“Fortunately, I am mighty…”
Any film this eagerly anticipated and that has to follow the level of spectacle of the first Avengers outing, has a lot going against it right away…fortunately, Age of Ultron kicks things right off with the team all together and battling bad guys in a grandiose display as fantastic as anything Marvel has put to film so far. Age of Ultron starts things off dialed in at 11 and never really deviates from that setting, resulting in a 141 minute adrenaline rush that almost leaves the viewer a bit over stimulated…
I walked out of Avengers 2 exhausted. Not Michael Bay Transformers level exhausted, but my senses were pushed to the max and seeing this much nerdery on display at once was too much to process even for me. I can’t imagine going into this a comic book rookie, it would likely make your head explode with so many references and nudges to the ribs happening here.
After the past two Marvel films, Captain America: Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, managed to keep the story the focal point and the spectacle more subtle (but no less grand), Age of Ultron goes kind of the opposite direction, but I don’t think anything really suffers because of it. These films are reaching the tipping point where the stakes are now so incredibly high and the team so vast, that the limitations of doing a superhero film in the confines of a two and a half hour format are just now becoming evident. The beauty of Marvel’s recent Daredevil Netflix show, was that it had the luxury of being able to spread it’s story across 13 one hour long episodes and take it’s time to establish the threat and flesh it out. Age of Ultron however, feels like a bump in the road on the way to a destination that’s still a few years down the line. But what a destination that’s going to be…this is all leading up to something so unimaginably grandiose that I can’t fault this film whatsoever for it’s minor stumbling points. This is all such new territory cinematically, bringing an almost decade long connected comic/movie universe into fruition. It’s beyond admirable what has been accomplished by Marvel/Disney so far and I think that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
As far as the quality of the spectacle on display here is concerned, its unbelievable. The team works so well together, using super moves and delivering spot on dialogue like the well oiled machine they’re supposed to be. James Spader absolutely chews the scenery as the villainous Ultron and though late to the game, Paul Bettany as Vision was so incredible to see. Everyone gets a chance to shine, although a few elements do feel a little shoehorned in, such as Nick Fury’s return and the Hulk/Black Widow love story.
Overall, I think that Age of Ultron is in many ways a far superior film to the first Avengers, but the limitations of the cinematic format are beginning to become somewhat evident in something this grandiose storytelling wise…but it makes it no less amazing to watch transpire competently on screen.
Oh and that rumor of there being NO post credit stinger is true, there isn’t. But you’ll stick around anyway. We all did. And we all will. Now and forever, make mine Marvel.
-Sock Talk Jon-