Wednesday, April 22, 2015

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is Awesomely Epic, But Fails to Up the Ante

For the record, I do love Avengers: Age of Ultron.  It is even my most favorite movie I’ve seen this year so far.  However, I was expecting something more out of it.  I was hoping it would surpass the previous Marvel film, Guardians of the Galaxy, as the greatest Marvel film ever just as GotG surpassed the Marvel film prior it, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  Also, I was hoping that it would provide a massive game-changing effect on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  However, though AoU (I will be referring to Avengers: Age of Ultron as such from here on) has some status quo changes at the conclusion of its high-stake narrative, there aren’t any Winter Soldier-level shakeups at all.

AoU has been extremely spectacular (especially the climactic battle sequence), and watching all those superheroes assembling together and just be superheroes is exciting enough.  However, the experience I had with the first Avengers movie wherein I was blown away by the culmination of Phase One’s years of build-up – all those superheroes standing together for the first time – has not been replicated when I watched AoU.  I still had a terrific time with AoU, but just not at the same level as the first one.     

AoU noticeably wobbles a bit with its story, and treads on a couple of plot elements that we have already seen in the first Avengers movie.  It has a good amount of humor despite of having a darker tone, but it’s not as clever and funny as the first one.  However, it does have a better distribution of important character moments, more thematic depth, and more eye-popping action sequences.       
In conclusion, Avengers: Age of Ultron might not be as insightful or game-changing as Captain America: Winter Soldier, and not as fun as Guardians of the Galaxy, but it is a very enjoyable epic movie nonetheless.    

May 1 in the US, but April 22 in the Philippines. Yeah!

Miscellaneous musings:
  • I find it funny that, in a likely attempt to subtly tie up the Rage of Ultron graphic novel with the movie, Marvel was willing to give us a glimpse of how the new Marvel Universe will turn out post-Secret Wars.  Rage of Ultron was earlier released this month and is obviously set after Secret Wars
  • I was expecting an Ant-Man reference.  Maybe as minor as a mention of Dr. Hank Pym (Ultron’s original creator in the comics).  There was none.
  • It was interesting in that one scene where Ultron leans his head sideways as if he’s Raymond Reddington.
  • The take on Hawkeye’s character here is a bit similar to the down-to-earth theme of Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye comic book series.  
  • The Hulkbuster vs. Hulk sequence was pretty badass as expected.  But I’m not satisfied with how it concluded.   
  • I was annoyed that Joss Whedon employed his trademark “kill a beloved character” plot element once again, but only because it was done as a gratuitous attempt to create a dramatic effect (on the contrary, the “death” of Phil Coulson in the first movie served a purpose).  The death of that Avenger really felt unnecessary at that point.  It didn’t really improve nor push the story forward.
  • AoU has the weakest mid/post-credit scene in a Marvel movie ever. 
  • That fake bootlegged Spider-Man post-credit scene could have ruined AoU’s mid-credit scene for me.  That one really makes scenes.  It has a Whedonian touch and a perfect Spider-Man characterization.  It’s frustrating that that was a fake.   Why didn’t Marvel do something of the same effect?   
  • Or, maybe… Just maybe…Hmmmm…. Okay.  I’m calling this.  Maybe that Spider-Man post-credit scene is legit after all, but reserved for the American audiences on May 1, just as it was with the shawarma scene in Avengers.  I might just be delusional here (because I want a Spider-Man cameo so bad), but I’m still calling it. 
  • Here’s an exciting thought: Joss Whedon directing and co-writing the next Spider-Man movie!  With Whedon’s knack for writing funny one-liners and Spider-Man’s reputation as a wisecracker – it’s a perfect match.

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