A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Avengers assemble for Ultron

Ultron, voiced by James Spader, plots the downfall of the Avengers after Tony Stark builds him and the robot goes berserk.

The Avengers reform after the terrorist group Hydra returns, but things go out of control when Ultron (James Spader), a robot built by Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), decides that humans are not worth saving. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” does nothing new with the Avengers formula, but it does improve the story and action from the first film.

Joss Whedon returns as writer and director.

The film not only brings back the entire Avengers team, but also introduces new characters in Ultron, Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olson), a mind reader with telekinesis, and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who has super-speed. The film has a lot of balls in the air and while it drops a few, the fact it keeps most of them up is impressive.

All the scenes feel organic and move along the plot and/or characterization. The film never feels like it’s having an action scene for the sake of having one. The action is brilliantly shot with fluid camera motion, so the viewer can feel the action but can still see what is going on.

The film also manages to spread out a good amount of character development throughout its giant cast. Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow all get some nice moments.

There is a romance between Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) that comes out of nowhere. It’s not terrible – it’s just weird that the film treats it like something that has been built up.

Disappointingly, where the film slips is with the new characters. They get little focus compared to the returning cast. Hydra terrorists only serve as the cold opening threat and are taken out easily. Ultron has no build up to his turn. Tony programs him and the first thing Ultron does is upload himself to the internet and then immediately goes into kill all humans mode. It’s jarring. To be fair, if the first thing I read was YouTube’s comment section, I would probably want to end mankind as well.

Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver also don’t get much development. The only other character they have any meaningful contact with is Hawkeye. Scarlet Witch gets a few good scenes, just enough to leave the viewer wanting more. Quicksilver gets nothing. He’s fast and a little snarky, which doesn’t say much since nearly every character is snarky to some degree. That’s the extent of his character.

The film is unkind to those who haven’t seen any Marvel movies. One must have at the bare minimum seen the first “Avengers” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” Iron Man and Captain America (Chris Evens) have both been affected by the events of their solo movies. Iron Man is trying to let go of his super hero life to settle down while Captain America is convinced that he can’t let up or evil will get the upper hand. It’s a nice pay-off for fans, but will go over casual viewers’ heads.

Lack of build-up aside, Ultron is a cool villain. Unlike most evil robots, which are frightening because of how inhuman they act due to lacking emotions, Ultron is frightening because of how human he seems. Spader fills his performance with condescending arrogance, barely contained rage and contempt.

The biggest weakness of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” that the film rushes in an effort to counter a bloated plot. But it’s pure fun that’s not afraid to have a good hard look at its characters.




Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Sean Curzon
Sean Curzon, Staff Writer

Comments (0)

All Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *