I had the opportunity to watch Avengers: Age of Ultron last night, a whole four hours before it was officially supposed to be released. I know, I know, it’s galling, such a thing. Releasing movies early ranks among the level of software pirates, parking meter tricksters, and spree murderers on the scale of ethical lapses. As you all know, I am a just and righteous man, so I was just going to stay home. Unfortunately, I hang out with the wrong crowd, and my so-called friends kidnapped me and forced me to watch it. How vile! I am absolutely aghast that they would force me to counteract my morals like that.
But, while I’m at it, I figured I’d at least put my thoughts down on the film. Not so much a review, no, with a film release this big, you can get those anywhere, and I like to think that people come to Lost to the Aether for something a bit different. And also, they come here because I am so smart, handsome, and interesting. Anyways, if you want the bottom line, I enjoyed it a little less than I did the first film, but it’s still a good movie. Beyond that, well, here are some completely random and unconnected reflections I have on the movie.
- So, a big change in the way the film delivers its story, whereas the first movie was all about the individuals coming together as a group, then the big, bad, world invasion, the second film breaks things down to a human level. It’s more about how each character is as a human. The first act sees a good amount of the team just goofing around with each other. It’s a film about personalities, rather than the group as a cohesive whole. The central conflict comes about because of a few character’s personal choices, the film goes out of its way to round out some of the characters who haven’t gotten much spotlight on them, and everyone gets their little moments to let their guard down and show who they are. It’s a more human-level experience, that I think really works for the sequel.
- Unfortunately, this is tempered by the characters still being really flat. I think that just comes from the age we’re in. Big budget films need international markets to find success, and deep, complex characters are a lot more difficult to effectively translate between languages and cultures. Still makes for a worse experience overall, no matter how necessary it is.
- Hawkeye has himself a long-term relationship. I’m pretty sure that only came about to remove him as a candidate for Black Widow, after all the teases in the first film.
- Instead, Widow’s with the Hulk. I never bought their relationship. Their actors are really lacking in chemistry.
- For that matter, I don’t really jive with the way they handled the Black Widow in this film. The past movies she’s been in, like the Winter Soldier, Iron Man 2, the First Avenger, she really added to it. She had her own unique part in the conflict, she dealt with things in a unique way, and she actively contributed to the plot. Moreover, she was distinct. Irreplaceable. In this film, Black Widow’s just here to be the woman. She has two scenes offering some brief glimpses into her backstory, sure, but other than that, her point in the movie is the play the traditional feminine roles. She’s the matching girlfriend, the emotional support, and the damsel in distress. Her character has degenerated. She was once a distinct figure in her own right, now she’s just the Smurfette of the crew.
- I’ve never read an Ultron story. I have no idea what his personality’s like. I’m pretty sure it’s not like this. But that’s not a bad thing. It would have been pretty easy to have him be the big generic death robot. Having him like evil Iron Man adds a bit more to the character.
- I don’t think you can call something an ‘Age’ when it’s pretty much wrapped up within the week or so this film covers.
- There’s deaths in the film. I won’t say who or when or how, but yeah, people die. The movie gets absolutely no mileage out of it.
- And you know, I never thought I’d be complaining about this, but I think I’m just getting tired of the Whedonistic snark. It’s all nice and funny when you sprinkle the dialogue with clever quips. When everyone’s doing it, and they do it anytime anyone does anything? It gets a little old.
- The creators did some nice work in building some leads for future movies. And not just the next Avengers, either. I’m pretty sure we saw the creation of a villain for the upcoming Black Panther, for instance, and I didn’t even notice until I slept on it.
And, that’s about all I got right now. ‘Till next time.