Topping the first cinematic assembling of The Avengers is a tall order. The first installment (and culmination of Marvel Studios’ Phase One) had just about everything you could want in a superhero movie and built on the elaborate foundation and expectations put in place by the first half dozen or so Marvel Studios projects.
Three years later, the Avengers assemble again with even higher expectations and a couple more movies and a TV show laying the foundation for it.
The result in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, a movie that comes close to the dizzying heights of the first but doesn’t quite achieve the same feeling of geek nirvana the first one did. Well, at least not upon first viewing. I have a feeling this is one that will be viewed and dissected by many (including yours truly) multiple times when it hits home-theater later this year.
If the original was about bringing the group together, Age of Ultron is about tearing down the group. The second installment is heavier on plot and introduced several new characters to the Marvel Studios universe. The biggest plus of Age of Ultron is that Joss Whedon is able to find time for each character to get a moment or two to shine — even some of the more secondary characters who you have felt got the short end of the stick in the last film. The biggest beneficiary is Hawkeye, who we find out more about his character and has more shining moments in this film than his last two Marvel Studios appearances combined.
It’s hard to discuss the film too much without SPOILERs. So, if you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend you stop reading now and come back when you have…. Continue reading