Avengers: Age of Ultron is fast, light and fun

The most anticipated movie event of the summer has finally hit theaters in the form of a superhero rock concert. When thinking about the large cast and all it has to live up to, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” had a lot of challenges ahead of it.

Everyone and their mothers wondered if writer/director Joss Whedon could successfully capture the magic he brought to the big screen back in 2012 with Marvel’s first “Avengers” movie.

This new chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU, as it’s known by fans) leaps into action with Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye back together for another mission.

After a program designed for peacekeeping goes horribly wrong, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) inadvertently creates a monster in the form of a robot with growing artificial intelligence.

This robot, Ultron (voiced by James Spader), wants to lead the world to peace by, you guessed it, destroying it. Not exactly an original or well-thought out plan, but let’s just go with it.

Writing a review for this movie is almost unnecessary. If you’ve kept up with this universe Marvel has been carefully crafting from the get-go, then you should already know what to expect from these movies by now.

That being said, the cast still manages to make it fresh and fun for the full two and a half hours of screen time, so it never feels like it’s overstaying its welcome.

While the action is fun, it was very close to feeling excessive. Bigger does not always equal better, which is something Whedon and Marvel need to continue learning. Just when you think an action scene is about to end, it picks up and gets going for another 10 minutes.

This might be precisely what some fans are looking for, but I found it to be a little tiring at times. Even with this big of a cast and this large of a scale in which to tell the stories, the smaller moments should still not be lost.

Rest assured, the small moments are not absent, but they are few and far between.

Scenes that take place at Avengers Tower give us room to breathe while we watch the fun of the bantering cast trying to lift Thor’s hammer, and a chunk of the film that brings our heroes to a safe farmhouse adds some humanity and character development for some of the weaker characters from the first movie (looking at you, Hawkeye).

The action spectacle is certainly on a level of its own. While some of it goes on for far too long, I have to give Whedon credit for being able to hone in all of this comic book material and characters from all over the spectrum and create something that’s still reasonably coherent. Things are chaotic but always fun.

The performances of the core cast are the same, as you’d expect. Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johansson are on top of their game as always.

The standouts come mostly from the new comers. Paul Bettany gets promoted from voice character to live action superhero as The Vision, and Elizabeth Olsen breaths life into one of the more tricky superheroes to bring to the big screen, Scarlet Witch.

Ultron, while not unlocking his full, menacing potential, still proves to be one of Marvel’s most memorable and entertaining villains to watch.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” can be best described as a party that was better the first time around, but still manages to give viewers a good time. It’s fast, light in content and full of hilariously written dialogue. While the one-liners get odd after a while, there’s no denying Joss Whedon’s talent as a writer.

This film is the very definition of summer blockbuster, a movie that is easily recommendable to anyone looking for a good time at the movies.