“Avengers: Age of Ultron” was directed by Joss Whedon, is based on the comic book series of the same name, serves as the sequel to the 2012 previous film & is the 11th in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The sees Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johannson, Jeremey Renner, Don Cheadle, Colbie Smulders & Samuel L. Jackson all return to their respected roles. Paul Bettany also returns in both voice over & live action. Joining the cast this time around is Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, James Spader, Andy Serkis and Linda Cardellini. Other cast member make cameo appearances like Anthony Mackie, Stan Lee, Thomas Kretschmann, Henry Goodman, Idris Elba, Hayley Attwell & Josh Brolin.
In the Eastern European country called Sokivia, the Avengers are there to take the last known base of HYDRA, run by their leader, Baron Von Strucker (Kretsschmann). During the struggle, Hawkeye (Renner) is blindsided by an enhanced being with superspeed, Pietro Maximoff (Taylor-Johnson) and is injured. Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) discovers Strucker has been holding sracps & piece of the army that attacked New York in the previous film. Captain America (Evans) & Black Widow (Johannson) search for Loki’s scepter while The Hulk (Ruffalo) fend off Strucker’s men and Thor (Hemsworth) saves Hawkeye. Tony is then attacked by another enhanced being, Pietro’s sister, Wanda (Olsen). Her psychological power makes Tony sees an upcoming threat to the world. As the Avengers escape, so do the Maximoffs. Back at Avengers Tower, Hawkeye receives medical attention while Tony & Dr. Banner work on Loki’s scepter. Their plan is to interface the scepter’s power with Tony’s Iron Legion project, a suit of armor around the world. After several unsuccessful attempts, they nearly give until during a going away party for Thor, one interface is successful. That interface becomes known as Ultron (Spader) and in his awakening his attacks & kills Tony’s A.I. companion, JARVIS (Bettany). Ultron attacks the Avengers and escapes with the scepter. Ultron then enlists the aid of the Maximoffs to finish off the Avengers which they agree to. Ultron & the Maximoffs meet with Uyless Klaue (Serkis) to buy vibrainium. When Avengers show up to stop him, Ultron & Pietro fight as Wanda gives them the same mind altering power that she gave Tony one by one. Ultron uses the vibrainium top create an android body but when its taken by Black Widow, Tony & Dr. Banner reprogram the android with JARVIS’s program and create The Vision (Bettany), the Maximoff join the Avengers stop Ultron for good. Their allegiance is changed after Wanda discovers Ultron’s true plan. The Avengers with the help of The Vision & the Maximoffs must stop Ultron and his robot army from wiping out the human race & creating his version of world peace.
Age of Ultron was a huge success despite it following the same formula as the first film. While James Spader did an amazing job as Ultron, his performance basically mirrored Tom Hiddleston’s from the first film. Aaron Taylor-Johnson & Elizabeth Olsen were great as the Maximoffs & I found it very unique that they didn’t go by their comic book aliases. I think they did a fabulous job giving certain characters more depth, like Hawkeye & Black Widow. In the first film they were kind of just there & looked cooled & did badass stuff but ultimately didn’t have a backstory or depth. I guess my complaint with film would be that when the first trailer came out, it made me believe that this was going to be a much darker story than the first but in reality it basically the same movie just brought in new characters & a new villain. Entertaining but we’ve seen it already.
After Ultron, the MCU would expand over the next few years with films like “Ant-Man”, “Guardians of the Galaxy”, “Doctor Strange”, “Black Panther”, “Spider Man: Homecoming” & “Captain Marvel” while the core members would appear in their own standalone films like “Captain America: Civil War” & “Thor: Ragnarok”. The Avengers would finish their story with 2018’s “Infinity War” & 2019’s “Endgame”. While certain characters would get their streaming service spin offs, like “WandaVision” & “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier”, other got their own film. 2020 was supposed to be the year that “Black Widow” was coming out but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, its been pushed back to 2021.