Friday, May 1, 2015

Review- Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Avengers: Age Of Ultron (Marvel, 2015)

Less a cohesive story and more a series of scenes and battles dressed to the nines, Avengers: Age Of Ultron is a big, dumb, fun popcorn flick. I won't even bother going into what the film gets wrong when compared to the source material, as these films all take place in their own continuity. As much as I wish that it resembled the source material, that ship has sailed. Instead I will review this movie as a film. I just hate the fact that this is the source material to the public at large.

There are going to be SPOILERS from here on out. You have been warned.

Things start out with a bang, with The Avengers battling a Hydra cell. We are introduced to Baron Von Strucker, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. No, not the Quicksilver from X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Yes, I know that that Quicksilver is also based on Marvel Comics. This shouldn't confuse the civilian moviegoer at all. Oh who am I kidding??? The humans behind me couldn't even comprehend the whole "No talking during the film" blurb before the movie started, yacking incessantly throughout the movie. I swear to Godzilla that home video has destroyed the theatre-going experience, as people have grown so accustomed to flapping their jaws throughout films that they cannot comprehend how rude and low class it really is. They were also (in)considerate enough to bring their 4-5 year old child along, who also talked throughout the film. My kids are 5 and 8 and I wouldn't dream of bringing them to a PG-13 film like this, but then again perhaps I am too old-fashioned for this century.

That point was hammered home by this very film. I have real issues with superheroes swearing, as they are marketed to children (like mine). Superheroes didn't curse when I was growing up and I honestly don't see how superheroes swearing adds anything to the story, and that's what I am all about: the story. Iron Man swears in the beginning of the movie and when Captain America reminds him about language he is ridiculed repeatedly throughout the film for it. The inmates are running the asylum at Marvel, their arrested development spilling over to the screen from the poorly written printed page. (Yes, modern Marvel Comics are extremely poorly written by arrested development “cool kids”.) I toyed with the idea of taking my 8 year old son to this, as he is enamored with superheroes and I am so glad that I didn't, as there is a fair amount of swearing.

Tony Stark stepping outside of his armor when they were raiding the base had to be the dumbest thing that I have ever seen in a Marvel Studios film. From there we are given set up for the third and fourth Avengers films, Infinity War Parts 1 and 2. Lots of gobbledygook about gems and whatnot. They retrieve the staff with the Tesseract (in my day we called it The Cosmic Cube) in it and Iron Man manages to convince Thor to allow he and the Hulk to study it for a few days. This is where things go off of the rails as there is some kind of artificial intelligence is involved and Iron Man and the Hulk want to use it as part of their Ultron program, a sort of "armor for the Earth". Of course things go wrong and the Ultron's artificial intelligence defeats the J.A.R.V.I.S. program. Ultron escapes into the Internet, where he enlists the aid of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, who hate Tony Stark for his bombs leveling their childhood home and killing their parents.

The Scarlet Witch's powers seem a bit off. Quicksilver isn't hot headed enough. Ultron's voice is nowhere near as mechanical or menacing as I always heard it in my head when reading the comics. His personality also seems wrong to me. Hawkeye is still stiff and unlikable as well. I enjoyed the Vision quite a bit, though. The changes in his origin didn't phase me because, let's face it, Roy Thomas was flying by the seat of his pants when he introduced him in the 1960s and he didn't put a whole lot of thought into the character's origin. We see Kurt Busiek and George Perez's Ultron Unlimited arc from the turn of the century brought to life on the screen, which was an absolute thrill. The battles and special effects are all top notch if too fast and blurry for my taste.

There were lots of things to enjoy about this film. Seeing Klaw (as he will be known soon enough) and the references to Wakanda are setting the stage for the Black Panther movie. Of course The Avengers win. At the end we see the team go their separate ways, with Thor returning to Asgard, Iron Man...doing whatever, and the Hulk on the run with the cloaked Quinjet, leaving Captain America and the Black Widow to whip the new recruits into shape in their new base. The Vision, Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch, the Falcon, and War Machine round out the new team. I also suspect that the Vision let Ultron live. The after movie scene shows Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet.
Edit Quicksilver does not appear at the end. I forgot that he "died" in the movie.

The humans behind me soured me on the moviegoing experience once again, and I won't set foot in another theatre until Star Wars comes out in December. I really, really wish that there were day and date streams available of new releases. I would much rather watch a new movie on the day of release in the comfort of my home. Going to the movie theatre is such a hassle, as by the time that you slot in a time, drive there, stand in line for overpriced concessions, sit through endless bullshit commercials and trailers, and drive home you are out 3-3.5 hours of your day, which is just ridiculous. I might just end up being a Blu-Ray waiter sooner than later, as the dollar per dollar value for the lackluster experience is quite poor. The only thing that has prevents me from doing this is that I loathe spoilers. I might just have to get over that and wait for the Blu-Ray. I sat in the third row to be away from humans, and the idiots sat behind me and talked. I am certain that there were plenty of idiots texting during the film, the main reason that I choose to sit so close to the front nowadays. Humans are inconsiderate idiots, and the less time spent amongst them the better.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5. 

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