'Avengers: Age of Ultron' (2015) - Film Review

Updated on May 28, 2018

Director: Joss Wheedon

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, James Spader, Elizabeth Olson, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Paul Bettany

Like all comic book stories, Avengers: Age of Ultron (AOU) does not shy away from its dual responsibility as a vehicle for social commentary as well as entertainment. Thinly veiled behind its excellent special effects, action set-pieces and rip-roaring adventure, lie the foundation of Marvel's recent superhero success stories: characters with flaws, stories that touch a contemporary nerve and a strong moral centre. AOU picks up from the previous instalment (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), which saw the destruction of SHIELD and The Avengers are now a close-knit team working to tie up the loose ends of HYDRA's influence. In the exciting opening sequence, all Avengers mount an attack on the last remaining HYDRA stronghold in order to retrieve Loki's sceptre and bring about the return of peace and security to the world. Little do they realise that success would bring further danger to the world, from within the Avengers themselves.

This brings us to the pivotal point in the film where parallels with our own governments' attempts to bring order and security through technology, intrusive laws and an unhealthy dose of paranoia, leading to a difficult question: Just how far should the human race go in protecting ourselves, and in doing so, are we causing more harm than good? For Tony Stark/Ironman (Downey, Jr.), who witnessed first-hand the alien invasion in the Avengers Assemble, the Human race only barely scraped through. He and Bruce Banner/Hulk both share the belief that a global defence system capable of protecting Earth's inhabitants is the solution. Things go disastrously wrong when the artificial intelligence behind Loki's sceptre merges with Stark's proposed defence system, creating Ultron, an android whose interpretation of his programming determines that humanity's aggressive nature is really the biggest threat to itself, and thus needs annihilating on a biblical scale. Naturally, the rest of the Avengers are fairly nonplussed by this incident, causing a rift in their alliance, benefiting Ultron, who plays on their weaknesses.

Enter two youngsters with special powers (and a grudge against Stark) who join Ultron's side, and the Avengers are, frankly, a right mess. When Hulk, under the influence of Scarlet Witch's (Olson) magic, dukes it out with Ironman in full public view, the damage is not only measured against buildings, but their reputation. With public support waning, the Avengers withdraw to assess their options. Can and should the public trust these "unregulated" superheroes? Who should be responsible for dealing with security threats when the solution itself becomes dangerous? Thankfully, they wouldn't be called heroes if they didn't have some sort of moral compass guiding them the right way, and with Ultron's megalomaniacal circuits already planning and plotting mass destruction, it doesn't take long for the Avengers to convince the rest of the world whose side they are on.

A gripping finale demonstrates just what teamwork and sacrifice is all about and how much superheroes are still needed in these dangerous and uncertain times, even if some redemption and learning from past mistakes is required. This is more than just a gung-ho action movie featuring flamboyantly dressed soldiers, but a carefully crafted allegory of the danger of absolute power, the strength one can find in failure, and the importance of love and friendship. Played with genuine affection for the characters, and filled with tongue-in-cheek humour and Marvel references for the fans, this is a highly enjoyable and accessible entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for any film lover. Ignoring the underlying themes discussed here, it's still a cracking actioner from start to finish! Roll on Phase Three...


4 stars for Avengers: Age of Ultron

© 2018 Chris Sandles


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)