Chances are, if you're reading this, you've probably already made up your mind about whether you're going to see Joss Whedon's follow-up to one of the most successful superhero movies of all time or not. Still, you're probably curious about whether it lives up to the original or not. I'm pleased to say, it not only lives up to it, it surpasses it.
The film starts with the Avengers in mid-action against Hydra. Their aim is to retrieve Loki's staff from the first film. It's here that we're introduced to the returning cast as well as some of the new characters such as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Shortly after, our main plot is introduced, Tony Stark also retrieves an artificial intelligence program, which he calls Ultron, as a "suit of armor for the world." He wants to create a program that is so advanced, that the world no longer needs the titular heroes. However, it all goes horribly wrong when Ultron becomes self aware and gains control of Jarvis.
What really works in this film is the cast. More so than the first film, the cast members really shine together. Much of the banter that I felt was very "Whedon-esque" in the first film, feels a lot more natural here. Every cast member gets their moment to shine and even gets a subplot and it all feels pretty well-balanced. If there's anyone who steals the show in this one, it's Scarlet Witch and the Vision, played by Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany respectively, who succeed at the impossible task of standing up next to the Avengers.
If I had any criticism, it would be that some things felt a little under-explained. There's a subplot with Thor that I didn't fully comprehend, that perhaps could become clearer with repeat viewings. However, in a film this jam-packed with characters and events, most of us are bound to seeing it a second or at least third time.
Again, you've probably already made up your mind about whether or not you're going to see Avengers: Age of Ultron, but if for some reason you're on the fence about it, I fully recommend seeing it at full price.