As much as getting the Avengers together to showcase really big fun fight scenes is, and it is, what really works is the time spent between those explosions. And much like GotG v.2, the fault lines in their friendships are exposed, and then widened by the Scarlet Witch.
While you don’t have Loki kicking around giving sly smiles, you instead get James Spader hamming it up as Ultron, the evil robot created by Tony and Bruce as they tapped into Loki’s scepter. I really enjoyed him and Paul Bettany going back and forth.
But while Ultron was the bad guy in the movie, the conflict really stems from Tony Stark’s willingness to push buttons and just act without checking in with the rest of the team, while Steve has a moral streak a mile wide, and as the team leader expects to be checked in with before anyone does anything crazy… like let a homicidal AI loose on the world. Or abduct the homicidal AI’s next generation creation, and upload your personal AI assistant into it… Little things like that.
Fun twists and turns!
Natasha (aka Black Widow) has her turn with Bruce in this movie. It’s interesting how she, the consummate spy, morphs the most depending on who she’s with in any given movie, and while Banner might not trust himself with her, I’m not sure that of the two he’s trusting the right person. And I have to admit, I kind of hate that fact. It’s right for the character, but…
Hawkeye, though, he gets to pull the biggest shocker. He’s married… with kids! And brings the team to his farmhouse after they fumble in dealing with Ultron. Seeing the team deal with this surprise was a whole lot of fun. Thor pushing the broken Legos under the chair, Cap chopping wood (cause he needs to be useful), Tony fixing the tractor, and then Fury showing up to rally the troops.
And while Fury is the dad/coach figure of the movie, Hawkeye gets to be the older brother for the new members of the team… and point out the insanity of it all "The city is flying ... we're fighting an army of robots ... and I have a bow and arrow," he says. "None of this makes sense."
And for the end credit scene? Thanos, who we’ll be seeing more of soon…
Next Up: Ant-Man