People will invariably want to compare the first Avengers film with Age of Ultron.  Do they have alot in common?  Well, the cast is mostly the same, except a few new additions on both sides of the hero and villain camps.  They are both jam full of action and have amazingly funny dialogue.  That’s about it.

This movie takes place a few years after the first, and instead of a motley crew of guys in suits learning to work together, the Avengers are a well oiled machine.  The opening fight sequence features how they have a short hand in communicating, Stark has gifted everyone with new personal toys, and there is no dissension among the ranks.  They are all a team, but there are a couple of team mates that gravitate together due to common purpose and interests.  Ok, so Banner and Stark are best bros, but that was revealed in Iron Man 3, so not really a surprise.  The second pairing within the team is a bit of a surprise so let’s leave it up to you guys to guess.  However, having these close friendships within the team lead to secrets, which can begin to cause fractures in trust.

Avengers_Ultron crush robotThis story is a bit darker fare, due primarily to the villains, Ultron and Scarlett Witch’s powers.  James Spader gives a stellar performance as Ultron, and mixes up a combination of Stark’s personality (he is Tony’s creation after all), superior artificial intelligence, and manic child.  It is amazing to watch Ultron bounce between all these personalities at random, while he thinks he is a highly advanced intelligence the entire time.  That brings several opportunities for humor throughout.  Scarlett Witch arguably does the most damage to the team by introducing them to their greatest fears.  Each character gets a moment to shine this go round, centered around how they deal with their personal fear.  Everyone reacts differently, but those differences are telling.

The film is two and a half hours, but the time flies by and the credits will be rolling before you know it.  It is chock full of action and humor, as one would expect from a Marvel movie, but with an edge of darkness that is surprising and refreshing.  The specific character moments are varied in effectiveness, and if anything was missing in the film its that they were not as seamlessly woven together as they could have been.  You will be awed by the team dynamics, the emergence of Vision, and the sheer spectacle of them taking on Ultron.

Avengers_fight togetherAll the MCU movies so far have introduced some form of the infinity stones, but not in a way that is obvious in how they function.  Age of Ultron, breaks down all the stones, their purposes and hints at what is to come in Avengers: Infinity Wars.

Bring on Avengers 3!