Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Film: The Avengers - Age of Ultron (2015)

This past weekend marked the theatrical opening of The Avengers: The Age of Ultron, the second live-action installment in the Marvel super-team and the eleventh overall film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Given all that, if you expect this one-hundred and forty-one minute installment to be jam-packed, you are right on the money! Come on - just look at that movie poster to the left! This is one big blockbuster.

As a life-long nerd who started his super-hero comic book reading back in the mid-70's, you know I enjoyed this one a lot.

After all, it was when I was around ten or so that one of the first super-hero teams I got into was the Avengers. How could you not want to pick up a book that featured the likes of Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, and so many more? Team books were the best way to get your thirty cents worth of fun and adventure.

One of my first issues was number 161 - when the team were attacked by their founding-colleague Ant-Man (who makes his MCU debut later this summer - yes, it comes full circle). Around that same time, Marvel also published Marvel Triple Action (soon to change over to Marvel Super Action) which featured reprints of the Avengers' exploits from a decade prior. Thanks to those, I got to see the debuts of Ultron and the Vision, two characters who were very prominent in the then-current runs of the title and who also factor into this most recent film.

My wife, my son and I went to see the new movie on Sunday May 3rd at the IMAX theatre in 3D, and that was definitely the way to go to see this film. All the action, all the explosions, all pulse-pounding excitement came to life in that format.

If you're looking for major plot spoilers, you certainly will not get them from me at this time. I want to give folks time to go see it with as clean of a slate as possible.

All I will say is that I was very happy with how this one played out. Clearly there has been some passage of time for the characters between this one and 2012's first installment for the team (which I reviewed here. Writer-director Joss Whedon easily references former MCU films as well as events unfolding in the ABC weekly show Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (as they like to say, "its all connected") and we get a lot of fantastic cameos. Even two of the most obviously missing supporting characters are explained (just like you'd have expected to see back in the comics). The coming of Ultron is a big event and rightfully so should it bring out the characters.

We are given more insight into characters like Hawkeye and Black Widow who have yet to get their own solo flicks; it helps them stand out to the big three who have had multiple movies apiece. We are seeing how a number of relationships developed between characters, both personal and professional. My favorite thing to note is how well Captain America and Thor play off one another during combat; just like in the comics, you can tell who have been training with one another. Finally, we're introduced to a number of new players in the game (twins Wanda and Pietro as well as the aforementioned less human characters), some of whom were my favorites from the line-ups of the past in the comics.

Whedon and I are both the same age (he born just slightly less than a year before myself). As such, he grew up on the very same Avengers comics that I did, and it definitely shows in both of his films. We get great nods to classic elements from those books, little Easter eggs if you will for long-time fans that make the movies just that better.

This is definitely one you need to see on the big screen. There is a lot in there that can easily warrant multiple viewings (I'll be content to wait for the DVD BluRay release just in time for Christmas to see it again). Highly recommended.

1 comment:

cincoflex said...

Agreed! The family and I enjoyed it as another installment of a pretty Marvelous universe, and I particularly liked the banter. If I had one grumble it might be the splitting of the narrative into three stories weaving in and out; some of the jumps were a little jarring. Other than that, a great start to summer!