The Gist: After the Avengers successfully retrieve Loki's scepter from a Hydra cell, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner decide to figure out what powers the scepter before Thor returns it to Asgard for safekeeping. When they discover that the gem within the scepter possesses an advanced form of AI, they secretly try to inject it into Ultron, Stark's global defense program meant to protect Earth from alien invaders. When Ultron gains consciousness, however, it regards the Avengers as a threat to Earth's peace, and sets out to destroy them. His other plans are even more unappealing...
Following Marvel's excellent The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron delivers even more of an adrenaline shot, if that's even possible. It sure is cool to see so many superheros fight off the bad guys all together. And the sarcastic banter among the different members, whether in the heat of the battle or while having a drink together, is always welcome.
At this point I'm all caught up with the Avengers movies and all those of the different superheros in the assemblage, so I can say with confidence that Marvel Studios has most definitely figured out the perfect formula for bringing their valuable properties to life on the big screen, instead of relying on any of Hollywood's studios (and having to share in the profits).
Needless to say, the sound and visual effects are a feast for ears and eyes, the script is solid, and the acting excellent. Such a sprawling cast of actors, all playing the perfect hero for their persona. Now, that's quite the feat.
The Bottom Line: I used to look at the deluge of superhero movies coming out of Hollywood with trepidation. I used to hope that the comic book fad that had taken Tinseltown by storm, which the studios had enthusiastically embraced because of their immense return on investment, would soon die off and good riddance. But starting with Sam Raimi's reboot of Spider-Man and even more so with Christopher Nolan's reboot of Batman, a lot more thought goes into making these movies. The scripts make sense, first rate talent is hired both in front and behind the camera, and each new movie tries to raise the bar on a technical level. Avengers: Age of Ultron is just one more example of this trend, which can only be welcomed. A very good movie indeed.