Superhero fatigue is about to become a very real thing.
In “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” released May 1, America is reunited with its favorite group of super-powered, wise-cracking saviors of the world: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemswoth), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).
The movie opens with the Avengers fighting their way into a compound belonging to Hydra—a terrorist organization that was using Loki’s evil scepter in experiments to create more super-powered beings.
After the Avengers’ victory, they return to Tony Stark’s (Iron Man) Manhattan skyscraper that has been serving as the base of operations for the group. Stark and Bruce Banner (The Hulk, in human form) study the scepter and discover a form of artificial intelligence. Stark hopes that by using it, he can create a global defense system that can think for itself (unlike the Iron Man-like drones that he had already made).
But, Stark’s plan backfires and Ultron (voiced by James Spader) escapes Stark’s skyscraper on a mission to destroy the Avengers.
Fans of the first Avengers will not be disappointed by the sequel, which has much of the same witty banter while tag-teaming enemies that audiences loved so much about the first. The fluidity and creativity that the Avengers use to punch, kick and blast their enemies back and forth for vicious combo kills make them the Showtime Lakers of superheroes.
Spader’s voice provides a chilling super villain more ominous than the scorned little brother of Thor, Loki, in the first Avengers. However, just like in the first film, much of the challenge is getting the rag-tag group to work together consistently. Those sequences draw out the movie a little a bit, because the Avengers are almost too powerful for their own good.
For the casual movie-goer, “Age of Ultron,” which introduces new characters into the Marvel cinematic universe, may be pushing the limit on how many heroes can be in one film. The series is expecting a high level of dedication of its viewers to come in with a certain level of knowledge of the universe it inhabits. Even someone like me, who has seen all these movies, can get lost at times, wondering who a character is or what role they play.
While “Age of Ultron” may be over-stuffed with heroes, it has every bit the action and humor that made the first film such a success.