DIRECTOR: Josh Whedon LEAD CAST: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cobbie Smulders SCREENWRITER: Josh Whedon PRODUCER: Kevin Feige EDITOR: Jeffrey Ford & Lisa Lassek MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Dave Jordan GENRE: Sci-fi, Action, Adventure CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ben Davis DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney Studios LOCATION: England RUNNING TIME: 2 hrs. 22 mins
Technical assessment: 3.5
Moral assessment: 3
CINEMA rating: V 14Team Avengers reclaims Loki’s scepter from whose power in time Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downy, Jr.) will attempt to build artificial intelligence. Stark’s move, unknown to the rest of the Avengers, is hoped to protect humanity against alien incursion, something Stark has seen in a vision. Stark takes Dr. Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) into his confidence, and with Banner’s erstwhile reluctant but amiable cooperation, the experiment is a success. However, Stark’s supposedly peace-keeping creation Ultron (James Spader), turns out to be an iron-willed Artificial Intelligence that defies the aim of its inventor. Ultron hates the Avengers and his idea of peace is the total annihilation, not the salvation, of the human race—including the Avengers themselves.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron is anything but average. Although it’s shamelessly sci-fi, and heavily reliant on CGI, it’s loads of fun and entertainment from start to finish, and doesn’t come off like a video game. This is not to say it’s a perfect “5” by CINEMA standards—The Avengers: Age of Ultron has flaws like other movies that have too much to string together in a dizzying couple of hours—but by this time viewers realize that action and gags matter more than the plot. Plot holes are patched over by the other luscious elements in the film, like the special effects, choreography, and cinematography. The performance by the charismatic, blockbuster cast—now numbering 18, cameos included—is cemented by a sparky storyline that’s tailor made to bring out the best in superheroes.
Superhero movies of late seem to have increasingly obscured boundaries between humans and robots. Here, A.I. Ultron takes on a messianic complex that heretofore belonged exclusively to humans. Point of discussion: if robots have become so complex and competent that they can will to destroy their creator, what will happen to the human race? But on second thought, Ultron’s ambition, supposedly inappropriate for a robot, could be simply mirroring man’s vanity—doesn’t man also rebel against his Creator? At any rate, The Avengers: Age of Ultron is an entertaining blend of superheroic bombast and human-size emotions. Picture the tiny hand of Black Widow tentatively caressing the fearsome green mega-hand of the Hulk—how’s that for a pacifier? Like a white rose brushing a raging bull’s horn to tame the beast to submission. Get the picture?