The Avengers: Age of Ultron is an expertly orchestrated character feature blending high-octane action and mind-blowing special effects. But its not for kids.
Age of Ultron opens to a forest battle where the Avengers are seeking Baron Von Strucker and Loki’s staff. The Nazi leader barricades his bunker in hopes of hiding his latest creation: the twin brother and sister, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. The “enhanced” duo have superpowers capable of fighting the mighty Avengers.
Upon obtaining the staff and losing the twins, the team retreat to Avengers tower where Stark begins testing the staff before Thor transports it back to Asgard. Stark discovers artificial intelligence within the magic weapon and he convinces Banner to help him transplant the tech into Ultron. The Ultron program was designed to protect Earth from future cosmic events, like the one that nearly destroyed New York. The experiment goes awry and a super intelligent robot is born with global annihilation on its mind. The robot Ultron (voiced impressively by James Spader) begins targeting the Avengers and leaving them at odds with one another.
Ultron (disguised as Crimson Cowl) seeks the assistance of the Maximoff twins who we learn despise Stark for his past involvement with weapons that were responsible for killing their family. The twins, Pietro as Quicksilver and Wanda as Scarlet Witch join forces with Ultron.
The two super-powered teams collide in Wakanda where Ultron seeks Vibranium to further his endgame. Scarlet Witch implants fear into the minds of the Avengers and the situation grows dire for the good guys. Retreating to Hawkeyes abode gives the chance for the Avengers to regroup with a little help from an old friend.
Uniting is the best plan of attack.
Joss Whedon is the master of orchestrating multi-superhero movies. His first outing in the original Avengers was a bar-setting success that all MCU films would be compared. James Gunn did it exceptionally-well in 2014s runaway hit Guardians of the Galaxy, but Whedon one-ups in the Age of Ultron. Each of his characters, whether fan-faves or not, receive ample backstory and screen time. Each of them endearing in their own way, losing any member would be devastating.
There is no short supply of eye-popping action and effects, though the opening sequence is an exception. Let the dust settle on the first 15 minutes and the rest of the film is an absolute wonder to behold. Fans will no doubt go wild over the Hulkbuster sequence which pits an especially-aggravated Hulk versus Iron Man in an upgraded (Hulk-size) suit built to bring down the big guy. The final sequence is beautifully chaotic, however, not nearly as satisfying as the first film.
Theres plenty to enjoy here and certainly worthy of its price tag, but I would skip the 3D upgrade. I cant remember a scene that used the gimmick adequately.
Can I take my child?
Age of Ultron is rated PG-13 and it earns that badge. Ultron is shockingly terrifying; especially for young children. Blood is minimal; heavy battle wounds dominate the violence, but a robotic heart ripped from a body is something I wish my child hadnt experienced. Overall, the film is much more mature than its predecessor. I do not recommend it for children under 10 years old.