The Avengers: Age of Ultron (PG-13)

Directed by Joss Whedon
Picturehouse, Liverpool
From 24th April 2015

Reviewed by Nick Daly

Avengers Assemble (2012) grappled the diversity of its multiple superhero protagonists with an effortless dexterity, deftly intersecting charming character moments with striking action sequences, and triumphantly abolishing any concerns that a narrative of this monstrous nature could induce. Just when audiences thought themselves to be in dependable hands and could enter its sequel safely, however, Age of Ultron crashes onto the screen to painfully materialize the very concerns once anticipated for its predecessor.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron commences with the brief intention of being a successful sequel; it applies the crucial elements of introducing fresh components while attempting to delve deeper into the characters’ mentality, but it swiftly unravels, building and building onto itself with uninspired and unconvincing plot developments until it eventually collapses under its own weight and spectacularly enters the realm of complete carelessness.

In its delirium, it culminates in a most ludicrous final act scenario that saturates itself in a humour that verges on satire, obliterating any remnant of threat or tension remaining from its inadequate storytelling.

With characters reduced to caricatures entangled within a vacuous narrative intent on unrelenting action sequences, it’s a disheartening moment upon realizing how little separates Age of Ultron from other soulless action-driven spectacles, like the Transformers and The Expendables series, and that the sophistication and respect for characterization applied to Avengers Assemble is now seemingly considered valueless.

Crafting the bigger, better, bolder sequel to a blockbuster of already immense proportions is a task so daunting that its burdens are exhaustively felt on-screen, so it’s ironic that Age of Ultron flourishes when in its most simplistic state; when its charismatic cast is sat around a sofa casually inducing uproarious laughter from its audience; an audience oblivious to the fact they’ve just witnessed the highlight of a film that can’t seem to get anything else right.

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