Avengers: Age of Ultron

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(2015) ★★

Sky Movies Premiere: PREMIERE Saturday 26 December, 2.00pm and 8.00pm

Centre stage in a maelstrom of Marvel ‘superheroes’, Robert Downey Jr’s all-business boffin Tony Stark tries to kickstart his dormant global peacekeeping programme. It’s called Ultron and it goes tits up, big time. But let’s begin at the beginning, which is actually mid-way through a battle in a wintry Sokovian forest. The assembled Avengers – Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and, sad to see, Jeremy Renner ducking behind trees with his bow and arrow – are after baron Strucker’s bejewelled alien sceptre. But Hydra’s No.1 thug has genetically enhanced twins Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen on his side.

In Godzilla, they were married. He’s fast, she’s weird, expert at manipulating minds. That’s when the plot is lost, going a bit Jupiter Ascending there for a moment. Everything, in any case, looks pretty fake (even before our heroes go slow-mo in mid-air). The only one who acts remotely like a human is Under the Skin’s scary alien Scarlett Johansson. As for Stark’s infected Ultron programme, its promise of ‘peace in our time’ and ‘we are here to help’ proclamations are as warped as the little green men in Mars Attacks! The only path to peace – the Avengers’ extinction. Let’s do that mind warp again.

The fight scene smackdowns are as tiresome as Stark’s attempts at levity. Taste and tact, too, with scenes in South Africa evoking the aftermath of 9/11. Joss Whedon’s global gadabout is stuffed with video game-goofy action scenes that aren’t so much jaw-dropping as physically unfeasible. Not so much good vibranium as digital-pokery moving from sentry mode to stealth mode to sleep mode. All new Avengers. Fully mechanised. Good to go. And too much of a thing that’s not that good. This won’t get the neurons firing. It isn’t artificial intelligence. It’s authentic comic book gobbledy-gook. Like the first assembly, there’s a little teaser postscript. The franchise awakens. To Infinity War and beyond.

Certificate: 12
Duration: 141min

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Other Showings Date & Time
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 27 December at 12:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 27 December at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Monday, 28 December at 12:05PM
Sky Movies Premiere Monday, 28 December at 10:35PM
Sky Movies Premiere Tuesday, 29 December at 7:50AM
Sky Movies Premiere Tuesday, 29 December at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Wednesday, 30 December at 12:20PM
Sky Movies Premiere Wednesday, 30 December at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Thursday, 31 December at 3:50PM
Sky Movies Premiere Thursday, 31 December at 9:45PM
Sky Movies Premiere Friday, 1 January at 6:00AM
Sky Movies Premiere Friday, 1 January at 10:15PM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 3 January at 7:50AM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 3 January at 1:45PM
Sky Movies Greats Monday, 4 January at 6:30AM
Sky Movies Greats Monday, 4 January at 9:00PM
Sky Movies Greats Thursday, 7 January at 7:45AM
Sky Movies Greats Thursday, 7 January at 5:35PM
Sky Movies Greats Sunday, 10 January at 11:15AM
Sky Movies Greats Sunday, 10 January at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Greats Wednesday, 13 January at 1:20PM
Sky Movies Greats Wednesday, 13 January at 10:45PM