Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Age of Ultron: Avenging Again

Back in 2012, The Avengers was the best superhero movie I had ever seen and solidified my love for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Therefore, like the rest of the world, I couldn't wait to see the sequel, Age of Ultron. Written and directed by my beloved Joss Whedon, it's a good movie, but didn't meet my unduly high expectations.

In this installment, the Avengers are a well-oiled machine, putting up a united front to defeat the evil villains that keep threatening to take over the world. However, Tony Stark (i.e. Iron Man) is terribly perturbed by the extraterrestrial invasions of the past and is obsessed with the idea of creating something that could protect the entire planet from otherworldly villains. His idea becomes Ultron, a cybernetic organism that is brilliant but ultimately a big mistake. Ultron decides that the human race needs to be culled in order to save the planet and embarks on a program of mass destruction. The Avengers now have to band together to fight Ultron, but they also have to deal with psychological divisions within their group that threaten to pull them apart and make them lose all the trust they had in each other.

I won't go into any further detail about the plot, mostly because it involved a slew of technical complexities that went way over my head. Instead I just settled back in my seat and enjoyed the incredible action sequences. The big sequel budget was clearly deployed to create much more elaborate and spectacular action set pieces and this movie really does feel like a comic book come vividly to life. Unfortunately, the focus on action was not accompanied by as much focus on dialogue and witty banter, which was the reason I loved the first Avengers movie with such a passion. There are some interesting developments with the characters in this movie - Black Widow and the Hulk have a romantic subplot, while Hawkeye definitely has a lot more going on this time around - but otherwise, everyone's just fighting each other all the time and the Whedon witticisms are sorely lacking.

The one refreshing thing about this movie is its attempt to ensure the action is purposeful and responsible. There isn't wanton death and destruction at every turn - the characters are obsessed with protecting civilians and great attention is paid to the fact that superheroes are supposed to save innocent people, not just blow up villains. This is the most anti-Man of Steel superhero movie I've seen to date, and it is very clear that while Whedon may have spent more time crafting action sequences than witty dialogue, he ensured that he made those sequences unique in his own way. Age of Ultron is a perfectly good movie and it will certainly entertain you. But try not to go into it with the impossibly high expectations engendered from the first installment.

No comments:

Post a Comment