The only time Joss Whedon would ever feel he could have done a better job with the Avengers Franchise, is when (and if) Nolan brings out Justice League and carries through the subtle humanisation of super-humans, aliens and gods which he has tried to achieve, in vain, in the Age of Ultron.
In fact, the most well developed characterisation is that of Ultron, who in spite of his indestructible strength, knowledge and power, pines for company, and in spite of the lack of strings on him has a vendetta against his creator. It is extremely fun to see ultron rebel against the very mention of likeness to his father and in the very next scene see him make a quip, Tony Stark style.
As for the avengers, Whedon attempts to bring an element of human emotion into all of them, the most obvious being Hawk-Eye, the Black Widow and the Hulk. The revelation of Hawk-eye’s personal life is quite the stunner and while adding another layer to the character hardly helps with the story or endears us to him, mainly because there is hardly anything known about hawk-eye in the cinematic universe for this to make us sit up and take notice. A similar drawback occurs with the Black Widow with too little known about her past for the audience to attach ourselves to her. The Hulk however, is just plain confusing. Bruce Banner, as always, is mighty scared of going into one of those rampages and destroying the earth. Yet, we see in fight after fight, that he has complete control over the Hulk, going so far that he even gives the Black Widow a little piggy back ride.
New entries to the avengers team, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, are more endearing with back stories and all the confusions and opinion changes that come with being a enhanced human.
One dissappointing characterisation, however, is that of the vision – who somehow realises who he is by looking into a mirror? However, the movie ends with an ambiguous face-off between the vision and his creator that could lead to a more elaborate series in the future.
There are some endearing moments in the movie where the Avengers bond over Thor’s hammer and then later again over Thor’s hammer. However, the basic thread of the film mirrors the first Avengers movie – with the team basically trying to gel together while the villain tries to break them up, invariably using mind control. Talk about Deja vu.
However, the movie has more than enough on offer for Fan boys and Girls with endless stunts, display of powers and punchline. There are several scenes establishing a sense of camraderie between the avengers, mostly in-between battles, and while planning for the next battle. Talking about battles, the movie begins with one, goes through one after the other, and ends with one. Hardly one set is introduced without super-humans and robots battling each other in it and tearing it apart. It would be difficult to write about the battles and the powers without dropping a dozen spoilers but rest assured they will make you whistle and hoot.
Thor and the Captain seem to have struck up a nice rapport on the battlefield which makes for good viewing. And for those who are not Marvel fans, the movie still has enough of Iron Man and Tony Stark witticism to keep you coming back.
As with most Marvel Comic Series’, several threads have been left untied to be taken up in a future movie. The missing hulk, the appearance of Kang, the ambiguous ending of Ultron himself with the Vision, the fate of the Infinity stones (Links with the Guardians of the galaxy on this one) all point towards several action-packed features in the future.
My verdict – I’ll definitely watch it a couple more times.