The Avengers: The Age of Ultron Review
Everyone is searching for a saviour...
Marvel’s The Avengers assembled for the first time on the big screen back in 2012 and they return in full force in The Age of Ultron (AoA), directed by Joss Whedon.
With the tricky task of getting the team together already accomplished in the first film, AoA jumps right into the action and proceeds at a blistering rate, cramming in as much brilliantly shot super-action as possible.
If the first film was Avengers: Assemble, then this one could be thought of as Avengers: Disassemble as our heroes are put up against an enemy who could break them apart. More than just an epic superhero adventure, the film points to our need to be saved and reminds us of the fact we need a saviour without flaws, unlike The Avengers.
What is 'Age of Ultron' all about?
Age of Ultron picks up some time after the events of Captain America: Winter Soldier and sees the Captain, Iron man, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Bruce Banner/The Hulk fighting against the evil organisation Hydra.
Wanting an end to all of the fighting, Iron Man alter ego Tony Stark sets out to create an artificial intelligence capable of protecting the earth from any and all threats. What he accidently creates instead is Ultron (voiced brilliantly by James Spader), a highly intelligent and highly evil consciousness taking the form of a nine-foot robot. Ultron then makes it his goal to “save the world” by exterminating the Avengers and the rest of humanity.
Please note... AoA carries an M rating and does have a fair bit of non-bloody action violence as well as some occasional bad language (much to the disappointment of Captain America).
“...we need something more powerful than any of us”
Superhero films are the bankable choice for big movie studios at the moment and we can expect to see at least 30 or so superhero films coming to our screens from now until 2020.
That is definitely overkill, so we should appreciate what these kinds of films can tell us whilst they’re still exciting to watch. They all point to the fact that we as humans are in great danger and desperately want and need to be saved.
The Avengers represent that desire. They’re all humans for the most part, Thor is technically an alien not a god, but just more powerful than us. They are what we wish we could be, powerful enough to save ourselves and to bring a lasting peace to the world. The problem though is that like us they’re all flawed:
Stark knows that The Avengers can’t hope to bring about lasting peace and so creates Ultron, only for things to go incredibly wrong. The story of the creation turning against its creator, sound familiar?
Ultron, like his creator, has an idea about achieving peace but that involves an extermination of the problem, us, and likes to quote the Bible while he is at it.
Director Joss Whedon is known to display his idea of who God is in many of his films, and in this one he uses Ultron’s character to critique a creator who he believes to be a bully and unloving.
Nothing like the real God
Ultron is as far from God as can be though. Where he sees the complete destruction of the world as the key to peace, God saw another way to save us and bring peace. In Jesus we have the saviour that we truly need, one who isn’t flawed and one who is more powerful than all of the Avengers combined.
Superheroes, like the priests in ancient Israel, can’t truly save the people of Earth, as the salvation they bring is temporary.
Now, there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:23-25
Danger is always coming. Jesus acts as the ultimate hero, eternal and powerful. So whilst our screens are filled with heroes doing all kinds of amazing things, Jesus has done the most amazing thing in dying for us and defeating sin and death.
Avengers: Age of Ultron had a lot to follow on from its 2012 predecessor and sadly it doesn’t quite equal the first film. It has all of the flash you can expect with a high budget hero film and Whedon delivers some amazingly-shot set pieces and a good blend of action, drama and great comedic timing ... but it doesn’t outweigh its prequel.
For the mature viewer, it’s enjoyable regardless and serves as a great reminder about our sure hope of ultimate salvation. 4 out of 5.