Avengers: Age of Ultron

"I know you're good people. I know you mean well. But you just didn't think it through. There is only one path to peace...your extinction."    - Ultron

release year: 2015
genre: superhero action
viewing setting: home Bluray 12/9/17 and 12/7/16 and 10/4/15 and theater 5/17/15

synopsis: A well-meaning Tony Stark makes giant advances on a worldwide peacekeeping program, but unfortunately its artificial intelligence immediately decides that wiping out the human race is the way to achieve that goal.

impressions: Another slam-dunk for the superhero genre in general and Marvel in particular. It's almost like the studio, years ago, laid down and enforced the mission statement "we will not make a movie that sucks." This is a great sequel that adds some new characters, brings back some others from other films, has a competent and entertaining villain, and has FIVE big fight scenes. When characters like these fight, cities get destroyed. Every major character gets some backstory and several significant things to do. Best of all, each movie is part of a greater overall plot that will culminate in 2018-2019's Avengers: Infinity War two-parter.

  • Chris Evans is Captain America, who must lead and inspire a diverse group of powerful individuals, each with their own set of problems
  • Robert Downey Jr is Tony Stark, a genius with quirks, whose ideas sometimes outpace the necessary caution
  • Chris Hemsworth is Thor, a warrior god who has to worry about Earth as well as his own kingdom
  • Mark Ruffalo is Bruce Banner, whose other personality (the Hulk) destroys things and people and precludes any chance at a normal life
  • Scarlet Johansson is the Black Widow, whose troubled past causes her great doubts now
  • Jeremy Renner is Hawkeye; despite being an archer who never misses, he is still out of his league when the team fights gigantic monsters and robots, and he knows it
  • James Spader is Ultron, a super-artificial intelligence in a powerful robotic body, who hates humans, especially Tony Stark, and sets out to do something about it
  • Elizabeth Olsen is the Scarlet Witch, one of a pair of siblings who must decide whether to be villains or heroes
  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson is Quicksilver, the other sibling, who moves at super-speed
  • Paul Bettany is both the voice of Stark's "good" artificial intelligence, J.A.R.V.I.S., and the powerful android Vision
  • Don Cheadle is War Machine, an ally with his own weapons-heavy suit of armor
  • Linda Cardellini is Hawkeye's wife and his best-kept secret
  • Samuel Jackson is Nick Fury, former director of super-agency S.H.I.E.L.D. but now in hiding
  • Cobie Smulders is Maria Hill, Fury's deputy
  • Claudia Kim is Dr. Cho, a geneticist whose work is corrupted thanks to Ultron
  • Stan Lee has a cameo as an old military veteran who thinks he can hold his own with Thor in a drinking contest

  • final word: Outstanding sequel, solid superhero action, well worth seeing.

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