The Avengers: Age of Ultron (Walt Disney Studios, PG-13)

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I thoroughly enjoyed all the fights and explosions, but my favorite part of the night was walking away from the theater questioning my actions and intentions in my everyday life.

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I don’t know where to begin—I’m still reeling from the greatness that is The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

I’m a big fan of writer/director Joss Whedon, and in this film he delivers tenfold on the story. The movie is about a computer-based peacekeeping program jumpstarted by Tony Stark (Ironman) that goes horribly awry.

Most of us see action movies to get our adrenaline pumping and watch stuff blow up. Whedon gives us the heart-racing explosions along with good, intricate story—and I’m not talking about that “heroes save the world” stuff. Each of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” (Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as The Incredible Hulk, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye) has a very different, emotionally jarring story, and the way that Whedon wrote these stories concurrently without giving one too much precedence over the other or taking away from the main storyline is astounding. Not to mention, the jokes are timed perfectly—I was laughing the entire time.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron goes beyond the hero vs. villain theme by defining the two terms and exploring what makes one a hero or a villain. What qualifies as destruction? What constitutes saving the world? I thoroughly enjoyed all the fights and explosions, but my favorite part of the night was walking away from the theater questioning my actions and intentions in my everyday life.

With such a large cast, the film is executed very well. I don’t feel that any of the actors were given too much or too little screen time—it was just enough for each character to contribute what was needed of them. In addition to the main cast, I really enjoyed the dynamic between Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, respectively. Being the youngest heroes, the two still command the attention of the audience. If I had to award a member of this cast, it would go to Elizabeth Olsen. She stole the show for me. The depth she brought to her character was unmatched by all the others.

James Spader was the perfect choice to voice Ultron. I don’t know what it is about that man’s voice that makes it evil and loveable at the same time, but he is both creepy and funny, and it works really well.

All of that said, this is still a typical action film by way of cool special effects, stunning visuals (I highly recommend seeing this in 3D), and a ridiculously fast pace. I say ridiculous because the cast is so large and everyone is fighting at once, so you really can blink and miss something. There were a few parts where I got confused because it was moving so fast, but I was able to catch up quickly and still enjoyed every second of it. I also happen to be deathly afraid of robots (I am convinced they really will take over the world one day), so that premise alone had me on the edge of my seat.

The only thing that was out of place to me in this film was the relationship between Natasha (Black Widow) and Dr. Banner (The Incredible Hulk). This felt forced and uncomfortable.

If you’re not a huge Marvel fan, still see this movie, because I’m not either! I haven’t read the comics or seen all of the characters’ individual films, but I really love The Avengers. You can tell that everyone involved with this film worked hard on it, and it does not disappoint. | Samantha LaBat

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