The Occasional Movie Review – Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers posterThere is nothing that makes you feel old like going to a movie clearly not aimed at your demographic. And, truth be told, I’m not a huge action movie fan–sure, they’re eye candy and are usually really easy to watch–but there is a certain enjoyment to sitting in a comfy seat for a couple of hours watching people blow stuff up.

So the whole family and I headed out for a Tuesday night bargain feature of the brand-spanking-new Avengers: Age of Ultron, the follow on film to…well, practically everything Marvel’s been doing for the last seven or eight years. I mean, Captain America, The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor…oh, and those other people who are supporting characters. Technically it’s a sequel to the first Avengers film, which, if nothing else, was Disney’s proof positive that they really, really know how to squeeze every cent they can out of the movie-going public.

I know…This sounds bad so far. Just read on. I promise it isn’t horrible.

The story is that of problems brought on by our heroes themselves, as Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) work to revive the Ultron project–an AI-based Earth peacekeeping system. Things go wrong, alien glowing crystals get mixed into the whole thing, Ultron becomes the bad guy, and suddenly a town in Russia is being obliterated, leaving the heroes to learn from their mistakes and interpersonal issues to be the team the planet can count on.

In a nutshell, that’s the story. And one of my two biggest problems with the movie derives from it: it shouldn’t have taken 2 hours and 21 minutes to tell. I know the reasoning: every twist or step on the path to fight the problem needed a fight scene. Fight scenes need a good 5-10 minutes to keep the fans happy. And when the movie starts with a 5 minute fight scene, you know it’s going to be a long one. But maybe that’s how the comic books were. And I didn’t read comic books as a kid.

Actually, I now recall that my dad always said that a good western was one that featured the first killing before the first word of dialogue. So in that case, this might be good…

The second problem I have with the film is that all of these movies now have shaky scenes that cut to quickly, so half the time, I’m sure I’m missing so much of what’s going on. It just gets irritating. Well, that and the fact that as I’m getting older and my hearing is getting worse, the loud sounds of the film tend to cover up the dialogue. But I’m assuming that the dialogue wasn’t important.

Beyond that, it was an entertaining film. The story, even being dragged out too long, kept moving, and there was plenty of action and eye candy to keep all of the fans happy. And when it comes right down to it, I can’t say I didn’t like it. I went in expecting an overly long, loud action movie, and that’s exactly what I got–a well done overly long, loud action movie.

So I really can’t complain. In fact, I’ll give it a higher rating than I gave the last Woody Allen movie I watched, which featured no explosions beyond the meltdown of its main character. Three out of Five Stars.