Monday, May 4, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Short version: Duh. I've been waiting MONTHS for this. I saw it twice this weekend. It was everything I could have hoped for. Get off your ass (Steve doesn't like that sort of language) and go see it. Now. You can read the rest later.

Was it perfect? Nah, probably not. The plot was simplistic, with a poorly explained deus ex machina. The one character death (no spoilers!) was underwhelming to the point that I expected to see him/her/it (no spoilers!) patched up by Dr. Cho and ready to go at the end. And, um, ...

Surely there's something else to complain about? Maybe the music was a little dull? Maybe the whole Natasha/Bruce romance is ... weird? Maybe that was a LOT of vibranium for something that was supposed to have been nearly entirely used up by Cap's shield?

Yeah, I'm really reaching at this point.

Because it WAS AWESOME! I seriously loved this movie. I bought in during the first splash scene, with the team flying over the gully in the woods. Sure, I'd seen it in the trailer, but it just set everything right there. I was willing to trust Whedon and ride this out. And I was in no way disappointed.

The characters were handled amazingly well. Juggling an ensemble cast is not easy, when you know that half the movie is just blowing shit up (Sorry Cap!). So every single line has to evoke character. And Joss came damned close to that.

Cap and Stark sparking off each other, even when they're friendly.
Thor's report on the Hulk's effectiveness.
Hawkeye giving the big inspirational speech.
Hawkeye's other line. "No one would ever know."
Thor and Stark competing over girlfriends.
Arguably the deadliest woman on Earth drives a motorcycle through pedestrians and says, "Beep beep!"
"You didn't see that coming?"

The lines are awesome. The visuals are awesome. The acting was wonderful. The villainy was dark, but not inhuman. The loyalty switch was done very well. There are lots of wonderful little easter eggs and references sprinkled through, not only for comic book fans but just general knowledge. (Because when a mad scientist is trying to create life, what is the required ingredient?)

There were a handful of things I was disappointed by, mostly in their absence. Hank Pym should have at least been name-dropped. (In the comics, he is the creator of Ultron and Vision, not Stark.) I really wish that Pepper Potts and Jane Foster had put in some kind of cameo, though I know that would have drastically complicated the money side of the equation. I would have liked to have seen Black Panther, but it's probably a little early to actually cast him. So, mostly, I wanted more geekery added to my geekfest. I'm greedy like that.

My recommendation is definitely to go see it. I think you can skip the special screenings, though. Our first time was 2D and the second was 3D IMAX. Neither the 3D nor the IMAX added a great deal to the experience. Save your money so you can go see it twice. Or seven times.

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