What's it about?
Having once again got their mits on Loki's 'pokey stick' from Avengers Assemble, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner accidentally stuff themselves when they create the titular artificial intelligence, which promptly crafts itself a body, a father complex, and a plan to wipe out mankind. Perhaps Tony should have just sat on his arse and put his feet up for a change instead? Naturally the team have to fix another fine mess, while smashing the place up in grand fashion and throwing around a few quips.
Who would I recognise in it?
Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Linda Cardellini, Stellan Skarsgard.
Not quite as strong as Avengers Assemble, which had a clearer and more defined plot, or Captain America: The Winter Soldier (the preceding entry in the Marvel movies), but thoroughly enjoyable all-the-same. Bursting at the seams with superhero wow-factor and movie star wattage, the light and dark elements of the story are well balanced, and there's so much spectacle to behold that one viewing isn't enough to take it all in...
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Packed with fan-boosting moments like the Hulk having a punch-up with Tony Stark's 'Hulk Buster', trotting all over the globe, and managing to find a way to reference as many of the other characters and goings-on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's no wonder Writer/Director Joss Whedon is looking to take a well-earned break from the MCU.
Main villain Ultron (Spader) brings a menacing theatricality to proceedings, Renner's Hawkeye gets some much-needed character development, but it's telling that even major players in other films can get relegated to relatively minor roles here. The cast is huge, but even missing characters get a sly wink in the dialogue. Indeed, the film's self-awareness addresses some of the stranger elements at play, while also providing enough intimacy to counter-balance the generally gargantuan nature of this ever-expanding cinematic venture. Good.