Avengers: Age of Ultron – The Road to Endgame

L to R: Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) in Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is the penultimate film of Marvel’s Phase 2 and paves the landscape for phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

This film is every bit as epic of an installment as the initial team-up in 2012.  Since the collapse of S.H.I.E.LD., the Avengers have been busy at work in defeating H.Y.D.R.A.  This time, they’re taking out Baron Wolfgang von Strucker’s (Thomas Kretschmann) base in Sokovia.  It just so happens that this particular research facility is currently holding Loki’s scepter.  Unbeknownst to the Avengers, the scepter contains the Mind stone.  The H.Y.D.R.A. threat is seemingly over for now.

Back in the states, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) investigate the scepter.  Of course, it’s going to be the team’s top scientific minds!  Stark gets the idea to jumpstart a peacekeeping program called Ultron.  This is a very bad idea!  Not surprisingly, Ultron comes to life but not in the way that Tony would like.  Or anyone else for that matter.  Ultron takes the scepter and sets off for Sokovia as well as vibranium.  The Avengers follow but things get messy thanks to Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen).  In a matter of moments, she takes them out save for Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner).  He’s already done that whole mind game thing.  No reason to do it again!

Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
L-R: Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Ultron is hellbent on destroying the world so the Avengers retreat to Barton’s place to regroup.  Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) arrives and the team is back in action.  Meanwhile, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) wants to learn more about the haunting vision.  He recruits Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) so as to be able to learn more.  Back in Sokovia, twins Wanda and Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) soon realize they’re on the wrong side.  They quickly align with the Avengers when the team returns to Sokovia.

Thanks to Theta Protocol, Nick Fury, Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and other S.H.I.E.LD. agents arrive with Helicarrier.  It’s the same one damaged during the Battle of New York.  With the crumbling of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Avengers don’t have the organization backing them up like they have in prior films.  It’s great to see Marvel building upon the Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. television series in this way.  It would be nice though if some of the TV characters could cameo in the films!

Avengers: Age of Ultron manages to continue Marvel’s cinematic world building.  These films aren’t without ramifications down the line.  Just like with Winter Soldier, the effects of this film are going to be felt for some time.  The seeds are clearly planted for a division between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

CAST:  Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, James Spader, and Samuel L. Jackson

Marvel opened Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015. The film is available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital. Grade: 4/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.