Assembling in a Theater Near You: Age of Ultron Review

Hannah Boufford, Staff Writer

Note: A picture that was included with this story when it was originally posted has been removed.

Friday, May 1, saw the opening of yet another Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is the sequel to “Avengers,” and a storyline continuation of the characters Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). There were also appearances from Falcon (Anthony Mackie), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders).

The first “Avengers,” released May 4, 2012, assembled box-office records everywhere. The movie made a total of more than $80 million on opening day and over $207 million in its opening weekend. “Age of Ultron” topped the first movie’s opening day with a $84.5 million gross total, but it fell short with an estimated $187.7 million opening weekend sum.

The film itself didn’t live up to the legacy of the first “Avengers,” either. While it was still great, and featured the superheroes that everyone knows and loves — with a couple extras — Marvel just couldn’t quite surpass its previous works.

The film takes place after the Avengers reassemble to recover Loki’s lost scepter from the bunker seen at the end of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” The powerful twins, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, are also introduced, along with the movie’s primary antagonist, Ultron.

Ultron was designed by Tony Stark as an update to the managing system JARVIS. He was basically supposed to be in charge of security, all things Iron Man, Stark’s life, as well as be more human and fluid than JARVIS ever was. This backfires quite quickly, however, when Ultron gets a mind of his own and embodies a destroyed Stark creation.

The movie follows the Avengers as they fight Ultron and keep him from destroying the world — quite like every Marvel movie, actually — and divulges into smaller scenes with various heroes.

The movie seemed to act more as a continuation of a long-term plot, rather than a stand-alone sequel. Within the film, we saw the backgrounds and fears of each Avenger, a growing flirtation between Natasha Romanova (Black Widow) and Bruce Banner (Hulk), a new spotlight on Agent Maria Hill and Hawkeye, and plotlines that will continue through  “Captain America: Civil War” (May 6, 2016) and both parts of “Avengers: Infinity War” (May 4, 2018 and May 3, 2019).

There were good elements of the movie, though — it is a Marvel movie, after all. Captain America’s new suit closely resembled the original but was more modern in details and style. Stark had updated the Avengers’ suits and gadgets across the board, including magnetizing Cap’s shield to his suit. Hawkeye was thrust into the spotlight for this movie, and his character was more thoroughly developed.

The movie in general seemed to relate more to the modern world than before as well. Ultron traveled through the internet and used common sources of technology in his attempt to take over the world. In addition, the movie took place outside of the United States and gave a new background for the Avengers to fight in the Middle East.

Marvel fans also see the group bonding before Ultron arrives, and they continue to use their powers together throughout the film. In one of the best scenes of the film, you can see the actors — not just their characters — enjoying each others’ presence and a night off of work.

The soundtrack seemed to blend seamlessly with the movie, and it was nice to hear the original Avengers theme song woven into a slightly updated version.

While the movie wasn’t the greatest MCU film of all time, it is still a must-see for all Marvel fans. There were plenty of plot elements to make the film essential for the continuation of the Universe and enough fighting and comedy to keep you entertained through the entire movie.