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AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (12A) IN THE breathless action sequence which opens the film, the Avengers storm a Hydra stronghold in the central European city of Sokovia under the control of Baron von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) in order to reclaim Loki's magical staff, the Chitauri Scepter.

During the melee, emotionally scarred siblings Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who have been subjected to secret Hydra experiments, are unleashed.

Wanda infects the mind of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), using her

dark sorcery to convince the billionaire that he will bring about the deaths of the entire team.

Robert as Tony Stark Avengers: Age Tormented by his nightmarish vision, Stark secretly plans to harness the power of the Chitauri Scepter to awaken a dormant artificial intelligence program to protect mankind.

"I don't want to hear that 'man wasn't meant to meddle' medley," Stark tells scientist Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) as justification for his covert operation.

Instead, Stark unwittingly unleashes the villainous Ultron (voiced by James Spader).

Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), clashes with Stark, aka Iron Man, for control of the Avengers - comprising Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Natasha Romanov, aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Banner, aka The Incredible Hulk, and Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).

Rivalries intensify and fragile bonds of trust fray as mankind's survival hangs in the balance.

Thankfully, the Avengers have a new, yet familiar, ally: an android called Vision (Paul Bettany).

MONSTERS: DARK CONTINENT (15) IN 2010, Warwickshire-born writer-director Gareth Edwards made the low budget sci-fi thriller Monsters to effusive critical acclaim.

Johnny in Monsters: Dark Last year, he helmed the remake of Godzilla and he's now in production on the spin-off Star Wars: Rogue One starring Felicity Jones.

This sequel to Monsters, directed by Tom Green, is set 10 years later and unfolds in an unnamed Middle Eastern country where a group of US soldiers contend with the hulking extra-terrestrial creatures as well as human insurgents.

Michael Parkes (Sam Keeley) and his Detroit buddies Frankie Maguire (Joe Dempsie) and Shaun Williams (Parker Sawyers) enjoy an alcoholfuelled weekend together before they ship out under battle-hardened Sergeant Frater (Johnny Harris) and Sergeant Forrest (Nicholas Pinnock).

In the desert, part of an infected zone full of lumbering alien creatures, the raw recruits and the two sergeants mastermind the extraction of four stricken American soldiers.

Downey Jr in Of Ultron The plan goes awry and Michael, Frankie and Shaun face threats big and small as they aim to survive their chaotic first tour of duty.

SAMBA (15) OMAR SY, the charismatic star of the 2012 French smash hit The Untouchables, reunites with directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano for this provocative drama, which addresses the thorny subject of immigration.

Samba (Sy) was born in Senegal but he moved to France in search of a better life and now works as a dish washer in a hotel.

As a result of a bureaucratic error, Samba is wrongly detained and told he must leave France or suffer dire consequences.

Unwilling to pay the price for someone else's error, Samba joins forces with a tenacious immigration officer called Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg) to fight for the right to stay in his new homeland.

COMING NEXT WEEK...Harris A veteran spy (Peter Firth) and his protege (Kit Harington) join forces to avert a terrorist attack in SPOOKS: THE GREATER GOOD... Samuel L Jackson plays a stricken President of the United States in the Finnish action thriller BIG GAME... a young woman (Blake Likely) who can never grow old, is destined to fall in love but lose the people closest to her in the sweeping romance THE AGE OF ADALINE... and Chris Rock directs, writes and stars in the biting showbusiness satire TOP FIVE.

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Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark in AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

Johnny Harris in MONSTERS: DARK CONTINENT
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 1, 2015
Words:642
Previous Article:BANK HOLIDAY SPECIAL; CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE NORTH WALES.
Next Article:Drama's far from a crowd pleaser; film review.

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