Thursday, September 24, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron: A Joss Whedon film. Enough said. The film which allegedly troubled him so much that he refused to do the third two-part sequel, Infinity War, and quit Twitter and went into hiding.

This one is a Whedon film from the first equips to the last, no doubts about it. Even the basic plot is the same, the quibbling Avengers facing a generic villain, this time an AI robot instead of the aliens of the last film, with a city in the danger of total annihilation, this time a fictional Balkan city instead of New York.

It’s a fun ride until it lasts, but it was never going to be as grand as the first Avengers. Loki was missed, of course.

And it’s Tony Stark who holds everything together. You sometimes wonder what would have happened to these Marvel movies if they had not cast Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man all those movies ago. Nothing would be the same without him…

…Or without Scarlet Johansson’s Black Widow. She never had her own film in the Marvel universe, yet she has been in all the other movies, from Iron Man to Captain America and here, she has the best parts, along with Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye. At one point of the movie, during a chase sequence, she picked up Captain America’s shield and says, “I am always picking after you, guys,” and of course, she is right. She is better than all the other superheroes combined. And here, Whedon, the feminist pop-icon of Buffy fame, gives her a lot of focus, and also a love story, which of course does not come to fruition.

This is a movie about more set-ups than payoffs. A host of new Avengers are introduced, and the stage is set for a host of new Marvel movies, including one on Black Panther, and all said and done, Whedon does more than a serviceable job.

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