By Lisa Johnson Mandell
Bam! Crash! Boom! (snide comment from Tony Stark) Pow! Kablooie!
That pretty much sums up the plot of Avengers: Age of Ultron. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth watching. Millions of people are going to see it no matter what I say, and let me reassure them that they will be entertained. They’ll see every penny of the estimated $250 million director Joss Whedon spent on making the film, what with the outrageous special effects and the uber popular cast.
Those of us who grow weary of seeing frantic fights that lead to cars crashing, buildings crumbling and glass shattering–but no bones breaking– will have fun with the performances of newbies to the franchise like James Spader (Ultron), Paul Bettany (The Vision), Elizabeth Olson (Scarlet Witch) and her fleet-footed twin Quicksilver, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, of Nowhere Boy fame. All are terrific.
As are the franchise vets. I mean, really, how can you not love Chris Hemsworth posturing as Thor, or Robert Downey Jr. milking Tony Stark/Iron Man? Then there’s Mark Ruffalo’s conflicted Bruce Banner/The Hulk, and Chris Evans’ clean cut Captain America. This time around, we get a closer look at Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye and Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow. Let’s face it, none of the characters are drawn too fine, but a little development is better than none at all, and is a welcome relief from all those relentless battle scenes.
Which takes full circle to the film’s major drawback. Okay, we get that the Avengers are a lean, mean, and sometimes green, fighting machine. How many skyscrapers must they destroy? How many flying robots must they clobber? How many adorable children must they swoop down and rescue at the last minute? (There’s always that one kid…) In Age of Ultron, even Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts and Natalie Portman as Thor’s main squeeze Jane are absent, making one wonder if they finally grew weary of the same old contrivances as well.
As I said before, the film is highly entertaining, and I don’t want to acid rain on anyone’s parade. If you like Mavel’s Avengers, you’ll love Age of Ultron. It’s an extra large helping of more of the same, with a radioactive cherry on top.
2 Hours 21 Minutes
Get times and tickets for Avengers: Age of Utron at Fandango.com.
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Review