GalacticaBBS: Avengers: Age Of Ultron is predictable fanboy carnage redeemed by its fun cast and clever direction... - GalacticaBBS

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Avengers: Age Of Ultron is predictable fanboy carnage redeemed by its fun cast and clever direction...

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Finally saw "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" today; in 3D IMAX, no less.

BIG HULK-SIZED SPOILERS ALL OVER THE PLACE!!!

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Overall, I enjoyed it. It's pretty much as advertised, really. And even though I'd purposely avoided spoilers, it really wasn't necessary; the plot really didn't shock or surprise me. It's first rate popcorn entertainment, and that's not really a bad thing in any way, nor is it meant to sound like an insult. I guess rather than trying to quantify the entire movie, it's easier to just break down what I liked and didn't like about it (as I usually do):

What I liked about Age of Ultron:

* The cast.
All in peak form here. Their experience of working together as an ensemble is really bearing fruit now, as they feel like a well-oiled machine in this film. Special kudos to newcomers Aaron Taylor Johnson (Kick-Ass) and Elizabeth Olsen (aka, the one who can act; LOL). Ironic their playing siblings in this outing, as they were husband and wife in last year's "Godzilla"... kind of a weird, Luke/Leia vibe. Olsen was particularly strong, too. A pleasant surprise. James Spader ("Ultron") chews scenery (even with only his voice!), and seems to have had a wonderful time doing so.... the feeling was contagious.

* The Hulk-Banner/Black Widow-Romanov pairing.
Somewhat unexpected, but then again, as a friend pointed out to me; she'd already flirted or partly-romanced most of the other Avenger guys (Tony, Cap, Hawkeye, etc)... Hulk's turn was coming soon. :naughty3dg: Seemed a bit jarring and random at first (like finding out your best friend has the hots for you) but the pairing of Johansson and Ruffalo was irresistible.

* Hawkeye's family.
Possibly the only real surprise in the entire movie, frankly. I like that one of these invincible super-guys is just a regular dad, too. Humanized the entire team and made the previously underused Hawkeye (the talented Jeremy Renner) a welcome audience surrogate, too.

* Finally seeing (some of) Paul Bettany's face.
He'd been the voice of Jarvis since IM in 2008, and he finally gets to be (sort of) seen as "Vision"; the latest member of the team.

* Joss Whedon's confident, flippant style.
Despite the extra helpings of dull 'armageddon-porn' near the end of the movie (I expected that anyway), the moments where the characters trade zingers and one-liners is where the movie REALLY came alive for me. And Joss Whedon (once again) proves he is truly the master of the large, action-movie ensembles.

* Quicksilver's death.
Even though I much preferred the Quicksilver as seen in last year's "X-Men: Days of Future Past", I thought this version was okay as well. And his death further humanized the superheroes. These are super-powered beings, yes, but they're still very much mortal. A nice reminder...

* The very conscious effort by the team to rescue civilians in the climax.
What a welcome relief after Superman's wanton destruction of both lives and property in "Man Of Steel."

* Tony's Hulkbuster suit.
Loved to see a rampaging, out-of-control Hulk; and Tony's ingenious method of tackling him was a lot of fun. I would love to see an equivalent of this in "Batman V. Superman"....

* Bigger international scope.
Made the Avengers feel more global; seeing locales in Norway, China and eastern Europe is not only a clever way of upping international box office ("I see what you did there...") but it's also good for the story. It breaks the "USA-only" bubble.


What I didn't care for in Age Of Ultron:

* The endless armageddon porn.
I know one comes to these movies expecting this sort of thing, and I buy that, but after 20 odd minutes of seeing an eastern European city torn to s#!t, it inevitably loses impact.

* Swarms of giant robots zipping all over like video game targets.
The armies of flying robots in the climax reminded me all too much of the ending of the last movie with cybernetic alien things zipping all over Manhattan. The climax felt a bit like a repeat of the last movie's. Maybe that's unavoidable in these kinds of movies, but I doubt it. I dunno...

* A question of leadership.
Captain America doesn't really have much of a grip on his team. And Tony Stark still feels like the unofficial leader of the pack. Maybe it's because Robert Downey Jr. oozes charisma (even when he's being an ass) the way others would exude sweat during a marathon. Chris Evans is a fine actor, but in a charisma 'dance-off'? It's still RDJ for the win. It just feels a bit funny when Cap tries to rally the team; he's a bit like a 22 year old executive suddenly put in charge of the big office...


That's about it, for now.
Not the greatest superhero movie ever made but certainly (VERY) far from the worst. It sits comfortably in line with the previous movie, though I think I enjoyed that one just a smidgen better (personal taste; no real quantifiable reason... not yet, anyway; I just saw it this morning). Another feather in Marvel's cap.

A solid 8, if I had to give it a numeric rating.

PS: On a side note? Saw the latest trailer for "Fantastic 4"; this could very well be Marvel's first big bomb (and I don't mean the explosive kind, either; I mean the turd on your doorstep kind...). And we also saw the Star Wars Force Awakens trailer in 3D (!!). That was just... amazing. My friend still teared up when Han Solo came onscreen. And the 3D looked so perfect, I felt like I was riding "Star Tours" again...

2 Comments On This Entry

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Electricbolt Icon

04 May 2015 - 06:34 AM
I recently watched a catchup of sorts for the entire MCU (was a 13 min video on Nerdist or Comic Book Resources) and it pointed out something that I apparently haven't paid attention to. Every film has dealt with war in some form and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger with each movie.
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p0is0n0us Icon

27 October 2015 - 12:20 PM
I watched the movie about 3 weeks ago and agree with what you said. It's a great popcorn movie but you'll forget about it within a few days. James Spader just sounded like he was having a ball all the way though the movie.
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