11. Avengers: Age of Ultron
In May of 2015, the Avengers reunited for the heavily anticipated sequel to 2012’s The Avengers with Avengers: Age of Ultron. In the sequel we saw the return of the Marvel heroes from the first movie as well as some new faces. The cast included Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / Hulk, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye, Paul Bettany as J.A.R.V.I.S. and Vision, Don Cheadle as James “Rhodey” Rhodes / War Machine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson / Falcon, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, Thomas Kretschmann as Wolfgang von Strucker, Claudia Kim as Helen Cho, Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaus, Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig, and James Spader as Ultron.
In the Eastern European country of Sokovia, the Avengers raid a Hydra facility commanded by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who has been experimenting on humans using Loki’s scepter. Here they encounter the Maximoff twins, Pietro, who has superhuman speed and his sister Wanda, who can manipulate minds and project energy. The twins escape, and the Avengers apprehend Strucker and retrieve the scepter.
Stark and Banner begin discussing Artificial Intelligence powered by Loki’s scepter, and secretly decided to finish Stark’s global defense robots, named Ultron. When Ultron starts up, he believes it is his mission to eradicate Earth and start it a new. In the process he eliminates Starks A.I., J.A.R.V.I.S., and attacks the Avengers headquarters. Ultra escapes with Loki’s scepter to Struckers headquarters where he uses the resources to upgrade his armor and build his robot army. After Ultron kills Strucker he recruits the Maximoff twins, who feel Stark is responsible for the death of their parents due to the weapons he created. They then go to the base of Ulysses Klaus to obtain Wakandan Vibranium. The Avengers attempt to stop Ultron but are attacked by Wanda Maximoff, haunts their minds with powerful bad visions, one of which sends Hulk into a fit of rage until Tony stops him with his Hulkbuster armor.
Worldwide backlash has begun over the destruction caused by Hulk has sent them into hiding. Thor leaves to consult Dr. Selvig while Nick Fury arrives to consult the Avengers and help establish a plan of attack. Ultra forces Dr. Helen Cho with Loki’s scepter to use her synthetic tissue technology, together with vibranium and the scepter’s gem, to perfect a new body for him. As Ultron begins uploading his conscious into the “body”, Wanda reads his mind seeing the destruction of the human race, causing the Maximoff twins to turn on Ultron. Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawkeye find Ultron and take the synthetic body, but Ultron captures Black Widow.
The Avengers argue and fight over a disagreement of Stark’s uploading of J.A.R.V.I.S. into the synthetic body who is operating due to him hiding in the internet from Ultron. Thor returns to activate the body explaining that the stone in his forehead his called an “Infinity Stone” and are apart of the most powerful objects in the universe and were apart of Ultron’s “vision”. The Vision, the Avengers, and the Maximoff twins all leave for Sokovia where Ultron has used the last of the vibranium to create a machine that lifts Sokovia into the sky causing it to come crashing down causing global extinction. Banner rescues Black Widow which then helps Bruce turn into the Hulk. The Avengers fight Ultron while Nick Fury, Maria Hill, War Machine, and S.H.I.E.L.D. to evacuate civilians. Pietro/ Quicksilver sacrifices his life to save Hawkeye who is trying to rescue civilians which causes Wanda/ Scarlett Witch to abandon her post to go destroy Ultron, which allows one of Ultra’s minions to activate the machine. The city falls from the sky but Thor and Iron Man, overload the machine causing it to shatter the landmass. Bruce/ Hulk, who is still ashamed by his previous actions, departs in a Quinjet, while the Vision finds Ultron and destroys last remaining body.
After the battle, the Avengers have established a new base run by Fury, Hill, Dr. Cho, and Dr. Selvig; Thor returns home to Asgard to find out more information on the Infinity Stones. Stark leaves and Hawkeye retires, Captain America and Black Widow stay to train new Avengers: War Machine, The Vision, Scarlett Witch, and Falcon. In the mid-credit scene, Thanos is seen displeased donning a “gauntlet”, vowing to retrieve the Infinity Stones himself.
Overall the movie was very good but didn’t live up to the original Avengers. Whedon used to much humor at times in a movie that seemed and mostly kept a dark tone. I think that the way Ultron was used kind of disappointed a lot of people, who wanted to see him be a little bit more ruthless, myself included. James Spaders’ performance of Ultron was fantastic though. I think a lot of it came down to the writing and the direction that Joss Whedon took it, that caused it to fall a little short. Not to say that this wasn’t a great movie, it just fell a little flat.