People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different. In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all. Read on!
Joss Whedon and the Avengers have re-assembled to take on a maniacal AI named Ultron. The film looks like a superhero lover’s wet dream.
Once the credits hit the screen I strolled out and happily marked Avengers: Age of Ultron as “very good” on the press comment card that had been handed to me. I mean, what other grade could I possibly give it? Joss Whedon’s latest dip into the Marvel Cinematic Universe had just wowed me with its plethora of superheroes and villains, snappy dialogue and immense action sequences, and I was feeling great about it. However, once I got home and had some time to let the film bounce around in my head, I liked it less and less. Yes, it certainly delivers the necessary flashiness to be 2015′s first revered blockbuster, but when you compare it to other MCU movies, I think it’s at best a B-.
I have a long list of things (mostly minor) that I didn’t quite care for in Age of Ultron, but for the sake of your time I’ll just break it down to three key items.
My first main issue is with Ultron, who isn’t quite the menacing, monologuing villain from the trailers and is instead Whedon in robot form making wisecracks and generally coming off as too goofy to ever make you think he’s a real threat for the Avengers. When we all know Thanos is coming, shouldn’t the current villain be scary enough to make us dread his arrival? I think so.
Secondly, the film is too big. When it comes to blockbusters and comic book flicks, I know that people want to see the screen explode with craziness, but Age of Ultron is a bit much. There are so many characters (for instance, my superhero count was at 11 by the end of the movie), subplots and items from previous films that need to be remembered that it’s almost at the point where Marvel’s future efforts may need to come with a guide.
Contrarily, the film isn’t big enough. Once I had some time to really digest Age of Ultron, I couldn’t help but notice how much of it either felt abbreviated or just didn’t make a lot of sense. Thor takes a weird trip to a cave, there’s not a lot to be known about Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, Baron Strucker is in it for about 30 seconds, and on and on. Why not put out a healthy three-hour adventure (as opposed to two hours and 22 minutes)? Audiences would have eaten it up just the same and a more well rounded film would have come out of it.
As I said, there are some other minor things, but those are the issues that really stuck out. Regardless of it all though, you should still most definitely see Avengers: Age of Ultron this weekend. Just be sure to manage your expectations.
Even a Marvel misstep can still make a billion dollars. They’re unstoppable.