While S.H.I.E.L.D. out of commission and Hydra still posing a threat, the Avengers continue their assault on the evil of the world. After retrieving Loki’s scepter, Stark decides to take a closer look at the technology to explore the potential it may hold. When he realizes that he can apply the technology to upgrade his tech into a peacekeeping program, he believes that he has an exit strategy for the team of heroes to end their fight. Though he keeps it a secret from everyone except for Bruce Banner, the program he creates quickly turns on the team and become fixed on expanding its power and putting an end to the Avengers. Even with Steve Rogers and Stark at odds for how they can achieve their bright future, they have to put their differences aside and go after the growing threat whose focus seems to be shifting toward the end of humanity.
Review: This second part to The Avengers story upped the action and the flare of the fight sequences while expanding the conflict between good versus evil and intentions versus effects. A review of each performance is unnecessary since each of the characters reprised their previous roles with similar wit, charm, and intensity. On the other hand, this story provided a deeper appreciation of Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, while failing to balance many of the other stories. Scarlett Johansson (Natasha) and Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner) had a little love story going, but it felt like it pulled the pacing of the film out of whack. Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark) and Chris Evans (Steve Rogers) were central to the film’s conflict, but it felt like it set up a larger problem to be dealt with in Captain America: Civil War. What was left of the divvying up of screen time was mostly focused on attempting to properly introduce James Spader (Ultron), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver), and Paul Bettany (Jarvis/Vision) while tossing in a scene or two for Don Cheadle (James Rhodes), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson), and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury). And with all of these characters, I still did not even mention Chris Hemsworth (Thor).
The story was relatively predictable but with all of the charm and humor of the first film. The heroes found themselves more on the offensive and are trying to snuff out the remnants of HYDRA. With consideration of their high ground, Stark’s desire to be more proactive against a future attack leads the team to create the evil they are usually trying to stop. There was never any doubt that they would beat Ultron and his army. It never mattered that the Avengers were outnumbered considering the fragile nature that Ultron choose to model for his bots. When he had an opportunity to actually take a more tactical advantage, he made multiple errors and allowed the Avengers to get the upper hand, even when it seemed like he was in control.
The film was a lot of fun and has all the best elements that Marvel has developed over the past decade, but it also leaves you wanting more out of the storm and the progression of the Avengers storyline. It is clear that Infinity War is going to be massive scale, so it will be interesting to see if they can effectively continue the fantasy and effectively manage the ever-growing cast.
Dan’s Rating: 3.5/5