But the thing awakens, becomes super sentient super quickly and is soon embarking on a plan of its own: peace by way of annihilation.

As they stumble towards focusing on dealing with this new threat conflict breaks out within the Avengers’ ranks. And as the villain probes their weaknesses so they must hide away, regroup and connect with new allies.

The ensemble at the heart of the Avengers movies is growing all the time. Maybe it’s also growing unwieldy. There are no fewer than 17 main and supporting characters in Age of Ultron with the best role going to a disembodied voice.

That voice belongs to James Spader as Ultron. America doesn’t do Shakespearian villains. Instead they have Spader. In amongst the evolution of existing characters and the introduction of new ones, he comes out on top.

There is a lot of talk and exposition in the film, the second to be directed by Joss Whedon, but the action when it comes is of the traditional loud and messy kind. Much destruction ensues.

It also boasts a touch of the Frankensteins in the physicality of Ultron whilst newcomers Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch flit around like refugees from the X-Men.

Confused? Don’t be. It’ll all be explained as the franchise rumbles onward…

(This review originally appeared in The Yorkshire Post on April 24, 2015)

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