Friday, May 1, 2015

The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Let me begin this post by saying that reviewing Marvel comic films is not why I created this blog four and a half years ago.  This is not because I'm too indie for blockbusters, or because I don't like blockbusters.  I do like them (though I do often prefer indie films.)  It's just that my main reason for maintaining this blog is to highlight movies you haven't heard about that you should see (since I see an awful lot of movies.)  Truthfully any critic reviewing The Avengers: Age of Ultron is pretty much wasting their own time (and yours by reading it) because you already know if you're going to like this movie or not.  If you think you will, you will.  And if you think you won't, you won't.  But, for the record, I enjoyed it throughout, though I wasn't blown away.

For me, the best thing this second Avengers film has going for it is the camaraderie of the talented, likeable, and huge (and growing) ensemble cast.  I can't imagine anyone not getting at least somewhat charmed by the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, and Scarlett Johansson exchanging barbs.  There's an undeniable chemistry amongst them and, for me, the Avengers is at its best when it slows down and allows these actors to do what they do best.  Honestly, the extended action scenes, while technically unbelievable, tend to drag on and bore me.  It's the cast that keeps me interested and coming back for more.  And James Spader's voicing of the baddie du jour, Ultron, was the perfect addition.

On the other hand, this installment, as with many of its predecessors, suffers from a pretty formulaic and overdone story arc.  In short, a new bad guy arises, tries to destroy the world, and ... spoiler alert ... ultimately the world does not actually get destroyed (which would thereby be the end of this franchise.)  No, that would never happen.  Instead, good battles evil for many rounds, all the while exchanging reasonably funny one-liners (though not as funny as in the first Avengers).  This is, in essence, just more of the same.  If you like that, you'll be quite pleased.  If you're hoping for something groundbreaking or unexpected, you better put your expectations in check.  This is not that needle in the Marvel haystack.  It's merely a slightly above average two hour and 20 minute Marvel comic movie with no expense spared to make it appeal to a wide audience and please them.  Nothing more.  The first Avengers was better.  And Captain America: Winter Soldier was much more my type of movie.  But this one is fun.  And fun is good too.

Grade: B+

Who is this movie for?  As I said before, you already know if this movie is for you.  If you love Marvel comic movies, you're gonna love it.  If you don't, you won't.  But make no mistake, it's gonna do monster green that even makes the Hulk look small in comparison.

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