Despite being one of 2015’s highest-grossing films as well as the crucial mid-point to the Infinity Saga, Avengers: Age of Ultron is an unfairly maligned entry to the Avengers series. But as Joss Wheddon’s final send-off to the MCU, it is perhaps his most ambitious and exhaustive feature yet, expanding both the scope of its predecessor and showcasing once again his deft ability for well-balanced comic-book spectacle and action with scintillating, kinetic writing and earnest amounts of character development.
However, there is far more beneath the surface as Wheddon combines these elements with an unexpected layer of moral introspection, numerous theological allusions and commentary and a fascinating use of Taoist philosophy; examinating major themes of humanity, creation and dualism. The stakes presented by the sinister and chaotically playful Ultron (unnervingly voiced by James Spader) feel real, holding genuine consequences going forward in the MCU, and common criticisms of the film being ‘overstuffed’ seem shallow considering how everyone gets equal time to shine and grow, as well as for the small time given to (albeit awkwardly done) future film set-ups.
Altogether it is one of Marvel’s most underappreciated efforts thus far, working as an incredibly engaging and fulfilling blockbuster with its own personal artistic endeavours, and certainly deserving of greater respect and a closer look.
Watch the trailer below: