Returning writer-director Joss Whedon definitely does so, but takes a lazy approach to it by including thrills that his superheroes make light weight of. To be sure, ‘Age Of Ultron’ conveniently assumes that you have seen all the previous Marvel movies and jumps straight in to fictional East European country Sokovia where the sceptre is hidden. At this point, it would worth mentioning that inter-galactic gemstones and sceptres feature in the movie merely as catalysts to help our superheroes get into ‘avenging’ mode. The snow-caped landscape also provides the money shot of the movie featuring all the avengers in a single frame pretty early in the film.
There are also two new additions to the world of Avengers in the form of twins Piedro and Wanda Maximoff / Scarlett Witch (Aaron-Taylor Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen) who are blessed with powers of super speed and telepathy and telekinesis respectively. When an entire army is given chase by the Avengers but these two twins are enough to hold them back you know worthy adversaries have been found.
But that’s before Ultron is born. According to Iron Man, Ultron is meant to be a shield for humanity from aliens who almost destroyed the world in the first part but a thinking droid can make his own choice of deciding how humanity needs to be saved. Ultron, thus, goes rogue in an effort to end humanity to make them evolve. However, Ultron also suffers from a complex and needs a body to be accepted by himself and by others. Voiced brilliantly by James Spader, Ultron is a rare anti-hero with his Frankenstein origins and twisted logic.
Whedon also repeats the best part of Avengers in the sequel – the witty banter between superheroes – and introduces new twists that fanboys will lap up greedily. It helps that aspects like Iron Man’s alter ego Jarvis and Thor’s hammer step up from being just accessories and play an important role in the film. Jarvis, especially, comes to represent all the positive traits of humans who are always looking to play god (here depicted by the mad genius of Tony Stark). It’s an interesting comparison because Ultron is the exact opposite of Jarvis as the movie’s climax makes amply clear.
Some might find the action in the movie excessive but the superheroes get down-time as well. Whedon skilfully peels the layers off his superheroes, revealing their frailties and making them more intimate with their fans. A surprising reveal is made about Clint Barton/ Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) while Natasha/ Black Widow’s (Scarlett Johannsson) origins are shown as well. Natasha’s efforts to kindle a romance between herself and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) while trying to keep the Hulk in check forms is noteworthy as well. Actors such as Samuel L Jackson, Don Cheadle and Stellan Skarshard appear in short cameos to reprise their roles from previous Marvel movies.