I am not a Marvel guy, and yet I love the Marvel Studios movie series. I’m a kid at heart, with an intense interest in seeing superheroes on the big screen. Or any screen really, as long as it is well done (Daredevil, I’m looking at you). Tonight, I was able to see Avengers: Age of Ultron, the latest movie in the Marvel Universe.
This is a spoiler free review, by the way. It is safer that way, don’t you think?
I enjoyed the movie, and the more so as it kept going. The first act of Avengers: Age of Ultron is a mess. It is slow, prodding, and I swear, the CGI is late 90’s at best. It left me wondering if the mess on screen is not part of the feel of the movie or simply because Joss Whedon had to cut so much. Regardless, it fit the whole of Avengers: Age of Ultron because it picks up in the era of a SHIELD-less team, with much confusion about what the Avengers is supposed to be. We are quickly introduced to the two new Avengers (Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch). We are even quickly introduced to Ultron, voiced by James Spader.
In the trailer, we are introduced to a very frightening Ultron — but the scariest part about him was the voice (not the dialogue) of Ultron. There was some moments of creepy-factor, but the lines delivered did not live up to the trailer.
The storyline, however, is tired and worn out. We get it. If humans create AI for the purpose of protecting humans it will turn against because we are just that bad. Avengers: Age of Ultron does little to improve upon that story until the very end when there is a touch of philosophy in the mix. In the final scene between Ultron and a rather visionary hero, we get the dialogue about how great it is to be among the humans. Yes, we are doomed, but everything in the universe is, it seems. Nothing lasts. And that is the real theme of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Nothing lasts — enjoy it while you can, because everything ends.
Choppy at first, the storyline finally moves into something that is the right pace. The special effects aren’t, believe it or not, necessary to the overall plotline. I’m surprised, but it seemed to really focus on the characters. Yes, you will have your summer explosions and big bangs, but the movie actually revolves around the heroes.
And maybe they aren’t heroes. The movie does not take itself seriously. There are various lines — Thor has a good one — mocking those heroic speeches. But there is another one, by Hawkeye, that will really strike a chord. We are left to wonder how much longer this series can last given that even it seems to know just how ridiculous some of it is.
But, it is a movie about an alien worshiped by Vikings as a god, a green monster, and a man frozen in time (who, by the end of the movie, is a little less frozen). Maybe we need the ridiculous at times. And maybe we need to think that the evil is not in each of us, that we can overcome it — and that somewhere out there, there is a hero to fight that evil. Or maybe we don’t.
Either way, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a great sequel and well deserving of your money.