“Avengers: Age of Ultron” is a kinetic, wicked mix of muscle and magic. Look no further if you want a world of superpowered freaks and geeks.
But be aware: It comes at a cost. Vaporized in the parade of action and characters is the wonder and simplicity of its first, superior entry.
That terrific 2012 blockbuster fulfilled comic-book fans’ dream of seeing Marvel’s mightiest heroes on the big screen. This one assembles more seriousness, and adds some fresh faces with fierce powers, though the peril feels preprogrammed.
The movie begins midbattle, as the team invades a secret base where twins Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) are hiding. Their DNA has been rejiggered by villains, so now he’s Quicksilver and she’s the telepathic Scarlet Witch. Or, as someone notes, “He’s fast and she’s weird.”
The twins take a back seat as Tony “Iron Man” Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) uses Loki’s scepter, found at the base, to rev up the A.I. program Stark built to protect Earth from evil aliens. But the “Infinity Stone” inside the scepter is uncontrollable, and it creates Ultron (voiced by James Spader), a self-sustaining computer that builds itself a robot body.
Ultron enlists Pietro and Wanda to help it delay the Avengers as it amasses a robot army and builds an “ultimate synthetic being” called the Vision (Paul Bettany). But after becoming sentient, the Vision becomes good, as do Pietro and Wanda.