The first Avengers film was great. Joss Whedon did a great job of bringing together all the Marvel heroes and crafting a great story where they all have great moments and decent amounts of screentime. Trying to do that a second time could be hard. But not if you make a movie that is almost identical to the first one, because that’s what has been done here seemingly.
It starts off well. There’s a great action scene set in a snowy landscape as the Avengers work together to take down a Hydra base, featuring an updated version of that one long take of all the team fighting from the battle of New York in the first Avengers. But that may be the highlight of the film. That’s not to say there aren’t other great scenes in the rest of the film, it’s just that it goes downhill from here.
The plot focuses on Ultron, a rogue A.I. robot baddie created, in-part, by Tony Stark himself. With his goal as world peace, Ultron realises this can only be achieved once the Avengers, and the rest of the world, are dead. Cue superhero team ups and armies of flying robots. Honestly, a lot of this film feels exactly the same as the first Avengers. Which isn’t a bad thing, but it also isn’t anything new. Each character gets their own moments to shine throughout the film, and Hawkeye, who was so marginalised int he first film, really stands out as the human character amongst gods. He gets some of the best lines in the film. Joining him are Iron Man, who brings his usual quipping game to the table, Captain America, who has a few cool suit upgrades and remains as righteous as ever, Thor, still naive but hilarious when it comes to his interactions with humans, Hulk, who is fleshed out even more as a monster and whether he is a good or bad thing to have around, and Black Widow, who gets some of her own backstory and an insight into how she became a self described ‘monster’. Appearances from returning characters such as Falcon, War Machine, Maria Hill and Nick Fury are welcome but almost become tiresome towards the end of the film as it begins to feel over-stuffed. Not to mention the new characters on the block. Making their debuts are Quicksilver, who we all loved (probably more) from X-Men: Days of Future Past, Scarlet Witch, an unpredictable and mystical presence on the team, Vision, Tony’s A.I. J.A.R.V.I.S. now in an indestructible body and Ultron, the titular menace who is just as sarcastic and comedic as Tony himself. All of these characters are good, but it just seems like the film is bursting at the seams with how much content is in it already.
That the film is massive already may seem strange when certain parts of the film also feel like they’re missing. In particular, a subplot feature Thor does not really get much time to develop and seems out of place amongst the rest of the piece. Tony and Steve’s impending clash in Captain America: Civil War shows signs of building up but then amounts to almost nothing except one small conversation over log chopping. It feels like Joss Whedon and Marvel were trying to do too much in such a short space of time and it just doesn’t quite feel right.
However, the film is still a good film and worth watching. The action scenes are very well done, especially the Hulkbuster scene, and the film is very funny and overall enjoyable. Despite the somewhat negative things I have said, I still very much like this film and would recommend it to people. However, it just could have been much more and as such sits quite middle-of-the-pack within the Marvel Cinematic Universe spectrum.
JACK’S SCORE: 4/5