The gang are back, and they have added a few more to the team for Avengers: Age of Ultron
in the form of Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor Johnson) and The Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). Tony Stark's peace plan initiative turns sour when his creation Ultron (voiced by James Spader) turns on him, the rest of Avengers and humanit y- creating one of the Marvel Universe's most formidable villains.
Director Joss Whedon has once again managed to balance the high-octane action sequences with humour - the comedy is cohesive throughout, such as the running joke the team have with Captain America over his language policing. Even the super villain Ultron gets a few comic moments. There are plenty of more personal moments too, with Whedon giving us a glimpse into some of the character's histories. We would have liked a bit more Black Widow, as Hawkeye takes the lion's share of the character backstory, but we're sure we will be seeing a lot more of Agent Romanoff in films to come.
The twins (who go under the name of Pietro and Wanda Maximoff) are initially on bad guy Ultron's team, their bond coming from a shared personal grudge towards Iron Man. The addition of Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch keep the Avengers from treading over familiar ground, and add a fresh dimension to the film. With such a large ensemble cast, it leaves you wishing you had a little bit more quality time with each before their world come crashing down. Olsen comes into her own during the final battle scenes, pulling focus with her slow motion twists and turns as she wields her magic, while Aaron Taylor Johnson darts around shielding his sister and civilians from oncoming attacks - all while clad in a very fetching skin-tight outfit.
Olsen and ATJ bring a personal element to the film, and add a lighter touch to the heavy-handed hammer-wielding action of The Hulk, Black Widow and more importantly, Tony Stark and his creation. Like The Scarlet Witch, Ultron is not just about the physical - His A.I. quality enables him to be everywhere and anywhere at once, and this intangible quality poses a near impossible threat for the Avengers to overcome.
There is plenty going on this film - some might say too much, but it's packed full of everything we crave from the Marvel universe. At the same time, Whedon's aim is the same as that of his character Ultron. He's trying to break the Avengers apart. Essentially, the film is a catalyst to scatter the Avengers on the various trajectories that will eventually bring them back together - Thor is busy rocketing off to God-knows-where in search of answers and Ruffalo's Bruce Banner is constantly trying to make a run for it, being kept on a short leash by Scarlet Johansson. The Cap and Iron Man's attrition over ethics has lined up Captain America: Winter's Soldier
, where the two will come to blows.
The team has expanded, been blown apart and is regrouping - the Marvel beast is ever-growing, ready for its next adventure.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is out in cinemas 1st May.