The Avengers pick up where Captain America: The Winter Soldier left off. If you do not know the Winter Soldier story, shame on you. Basically, the events which occur in that film have a ripple effect which spills out onto the Marvel Cinematic Universe and directly into this film. Just like how the events which occur in the first Avengers film have a ripple effect which spills out onto Ironman 3.
Ironman (Robert Downey. Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johanson), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) & Hulk (Mark Ruffulo) are looking for Loki's Scepter which are in the hands of Hydra leader Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (this was seen in the end credits of Captain America: The Winter Soldier). He has been using it to conduct experiments to create some form of enhanced beings/super soldiers and used them on the Maximoff twins, Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quick Silver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Once they get a hold of the scepter and obviously being exhausted from all the globetrotting, Tony Stark jump-starts and creates a peace keeping programme named Ultron (James Spader) to help assist with the work they are doing all over the world so that the Avengers are not stretched so thinly. However, Ultron learns how humans treat each other and decides that humans are a danger to themselves, so he conjures up a plan to amend this problem. With both the Avengers and Ultron seeing each other as the threat to humanity, they battle it out. The End.
This is the general semi-detailed synopsis of the film in which you can pick up from watching the trailers and having watched The Winter Soldier, Avengers & Ironman 3, you should have a rough idea of where everyone's mind is at and where each character is at this point in their lives. However, there is a lot more going on in this film. Not only do we have guest appearances from War Machine (Don Cheadle), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) & Heimdall (Idris Elba), this film seems to have edited out a lot of scenes/plots, but managed to sow enough seeds for future Marvel films. There were many rumours flying around about other characters in this film in which I either missed or ultimately, they were edited out. I mean, where was Captain Marvel?
If you do not know the slate of films to be released by Marvel for the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as it stands, Ant-Man (Finishes Phase 2), Captain America: Civil War (Starts Phase 3), Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spider-Man (Untitled Spider-Man Reboot [Yes Reboot]), Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Avengers Infinity War Part 2 & Inhumans (Finishes Phase 3). As it stands, this is the line up.
This film, Age of Ultron manages to somehow promote, hint or grant us viewers, Easter Eggs for almost every single film in their Phase 3 Slate. Although these were woven into the storyline quite neatly, I felt that by the end of the film, the film ended with an Anticlimax. Well, at least for me and a few of my friends. I just felt like something was missing and I needed more. A lot of details were left out which were either glossed over or never explained at all (will probably be explained in a movie tie-in comic [But I don't read comics] in which you would need to read to have a few questions answered) and I also felt that some elements of the film were rushed. I thought Ironman was not going to be Ironman after Ironman 3!? However, with that said, the pacing of the film was soo relentless, the 141 minutes (2hrs and 21mins) did not feel like it at all. To be fair, if they just made it a 3hr movie, I don't think anyone would have cared. I surely wouldn't have.
But the biggest question of them all is, 'Is this film better than the first one?' As I stated once in my review for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, it is human nature to compare. We do it all the time. Sometimes we do not even realise we do it. And people will compare a Marvel film with a Marvel film whether or not it is in the same universe or not or they will compare comic book movie to comic book movie. I gurantee you, people will compare Ant-Man to Age of Ultron and Fantastic 4 to Ant-Man and Age of Ultron. To answer this question, I will say this. Had you watched this film first, there is an absolute guarantee that this film is the BEST marvel movie you have ever seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (dependant on how you feel about The Winter Soldier). Had you watched the first Avengers film afterwards, you'd feel like, "Meh, it was really good, but I've kinda seen it all before!". Now, I'm not sure if this is the feeling of fatigue from the onslaught of comic book movies, almost 3 a year, but I did not leave the cinema thinking, "DAMN, THAT FILM WAS EXCELLENT, I NEED TO SEE IT AGAIN!!!". But with Captain America: the Winter Soldier, I did. This could well be down to expectations, I had already set from before the film started, but we will see what people think once they have seen it and if this film will top the Box Office numbers the first Avengers made. $1.518 BILLION!!! I mean, everything about the movie is great. I was only being nit-picky earlier. If anything, this movie is most definitely on parr with the first film. The fight scenes and teamwork were phenomenal. But what would we have expected from Joss? I mean, in Whedon We Trust, Right? RIGHT!!
Go watch it!
P.S. There is nothing after the credits finish rolling!