By CALVIN JORDAN & HADYN DAUGS
Three years following the release of the first “Avengers,” Marvel is back yet again with another masterpiece that has returned plentifully for the the studios.
Even with the interference of the highly anticipated Mayweather Pacquiao fight taking place during opening weekend of the second installment, the film had the fifth largest worldwide opening in cinematic history with $392.5 million earned. By late May, the movie had collected over $1.1 billion in revenue.
Manohla Dargis of the New York Times attributes a large amount of the success to Joss Whedon, stating that, “Avengers: Age of Ultron isn’t half bad, largely because of its director, Joss Whedon.”
Whedon returns as the writer director for the newest addition to the Marvel Universe after having done the same for the first film, and he is joined by the starstudded cast who bring the superheroes to life: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner all reprise their roles for “Ultron”, and viewers will be thankful this time around for the writers taking the time to explore more of each hero’s inner thoughts (mainly their fears).
In order to do so, three new superpowered friends are introduced to the screen—twin siblings Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (also known as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch) portrayed by Aaron Taylor Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, and the Vision, portrayed by Paul Bettany who audiences might recognize as the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S., Tony Stark’s A.I. system.
Florida International University student Jovany Betancourt was one of many fans who relished the introduction of these heroes to the storyline.
“Quicksilver was always one of my favorite characters in the Marvel Universe,” gushed Betancourt. “I’m glad to see that his inclusion in the movie wasn’t botched or something to be embarassed for.”
While action films are notorious for their thinly padded plotlines which serve no other purpose than to allow violence as a centerstage element—it is a known fact that studios love their CGI effects—“Ultron” affords more in the way of how vulnerable these heroes are. If one is familiar with the character, they know that Scarlet Witch has a knack for messing with people’s heads using her powers of hypnosis and telepathy and this serves as a major plot device for the film. After the team is forced to visualize their worst fears as a debilitating tactic by the Witch, viewers are made to play guessing games to determine the lines of reality, allegiances and true desires.
The titular villain of the picture, Ultron, is nothing new in the way of mistaken yet volatile enemies, though his opinions on what constitute a better society are hardly within the realm of what most humans might think. At best, one could say his evil plan is very unique, though at worst, others might say it is a bit outdated considering it has been done before. Even still, Ultron is a formidable force to be reckoned with while he has the Avengers wrapped up in their heads.
Regardless of his ambition and malice, Erik Kain of Forbes points out that this villain also serves as a bit of comedic relief.
“Ultron is the funniest evil robot I’ve seen in a movie in a long time, maybe ever,” writes Kain. “He’s a lot like his “maker” Tony Stark, but with a dark, demented side.”
Arguably the most talkedabout release of the summer season thus far, “Age of Ultron” has already proven itself as a major hit, and is sure to enjoy positive review energy flowing for the next few weeks. While Marvel geeks might rip the film over its dissimilarity to the comics, average audiences are guaranteed a cinematic treat.