Avengers: Age of Ultron
Time/place: 9:15am showing at Aliso Viejo 20
Oh boy 🙂 .
When I saw The Avengers for its midnight premiere three years ago, I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed it; it was a much better movie than I went in expecting. Since then, even though I haven’t loved every movie, I’ve certainly fallen more into the Marvel world, with their great expansion of the universe into various genres and mediums (I’m looking at you in particular, Daredevil). The Avengers remained the best of the lot, though, so when the first trailer for this sequel came out, I was very pleased with what was being teased – and darn excited.
I was just as pleased with the final product, as well.
Admittedly, Avengers: Age of Ultron isn’t as dark and heavy as I thought it might be based on the aforementioned trailer, but it was still a great movie. We don’t have to bother with putting the team together this time, as in the origin story, so the movie is able to jump right into things. And it jumps hard. And leaps. And flies. And punches everything. This movie is the action-packed New York finale of the first picture spread out over the course of an entire 2+ hours. I didn’t grow up with these characters, but by golly I’ve come to love them, and I giggled a number of times to see things like Cap bouncing his shield off of 7 guys or Hulk biting a robot’s head off. This was pure, highly-entertaining superhero action, and I enjoyed the heck out of it all. Of course, it wasn’t mindless action, either, and the calm moments were filled with great character and genuine heart. Even the villain of our tale is rich in layers and complexity. It all MEANT something, even the action, and that’s what made it fun to watch. We delve deeper into a character that I wasn’t necessarily expecting to see so enriched, and the big green fella that I love so dearly, in part because I feel a simpatico bond to the concept of his plight, of course carries on as the more obviously tragic character. What Joss Whedon did with this story, though (and it’s even a point of conversation within the movie), is address these superheroes as lost monsters out-of-place in their own world. It was really all quite wonderful, amidst the great one-liners and hilarious robot-head-biting 😉 .
I could point out a couple of minor quibbles, but they aren’t much. Firstly, there is too much English spoken in the movie, considering some of the locations. I can imagine Marvel not wanting to take a risk with subtitles in its huge cash-cow, but unless I missed some sort of rationale for the extensive English-speaking in areas I don’t imagine English to be the native language, it would have been nice to see the requirement of subtitles in at least a couple of minor moments… simply to establish it. I have read complaints about Ultron, as I briefly scoured the Internet just now, and I can’t speak to the sincerity of the comic-to-screen translation, but within the scope of this movie he makes perfect sense to me. Ultron is a fantastic character, flawed and interesting, and that generally makes for a much better villain than a mustache-twirling bundle of pure evil. Heck, even The Joker reveals something about what’s ticking deep within during his very final moments in The Dark Knight. Honestly, probably the most disappointing part of this movie was the fact that there is no after-credits scene. I always stay through movie credits, taking in the movie and letting the music settle into my bones, but having these night-cap moments are something that Marvel has conditioned people to expect, and it’s kind of peculiar that they would skip out on doing so for their headliner picture. There is a brief mid-credit moment, but that’s it. Of course, if my biggest complaint is that there’s no after-credit bonus scene, I think I lucked out.
Avengers: Age of Ultron wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be, but it was certainly what I hoped it would be — fun, touching, and another great romp through this universe with a cast of characters I’ve really come to love. See it, and have yourself a fantastic time!