It would have been easy for Avengers: Age of Ultron – the sequel to Marvel’s franchise mega-hit Avengers Assemble – to rest on its laurels. Thankfully, Avengers 2.0 improves on its predecessor on many fronts even if it doesn’t fully recapture the magic of the 2012 endeavour.
Whereas it took a little while for Avengers Assemble to get going, the opposite is true for the sequel. We begin with a Bond-esque opening skirmish between our heroes and HYDRA cronies that ends with the recovery of Loki’s scepter and a party to remember. But when Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) attempt to use the power of the scepter to jumpstart a peacekeeping program, the inadvertent result is Ultron (James Spader), a highly intelligent robot hell-bent on human extinction. Making matters worse, Ultron joins forces with powerful Maximoff twins Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen).
There is a great disparity between the posters and the trailers for Avengers: Age of Ultron.
In the build-up to today’s big reveal Marvel had released a number of bland and lazy character posters featuring each of our principal heroes in a standard hero pose set against a boring backdrop filled with Ultron drones. There’s also a one-sheet with all the Avengers that’s spent far too many hours in Adobe Photoshop:
Thankfully the trailers for Avengers: Age of Ultron have been anything but bland and lazy, and the third and supposedly (but probably not) final clip that was unveiled earlier today is no different.
It’s been 60 years since Ishirō Honda’s thunderous Godzilla (1954), and since then the fearsome reptile has gone on to become an icon of pop culture spawning no fewer than 28 iterations. Only the sophomore effort from Gareth Edwards, the Monsters (2010) director was far from the obvious choice to bring the legendary beast to life once more, but thankfully the 29th iteration marks a triumphant return for the titular Kaiju.
It’s a while before we see him though, as the film begins by focusing on Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston), a nuclear technician whose wife died when the Japanese plant they worked at suffered a meltdown in 1999. Unconvinced of the ‘natural disaster’ cover up by the government, he’s been searching for answers on what really caused it in the 15 years since. Now a military bomb-disposal expert, his estranged son Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) tries desperately to convince his Dad to move on, but when signs point to history repeating itself and a mysterious monster reawakens the senior Brody is proved right.
Back in 2010, Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass left an indelible impression on audiences with an energetic, fresh take on the increasingly saturated superhero genre. Jeff Wadlow replaces Vaughn (a producer here) at the helm for Kick-Ass 2, and whilst the franchise no longer has the shock factor, the sequel still serves up a generous helping of foul-mouthed superhero fun.
Read the rest of this review at Flicks and the City here.