Yes, it was a sequel. And yes, it was actually worth the time and money, and in my case backpain*.Of course I have came across examples of sequels being better than the originals (HTTYD2# being my favorite example)! This one was almost as decent as the first one, so I’ll try not to be too critical about it.
The starting sequence has Avengers fighting with mortals to gain ownership of Loki’s scepter from the malicious intents of Strucker, who primarily uses the scepter for human experimentation. Of course they win. But this victory would eventually lead them to something more stupendous a battle, they hardly realize. Thanks to Tony Stark, an artificial intelligence program that he initiates using the scepter to achieve global peace as a defense strategy turns into a rogue program. “Ultron”, as it is so called, ascends to intelligence levels beyond the imaginative capabilities of these humans, robo-suited humans and demi-gods. As it has access to all of Avengers data which it very conveniently destroys, it has an upper hand in the mission to achieve what was their common dream- global peace. Albeit, with a slight change: by destroying all Avengers. That’s not all. The super-robot has an even bigger dream: the extinction of humanity to usher in the dawn of a robotic world. Because of its master capabilities, it recruits everything that needed for his plan, including the evil twins created by Strucker’s experiments: the guy with the super human speed and the girl with magical and mental manipulation abilities. As his army grows stronger by the second, he almost seems invincible and the end of Avengers imminent. Not only his physical prowess is much enhanced by capturing Strucker’s ground base, he efficiently uses the mental manipulation prowess of the girl as a weapon to turn the team of Avengers against one another. The shattering of the team-core almost makes him embrace victory.
It is up to the Avengers now to simultaneously fight their inner battles and this invincible team of Ultron; this becomes more plausible once the evil twins join their forces after seeing through the villainous instincts of Ultron. How the avengers are united in action, minds and team and how they save the world from doomsday induced by Ultron is the what the rest of the movie is about. The movie is replete with action sequences from scene one, and also interspersed are some humor sequences. The fight between Iron man and Hulk is a thrilling watch, watching how with the help of his advanced gear ‘Veronica’ he tries to eventually restrain the big green guy. A funny sequence is where the team takes on this self-challenged act of lifting Thor’s hammer Mjolnir one-by-one and encounter successive failures (except for a minor success by Captain America). That and Thor’s indulgent victorious confident smile indeed induce moments of fun. And the one where the good-hearted Vision co-created by Thor and embedded with one of the six Infinity stones is able to lift Mjolnir with umpteen ease incites laughter in the crowd. Especially between the Indian crowds, where the Mjolnir was akin to the Shiva’s bow that no one, except Lord Ram could pick and string, the sequence was literally relatable! Of course it would also be so to the Greeks, thanks to Odysseus’ bow!
Like always, the Avengers successfully bury the differences between them, motivated by Nick-the Fury and march towards the Eastern European city of Slovakia along with the not-so evil twins and thwart Ultron’s nefarious plans of human extinction. In doing this, they learn the lessons of unity, humanity and reflect bravery like real super-heroes are supposed to. The movie ends with a promise of a strengthened Avengers team with new, interesting recruits, and with Thanos (supervillian in the Marvel world) vowing to hunt for all the Infinity stones personally. Very much looking forward to the next sequel, slated to release in 2018. Please take note, Mr. Joss Whedon!
Overall, the movie is very much watchable, and like Michael Philips of the Chicago Tribune put it – “The Avengers 2 meets the expectations without exceeding them”; I recommend this movie to all those who fell in love with these super-heroes team in the first Avengers movie. Don’t miss the 3D version; some sequences do call for those effects to exert their full brilliance! Post-watching, like the Avengers team members, you might end up with some old-forgotten lessons renewing you own morale!
Aditi’s rating: 3.5/5 stars
(*On account of my spinal disc herniation that aggravates on slightest of the instances,
#-How to train your dragon 2)