Back to take the box office by storm, the Avengers land themselves in another dizzying and truly star-spangled adventure to save the earth. Four years ago, the concept of assembling four heroes with their own movies, two supporting heroes, and a villain while keeping a varied audience on the same page was a confounding idea. Joss Whedon’s movie magic is both a blessing and a curse as the film became the top grossing film of 2012 (I’ll admit I saw the first movie in theaters six times. Six. Times.), but also set the bar very high for its sequel. The Avengers: Age of Ultron reaches that bar and even does a couple of victory flips around it.
As with most blockbuster sequels, the film takes on a darker tone. What seemed so secure and inspiring about the Avengers as a team at the end of the first film is quickly shrouded in doubt at the emergence of the brilliant antagonist Ultron (James Spader), who so maddeningly desires to enact his bleak solution to world peace, and the twins: Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff and Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Pietro Maximoff.
Even at a run-time of 141 minutes, there is barely any time to take a bathroom break. From the beginning, every scene is sure to deliver an astonishing amount of action and drama, as well as some heavy exposition. The film opens with a spectacular opening battle that not only serves as our introduction to the twins, but a huge endorphin boost. Just as they did in the first film, the ensemble cast brings the familiar laugh-out-loud humor and wit to the characters, including the new comers, who ever so naturally ignite off of each other.
Rather than going more into the details, I’ll leave you with a list of things you should know before watching the film (because you know you’re going to see this eventually).
1. Watch previous Marvel films.
If you try to count with your fingers the number of references made to the previous Marvel films, you will need to genetically modify yourself to have more fingers. You’re going to want to review your Avengers dossier to fully enjoy them.
2. Questions are both answered and inquired again.
THIS MOVIE WILL MAKE YOU THINK. Consult your comics if you get upset.
3. There’s romance.
Be prepared for a romantic side-plot or two. They may seem to come out of nowhere.
4. Rejoice, Hawkeye fans.
If you’re a Hawkeye fan like me, then rejoice. If anything in this movie is avenged, it’s his meager four minutes of screen-time in the first movie.
5. The united cast.
You can trust that the cast will probably be 50% of the reason why you love this movie so much. If anything translates from the screen, it’s the chemistry of the ensemble.
6. It’s more of a handful, emotionally.
Expect to fist pump as many times as you did watching the first movie, but don’t be surprised if you don’t do so with as much glee.
(Additionally: Remember to stay after the initial credits for a bonus scene!)
And once you’ve watched and fully digested this colossus of a summer blockbuster, exult at the fact that not one but two movies have been confirmed and will conclude the story of the Avengers. In October 2014, Marvel announced a two-part sequel to Age of Ultron, titled Avengers: Infinity War. Part 1 is scheduled to be released on May 4, 2018, with Part 2 scheduled for May 3, 2019.