In Eastern Europe, The Avengers have Baron Strucker and HYDRA on the run in an effort to retrieve Loki’s staff. Working as a much more fluid team, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and The Hulk take down the base but also run into 2 enhanced humans: Wanda and Pietro Maximoff. The team recovers the scepter and Stark and Banner discover that they can finally get their peacekeeping program off the ground called Ultron with the power of the scepter. What the two unknowingly uncover is that the scepter works like an AI and decides that the best way to help humanity is to eradicate the humans.
Written and directed by Joss Whedon, this is his second run at the Marvel team. He brought back all of the major players and added a few new characters to the heavy roster. The addition of the Maximoff twins is cool but adding The Vision is a brilliant move in my opinion. It helps to explain the power of the Infinity Stones and how Marvel Studios is further creating this cinematic universe.
The movie does what any good sequel does and doesn’t backtrack to overly explain things from the previous film. The movie begins and it literally hits the ground running. The action is bigger, the character’s motivations run deeper, and the effects have evolved in the last few years.
I will say that there are a few things that didn’t make much sense. For example, when we leave all of The Avengers in their solo movies, they have gone back to their lives and give no indication as to what the next move is. From the start of AVENGERS: AOU, you can tell that the team has been working together for a bit but that is never addressed. The only mention of it is that the bunker they’re attacking is stronger than any other Hydra base they’ve taken down. It’s a minor gripe that I was reluctant to even bring it up but I figure there could be someone out there with some insight.
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk
Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye
Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver
Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlett Witch
Paul Bettany as JARVIS/The Vision
Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill
AVENGERS: AOU is presented in a crisp 1080p AVC that blends the CGI with the live action perfectly. With a superhero movie, you really can’t get away from using the CGI for a lot of the effects. The textures on both the metallic body of Ultron and the close-ups of the Hulk look so clean with the technology improving over the years. The contrasting is spot on and never becomes too muddled. As far as coloring, they’re bright and bold when they need to be. Overall, the transfer looks excellent and a great addition to Marvel’s strong line of home releases.
As excellent as the video is on the release, I can’t exactly say the same for the audio. It’s a DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix that has real strength when the volume is way up. The front channels feel very soft and toned down considerably with what is happening on screen. Even the rear channels sound stronger than the front two and it just doesn’t seem right. The volume has to be turned up to the point of riding the line between strong and blowing out your speakers without actually doing it. I will say, once you find that sweet spot, the effects and dynamics sound amazing.
-From the Inside Out – Making of Avengers: Age of Ultron: This featurette has a few interviews and some on set footage.
-The Infinite Six: Explains some of the characters in the movie.
-Global Adventure: This clip goes over some of the filming locations around the world.
-Deleted and Extended Scenes: The scenes have an optional commentary by Joss Whedon.
-Audio Commentary with Director Joss Whedon
2 Blu-ray discs set including the 2D and 3D films on separate discs
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
French Canadian Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is an excellent addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, tying in the different realms and worlds that have either been discussed or simply only revealed. The story is compelling but there are some flaws. I think that somewhere, deep in the vaults of Marvel Studios is a longer, more complete version of the film which answers a lot of the questions fans may have walked away asking. The release itself has an excellent video transfer with a slightly less that par audio. To be fair, with some tweaking, it can sound incredible and brings the film to life. Also, there’s a nice line-up of extras but still no more Marvel One-Shots so I’m guessing they are finished with them. Overall, everyone in the family will like the film and so will your home theater.