After saving New York, and going on their own individual adventures, the Avengers have once again assembled for the silver screen to bring back the action and superhero banter!
But is it better than the first outing of the team?
The answer is a resounding YES, and it seemed as though the people behind the franchise chose to listen to those who pointed out some of the few flaws that the first one garnered.
One of the major issues with The Avengers is it seemed like a throwback to bygone years, with a story that was heavily dominated by white men. That is understandable of course, the source material after all originated from a different era. But at the very least, Age of Ultron was able to deliver a more diverse cast. It is not balanced, but it does reflect in a way the reality of today's global society. The ending also featured the evolution of the team, with new members being officially welcomed to the roster.
Another major improvement is that Hawkeye was given his time to shine. It was not forced in any way and his background was welcomed for viewers to have amidst the chaos. It showed exactly what the Avengers were fighting for, and underscored an important message: you don't need superpowers to be a hero. His pep talk with the Scarlett Witch was also a nice touch.
Speaking of the Scarlett Witch, she and her twin Quicksilver are an amazing addition. It did not feel rushed or forced, and even with time constrains, their motivations and characteristics were well fleshed out!
Although some may argue that the Scarlett Witch seemed emotionally weak... you can't delve into so many minds without getting overwhelmed sometimes. And to be fair, all the emotional baggage of the other Avengers were shown as well.
If there is a let down in this film, it most probably will be the main villain Ultron. Not saying that he is bad, he actually does well. It's just that he falls short compared to Loki. But then, it would be really hard to show the kind of emotional range that a gifted actor like Tom Hiddleston could deliver compared to a CGI robot.
The relationship between the Hulk and Black Widow seemed strange, but just because of continuity. It was shown in previous films that she is close to Hawkeye, and to a certain extent, Captain America.
It was never really romantic though , which is good. I enjoyed seeing a soldier-buddy relationship between a man and a woman for a change, without it morphing into a love team.
The continuity shift is with the Hulk. I mean, didn't he had a love of his life in the standalone film? What happened to Betty Ross?
As for the action scenes.... "great" would be an understatement. The sweeping shots of the entire team fighting together is much more beautifully done, especially the scenes at the church where their teamed skills and powers are put into play.
Also, expect a lot of surprising turns!! Watch out for an all-important scene between Quicksilver and Hawkeye... You won't be expecting that!
All in all, this is not just your average summer blockbuster. It actually has a soul. And though the cast may not win any awards for their performance in this, they definitely brought their acting A-game. It is truly one excellent film!
Avengers: Age of Ultron is already in theaters in selected countries. It is set to hit US cinemas on May 1st.
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