When ‘The Avengers’ came out in 2012, it opened the doors for a full-scale comic-book-to-screen interpretation. It showed us that comic-book movies can be done good, even when they are full with humour and wit. It doesn’t need to be grimdark all the time.
The sequel continues in the same tone of its predecessor, and improves upon it in considerable places. It is bolder, and not afraid to ventured into uncharted territory.
The story opens after the events of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’; The Avengers have assembled to capture Loki’s Sceptre which is currently in the possession of Baron Von Strucker. It is a fitting opening, which quickly shows us our heroes, being awesome in the face of difficulties and handling it with all the snark that befits them. But while doing this, Tony Stark experiences a vision – manipulated into seeing terrible things by the Scarlet Witch – in which he sees all the Avengers dead, and realizes that he is the cause of their suffering.
After this, Stark discusses creating an Artificial Intelligence with Bruce Banner, which will protect the Earth from what is out there. He finds out that the gem inside the Sceptre is the key to creating that.
But things go out of hand. Stark’s AI goes rogue; it evolves into Ultron – a narcissistic psychopath of a robot with a terrible God-complex. And then, all hell breaks loose.
It’s in the second act that the film excels. Very carefully and skillfully, it shows us the pasts and the human side of our superheroes. In doing so, it shows us where they are at fault, what are their weaknesses and ultimately what motivates them into becoming the heroes they are. In a portion of the film, Ultron is compared to Tony Stark himself – Both are monsters in their own way. This doesn’t feel overly dramatic. The desperation of Stark shows; both in Downey Junior’s expression and the cleverly scripted dialogue.