The day has finally arrived. Avengers: Age of Ultron has landed on Cineworld screens, promising another Marvel-ous blend of quick-fire humour and explosive action, as our superhero group face off against villainous A.I. Ultron (voiced by James Spader).
So what have the critics been saying? Scroll down to read just a few of the responses to Joss Whedon's superpowered sequel.
Variety's Scott Foundas describes the movie as "a super-sized spandex soap opera that’s heavy on catastrophic action but surprisingly light on its feet, and rich in the human-scale emotion." He goes on to say that within the star-studded ensemble, three players stand out. "[Mark] Ruffalo and [Scarlett] Johansson have terrific chemistry together, and they become the tender core of a movie that also makes a surprising reveal about the personal life of Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton/Hawkeye," Foundas says.
In fact, Jeremy Renner's arrow-firing character Hawkeye has frequently been cited as one of the film's highlights, Whedon no doubt having taken on board the criticism that Hawkeye was neglected in 2012's Avengers Assemble. "Jeremy Renner registers strongly as master archer Hawkeye," writes Geoffrey MacNab in The Independent, "an all-American family man when he is not on superhero duty."
However, this is clearly a movie stuffed with just as much spectacle as character development, and reviewers are generally in agreement that the movie delivers plenty of Hulk-smashing awesomeness. "Exuberant, funny, silly and crazily exhilarating," raves the usually austere Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian, who adds that the movie "is a pure aspartame rush."
Writing in The Telegraph, Robbie Collin says the movie is pure Joss Whedon: a mixture of excitement, humour and witty self-awareness. "Since this is a film by Whedon, the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the mix of myth, pop and camp is business as usual," Collin writes, "and he also throws in a bit of Frankenstein and some apocalyptic, William Blake-inspired tableaux for good measure."
Finally, Helen O'Hara in Empire says that Whedon does comic book fans proud. "Whedon has settled into his role as director," she enthuses, "showing a sure hand with the near-flawless visual effects work and the enormous action set-pieces. He revels in his reputation as a dealer of death to blackly hilarious effect, but also packs the film with moments to make a comic lover's head spin."
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