Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May is the Age of Ultron

What better way is there to start off a new month than with a Marvel Cinematic Universe motion picture?

I know. I can't think of anything else either.

Lucky for us True Believers, it just so happens one came out on the first of this month!

No really!

Avengers 2: Age of Ultron was released in the USA on Friday, March 1st, and yours truly has seen it.

What did I think? Well, since you asked...






I don't do a lot of reviews, and when I do, it's either because the product is very good, very bad, or I have some kind of strong feeling about the subject matter it pertains to one way, or another.

There's no need to keep you all in suspense with my opinion on it. I loved it. I thought it was great. I'll honestly say I liked it more than the first film. I can't say it was a better film (I think the first one was better crafted), but I enjoyed myself even more, and I enjoyed the heck out of the previous Avengers.

Why did I like it more? Well...


SPOILERS!
SHIELD PASSWORD AUTHORIZATION REQUIRED


THE GOOD

There was a lot of good in Age of Ultron.

To begin with, this movie starts 'in media res', with the Avengers doing what a superhero team should be doing, kicking villain ass. We don't need too much of a back story in regards to why they're there, or how they found the bad guys because after a few moments of smart, snappy dialog, it all makes sense.

Yes, many of the details on what lead to the Avengers assault on Baron Strucker's Hydra Base were revealed on Marvel's Agents of SHIELD TV series, but it's not necessary to have seen Agents of SHIELD to get that the good guys have found the bad guys' secret clubhouse, and are going to lay the smackdown on its residents in short order.

The movie than moves at the speed of need: Quick, and clever for establishing character, slow, and serious for the deep philosophical conversations (with a quip or two thrown in to keep in line with the overall style of the film's narrative), and then revved up to super-fast, and frantic when it was time for battle sequences.

Timing people. Timing is key. It is the key to comedy, it is the key to exciting combat scenes, and it is most certainly the key to holding it all together. Mr. Whedon, kudos to you sir. You've mastered timing, and thereby mastered the universe. Of the film that is.

The introduction of the new characters was brilliantly done. When is an origin story not an origin story? When it is told as either natural sounding exposition dialog (Maria Hill briefing Captain America about the Maximoff twins, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch), or it occurs as part of the entire story's larger plot (The Vision).

Can we talk about the Vision for a moment? Thanks.





HOLY $^*/! THEY HAD THE VISION IN THIS MOVIE!
 

The Vision ranks up there as one of my top ten, maybe even top five, favorite Superhero comic book characters of all time. He is also a character that I long ago resigned myself to never seeing in a movie, on TV, or in any other mainstream medium. Bless you Whedon, Feige, Marvel Studios, and Disney for proving me wrong.

They didn't just put the Vision in the movie, they gave us a coherent origin for him that was a major element of the plot. They didn't just give us a plot centered origin, they gave him a look very much like that of the comic book Vision. He didn't just look like the comic book Vision, he waxed philosophically like his comic book counterpart. He didn't just wax philosophically, he KICKED FREAKIN' BUTT!*

DC can't get a heroic Superman to work, or figure out a Wonder Woman movie, but Marvel can get people to cheer for an android barely 5-10 minutes after he awakens for the first time ever. WTF DC?!

Ahem.

Lastly, 'cause I could easily go on for pages, and pages with what was good about this movie, I have to give credit to James Spader, and Ultron.

While I love Tom Middleton's Loki, I think Ultron is my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe villain thus far. Aside for his voice, expertly done by James Spader, he was the first villain in a Marvel movie to seem like he served the purpose of a comic book supervillain. He was equal parts intelligent and mad, humorous and menacing, creepy and sad. He loomed over normal people. He concocted a bizarre, over-the-top scheme, and then went toe-to-toe with Thor. Thor! Awesomeness that left right off a comic book splash page.


THE BAD

There...there was no bad.

Don't get me wrong, there were imperfections, minor blemishes, and tiny flaws. Nothing is perfect. Some parts could have used a bit more clarification, while others seemed a tad rushed. More cameos by other heroes in the Marvel Phase Three line up would've been neat, and the post credits seen is very short, and nothing truly new.

Still...there was no bad. At no point did I think anything sucked. Nothing looked bad, sounded uncool, or didn't work for me.

That's pretty damn impressive.


THE UGLY

The only thing I could put in this category is so much of a spoiler that I'd feel like a jerk if I revealed it. It was a sudden, and sad moment. It bummed me out. It was also inevitable I suppose.


***


In conclusion, I'm giving it 4.75 out of 5 stars.
Three thumbs up (I borrowed another guy's hand. Don't worry, I'll give it back.).
Excellent! I want to see it at least one more time, before it's out on DVD/Blu-Ray.

If you haven't see it yet, well, it was stupid of you to read this spoiler filled review. It was clearly marked as having 'SPOILERS' right from the start. What the heck is the matter with you?

If you have, AWESOME right?! Yeah! Let's go see it again. Maybe Saturday? Let me know.

Take care everyone, and this May, MAKE MINE MARVEL!

AD
Barking Alien


*This started to sound like, "How is this night different from all other nights..." Heh. My Jewish friends will get it.





6 comments:

  1. I had fun seeing this movie. Great, great fun.

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  2. Yep, I loved it. The Vision has never been one of my favourite characters in the comics as they've never been able to make him interesting. Well, except for the Young Avengers version but they squandered his potential.

    Anyway! The Vision was my favourite part of a brilliant film. Paul Bettany is amazing in the role, full of philosophical gravitas and a little bit of cheekiness. It's funny that you mention Superman because I think Bettany's Vision is the best Superman we've seen on screen since 1980.

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    1. Obviously I can't agree with the statement, "They've never been able to make him interesting", but I wholly agree with the rest of your comment.

      If he'd never been interesting he wouldn't have been a reoccurring character for 47 years (and counting). He also wouldn't be anyone's favorite, like he is mine. You may not have found him interesting, but I'd venture to say he's interesting enough to, oh let's say, put him in a multi-million dollar summer movie. ;)

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    2. "Interesting to me" I should say; it's clear he has his fans!

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