Monday, May 4, 2015

Avengers 2: Save the World? Or Save Your Money?

Before I go into Avengers: Age of Ultron, the new summer blockbuster from Marvel Studios, I should mention that I wasn't the biggest fan of the 1st Avengers movie. It was "ok", but nothing mind blowing or next level like the way SOME fans would tell it. It wasn't the BEST movie, the best "SUPERHERO movie", or even the best of the new era Marvel movies. I only say this to be clear that I didn't walk into the SEQUEL with lofty unmet expectations. In truth I didn't expect much at all, so if anything, I was just open to being pleasantly surprised ... I was not.

I'll keep the spoilers to a minimum, but Avengers: Age of Ultron was a whole lot of fluff. Quips and 1-liners disguised as dialogue, surrounded by tons of flashing digital lights and loud noises. Tucked away deep inside was a "story" (kinda) about Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr.) best intentions gone awry (again ... *eye roll*) when he attempts to construct a peace-keeping A.I. that rages out of control, and instead becomes the Avengers sworn enemy - the evil robot Ultron.

They tried to balance the movie, devoting equal time to exploring the Avengers as "people" but most of it just felt tacked on and empty ... Did anyone REALLY care about the budding relationship between Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)? If you answer "yes", you're lying.

Or Hawkeye's (Jeremy Renner) secret personal life? *Yawn* It was all drummed up to SEEM so meaningful, but none of it made any impact on the story at all. At ALL. Fluff.

Newcomers, Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) were pretty disappointing too. First off, they were boring as hell. Next, they couldn't even be called "mutants" cuz of stupid licensing restrictions (20th Century FOX owns the rights to the X-Men and every "mutant" related thing), so they were given a new and even less compelling backstory -- Volunteer test subjects granted powers by Baron Strucker ... Mad cuz they blame Stark for the death of their parents. (*eye roll* again) Who cares, right? Not truly essential to the story, right? So they coulda/ shoulda just kept it simple and said -- "They were BORN with these rare gifts. Period." And just left it at that. No muss. No fuss. No lawsuit. Comic book purists - appeased. Casual movie fans - pacified.

I really could go on for days pointing out how & where Avengers 2 dropped the ball, but rather, I do feel inclined to mention a few of the bright spots in this overall "meh" movie ... James Spader's portrayal of Ultron was pretty good. He injected a lot of personality into the menacing man made of metal. Also, the cameo of James Rhodes aka War Machine (Don Cheadle) was quite welcome ... And the most "human" scene where the Avengers are relaxing after a party and they each take turns trying to lift Thor's (Chris Hemsworth) hammer -- It was one of the best parts of the film. A great example of accomplishing so much in such a small minor scene, without having to try so hard.

the rating system:

  • Loved it - one of the best movies I've seen in a long time and worth every cent of the ticket price. I can't state enough how much u need to go see this movie ...

  • Liked it - it was an enjoyable flick for the most part and I'm glad I watched it. Will I run out to buy it when released on video? ... Probably not.

  • Leave it - ranging from the truly forgettable to the "wait a minute ... that didn't make any sense" in the 1st 5 minutes after I leave the theater. Basically - a whole lotta nothin.

  • Loathed it - a movie that literally makes me ANGRY after I exit and for days and weeks after. Angry that I wasted my time and money, and angry that such a piece of shit was ever made and that people actually received payment to do so

  • Leave it

    Age of Ultron wasn't terrible. It was just hollow. Wall-to-wall robot fighting and explosions, with a paper heart slapped on, feigning the illusion (not redundant) of fully realized story & characters. It should go without saying, but flashy, digitally rendered action scenes does NOT a quality movie make.

    Instead of wasting time with the Hulk & Widow dribble, they should have taken on the "Machine vs. Creator" dynamic between Stark & Ultron ... Maybe less punching & mechanized canon fodder, and more Ultron actually AMONG the world and people he was supposedly trying to save ... Ya know, so we could get a better picture of what HE was all about, thus making us care more about the overall conflict? ... Just a thought ...

    X2: X-Men United is a perfect example of how to do a superhero team movie sequel RIGHT. Check that out, in case you haven't already ... Joss Whedon, I'm talking to you too ...

    Just cuz you have a ton of toys to play with doesn't mean you need to make a mess on the floor.

    2 cents yo!

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