611. Avengers: Age of Ultron

611-avengers-age-of-ultronBackground info

Title: Avengers: Age of Ultron
Director: Joss Whedon
Year: 2015
Run time: 2hrs 21m

“When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.”

Live blog

2:00 – They have a Thunderbird 5!
2:56 – I say “language”!
4:21 – At last a superhero movie talking about collateral damage.
7:50 – “Please be a secret door… yay!”
9:13 – That Hulk transition was amazing!
17:56 – He said ‘What’s the rumpus?’ I’m glad that’s catching on.
25:35 – Stan Lee’s cameos are growing! He called Thor blondie!
32:05 – Totally playing frisbee with the Captain’s shield.
36:54 – Can’t believe it’s not adamantium.
51:00 – Bonus Idris! Well, bonus everyone to be honest.
56:15 – Epic fist bump to create a sonic boom like that.
1:02:31 – Thor crushing lego is a lot of fun.
1:10:39 – His attitude to the tractor is great. Wish I could fix stuff.
1:12:04 – “If you’re going for inconspicuous though, near miss.”
1:16:56 – Thor appears to be hunting Horcruxes.
1:23:04 – “Beep beep!”
1:24:30 – Huh, where we’re going we don’t need roads.
1:31:05 – Yay for the old school spy stuff. Morse code, how about that.
1:34:04 – Love Paul Bettany! “Why does your vision sound like Jarvis?”
1:38:11 – The Flash guy is a lot of fun.
1:47:50 – “You didn’t finish!”
1:56:00 – They’re a bit like the zombies in World War Z too. Terrifying!
2:05:59 – “There is grace in their failings.” I’ll take that!
2:13:40 – Ol’ BlueFace was at the end of the last one!

Conclusions

Lots of mixed feelings about this one. It was, of course, brilliant but definitely not perfect. For a start, the story had me very confused. It felt like a Transformers movie – long, confusing, sort of in two parts, and many times I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on. There was also a lot of references and characters dipping in and out, which is part of the joy of the Marvel Universe, I know, but made it very hard work when I couldn’t remember or place half of them.

The effects were incredible – particularly raising a circle of city out of the ground and lifting it ever upwards, but also something slightly more simple like the transition of Hulk back to Bruce Banner. It was jaw-droppingly good, and I expect will be one of those things that shows how far effects have come – although perhaps will also be used as the before when CGI gets even more detailed in the future.

I liked the two new editions, particularly Quicksilver, so it’s a shame that he didn’t quite make it to the end. Which brings me to another thing I didn’t like. I had my cynical head on: “Oh, they’ve introduced a random family for Hawkeye, pregnant wife, etc, etc, and he’s all ‘this is my last mission’ so they’re blatantly going to kill him off.” I had rage at the idea that they thought I was that stupid.

And then they didn’t do that! They twisted it, but they’d gone so far down the road that the fact they didn’t do it then gave me even more rage. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d prefer a story told well rather than such blatant emotional manipulation.

I was interested to see just what Black Widow got up to in this film, having seen all the complaints that a) she dared to have a romance and b) the toy replacement scandal that robbed her of her motorbike. I have to agree with the second issue, but the first not so much. I don’t mind if there’s a bit of relationship drama going on in the Avengers, I mean heck, it must be hard being surrounded by that many muscles. The real issue is that Johansson just didn’t act it very well. Good at slightly kooky kick-ass moves, less good at the heart to heart stuff.

Overall, highs and lows, but it was still a good film, worth watching, and one that adds another layer to the ever-expanding MCU.

Rating: 5/5.

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