The Bottom Line: Disney and Marvel deep dive in to a multi-layered, colorfully chaotic and action-heavy world of deadly domino effects and marvelously manicured mayhem! …and director Joss Whedon, back for round two, does a miraculous job of spinning all the plates – the epic scope is mindboggling massive, the dialogue is welcomingly witty and the action is jawdroppingly joyful. Each of the many characters are given an ample spotlight and some either make up for lost time from the original or pop a brief appearance for a tease at things to come (no spoilers…none). In a lesser team’s hands, this would all be a mismanaged mish-mash of growls, grunts and twisted metal – but this is the summer big leagues and they do an exceedingly effective job of delivering exactly what you’d hope a movie of this size could…which is knocking it outta the friggin’ park! Not only is the mission of stopping a crazed artificial intelligence-driven robot (a brilliantly voice-casted James Spader) from laying waste to humanity mightily resolved, but the table is strategically set for cold-hearted conflict in installments to come… Admittedly, the path is eerily familiar this time out with villainous motives never fully fleshed out and team members learning to work together as they’re pulled apart. Plus, the sheer number of things happening at any one time coupled with a denseness of plot may leave some viewers hamstrung and wondering what this all means… Here, you ride with the minor convolutions or you die with ‘em – but if you’ve ever experienced any slice of this slick cinematic universe (or have your know-it-all 10-year old son with you; that was my strategy; this is now his favorite movie of all time) then this world is your fairly accessible and easy to navigate vibranium-coated oyster. Avengers: Age of Ultron is pure energetic fun (whether you're familiar with all the characters or not) and burns bright on the entertaining potency of its humor, heart and super hero smack downs. Never mind the few naysayers; this is an explosively juicy jumpstart to the big budget summer movie season… Time to assemble your crew!
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smolders, Don Cheadle, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and James Spader
Directed by: Joss Whedon (Marvel’s The Avengers, Much Ado About Nothing and Serenity)
Running time: 150 minutes
Story: When Tony Stark jumpstarts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth's Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as they battle to save the planet from destruction at the hands of the villainous Ultron.
Official site: www.facebook.com/avengers