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<em>Avengers: Age of Ultron</em>

Black Widow and the Hulk (Marvel/ Walt Disney Studios)

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Avengers: Age of Ultron

In this PG-13 sequel to The Avengers (2012), Marvel’s misfits are back to save the world—or at least keep it entertained for a few hours with 3-D action scenes and one-liners. The film starts with a bang as the Avengers attack a mountain fort owned by Hydra’s henchmen in Eastern Europe.

When the dust clears, Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) finds a scepter containing a Mind Stone with magical properties. Soon, Stark convinces Dr. Banner/the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) to help him harness the Mind Stone and create a new form of artificial intelligence. Stark’s goal is to design a robotic system so powerful that the Avengers will be able to go on permanent vacation.

Somehow, though, (surprise!) things go awry in the mechanic’s shop. Even as Steve/Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Natasha/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and the rest of the gang celebrate their recent victory, Stark’s new robot, Ultron (James Spader), makes his appearance—and the party is definitely over.

Ultron’s aim is the destruction of the human race, and besides all the brawn of his robotic army, one of Ultron’s minions—the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)—is playing mind games with our superheroes. The Avengers will have to overcome their fears, reign in their over-the-top personalities, and work together as a team if they hope to triumph.

This movie doesn’t have the heart of the original Avengers film. Still, director Joss Whedon manages to keep the sprawling story moving ahead, and its CGI spectacle doesn’t disappoint. A romantic subplot between Black Widow and the Hulk adds emotional depth, though both Iron Man and Captain America are regrettably less developed.

Crude and offensive language as well as intense violence make this a movie parents may want their children to skip. Viewers who go may find it a lot like Stark’s robot—intelligent, full of clever quips and engaging action, but certainly not all he dreamed it would be.

Listen to Emily Whitten discuss Avengers: Age of Ultron on The World and Everything in It.

Comments

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  • Levi Sweeney's picture
    Levi Sweeney
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 12:27 pm

    As a comic book fan, I would be happy to inform everyone that Scarlet Witch's powers aren't based on the occult, her hokey code-name notwithstanding. They come from "genetic manipulation" or whatever they're calling it now. Furthermore, the X-Men do not exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the movie rights to that franchise is owned by Fox, as is that of the Fantastic Four, although all three are Marvel comic book groups. This is why we can't have a huge mega-movie featuring the Avengers teaming up with the FF and the X-Men.But to the get to the point, I sincerely doubt that a movie directed by Joss Whedon, who has stated that he doesn't believe in "the sky-bully," is out to make a serious moral, religious or philosophical point. (At the same time, I don't doubt for a minute that the significance of the phrase "I Am" escapes him.) That's pretty much the case with all superhero films. The bad guys get to have a strong, visionary motivation, while the heroes just beat the heck out of him without really talking about exactly why (or why not) he's wrong. The only notable exception is Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Saga, and possibly also Captain America: The Winter Soldier. (There's also the 60's Batman TV show, but I don't think most people think of it in such terms today.)

  • JoshtheJoe
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 12:27 pm

    As a rather new fan of the Marvel Universe and a definite fan of the films, I just say thatAge of Ultron was anything but a dissapointment.  It was a smart, funny movie that dealt with themes of heroism, family, and the uncomfortable and thankfully sci-fi topic of artificial intelligence.  This story is NOT a "Christian" story and therefore cannot be looked at as such.  It is decidedly secular.  Keep in mind that the X-Men are part of the same universe.  While philospohical discussion of its themes may be conducted based in Christianity, you cannot expect this film to hold up the Christian worldview.  Whining about it makes you sound petty and unintelligent.  The film did very well on its own account, handling deep issues with aplomb and great entertainment value.  That was the entire point.  McMed, "The Vision" is a humanistic, utopian dream AI.  Not intended to be blasphemous, but merely supportive of the underlying worldview of the Marvel Universe.  I strongly believe that not only are you reading way to far into the story, but you are merely expecting too much in the first place.  The Vision is intended to model the perfect "nuetral" in our humanistic world that is trying to operate with the ideals of right and wrong, but is resisting the existance of absolutes.  It is a rather insightful glimpse into the inherent illogic of modern thought.This film is brilliant in its own right, but, is "only a superhero movie" and should not be taken any more seriously than it actually is.  Take it or leave it folks.  Take it or leave it.  I for one take it enthusiastically, and wear my Captain America shirts proudly.

  • McMed
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 12:27 pm

    I saw this movie this weekend with my son and his friend. I was taken aback at how blasphemous it was towards God. At one point they ask one character who he is and he says, "I am not good or bad; I am." Also, the level of evil in this one seemed to be more on a spiritual level. Scarlett Witch does mind alterations and puts thoughts into the Avengers' heads. I realize it's Sci-fi and I may be reading too much into it, but I did not like it.