That really is an awful thing to say about Age of Ultron, but I really don’t mean it that way.

§ August 15th, 2018 § Filed under movie reviews § 4 Comments

Just gonna keep this one short, since I need my beauty sleep…and if you’ve ever seen me, you know that’s true. Anyhow, I picked up the Avengers: Infinity War Blu-ray Tuesday night, partially on a whim, partially because my girlfriend requires ownership of all the recent Spider-Man cinematic appearances, and partially because I never did get to go see this while it was in theaters and I figured watching it at home with having to deal with the sounds and smells of other people sharing a room with me would be a preferred experience. This was the first of the current spate of Marvel movies that I didn’t catch in its original theatrical run, which feels a little weird…that comic collector in me, needing to keep my “run” complete, I suppose. I mean, I was there for the very first Marvel movie (starring Howard T. Duck, my friends), I’d hate to miss the rest. Though I missed Ant-Man and the Wasp, so that’s two, I guess.

So, the movie. I enjoyed it! Certainly liked it more than the previous Avengers film, which I didn’t much care for when I caught it at the local moviehouse. Though, I have to admit, over the last couple of years, as I’ve seen bits and pieces of Age of Ultron on television, I find that I seem to appreciate it more in smaller segments rather than as a whole. …There’s probably no good way to say “the less of it I see, the more I like it,” but that’s kinda sorta the case here. Maybe one of these day, when I somehow squeeze an eighth day during one of my forthcoming weeks, I’ll give the whole movie another go, beginning to end.

Okay. SO. THIS MOVIE. THE “INFINITY WAR” ONE THAT I ACTUALLY JUST WATCHED. I heard a lot about how folks were impressed that they managed to get so many characters into so many action sequences in this film without it feeling too crowded or complicated and…well, yeah. I can’t disagree. My problem with the previous Avengers flick is that it felt like we’d seen it all before, that the novelty of seeing a pile of superheroes onscreen was no longer there, and we didn’t get anything to replace that novelty to keep interest up. Here, the sheer amount of characters and the configurations in which they were placed brought a freshness to the proceedings. Even when it’s “CGI VERSUS CGI,” I was still invested enough in the story to buy in. The various plotlines were clearly told, the fights easy to follow (always a problem in this “hold the camera up close and shake it around a lot” era of action moviemaking), and pretty much every character that appeared was given something of significance to do. No draggy spots, either…it managed to keep the pace up without ever feeling like it was too much.

My only real complaint was that Thanos’s head was too long. And maybe he should have been a darker purple. THIS IS WHY YOU’RE NOT GETTING A “BEST PICTURE” OSCAR, PEOPLE.

In conclusion, I liked it just fine. Obviously there’s going to be a giant “reset button” resolution in the next film, undoing the rather dramatic events of this one. And I fully expect Chekhov’s Hulk to be fired at someone next time ’round, too. But I think overall it was a good showcase for the various elements of Marvel’s film franchise…which is kind of the purpose of superhero team-ups anyway, to sell folks on other superheroes. Maybe I’ll try to catch the next one in an actual movie theater…NO PROMISES.

4 Responses to “That really is an awful thing to say about Age of Ultron, but I really don’t mean it that way.”

  • Daniel says:

    I thought the first Avengers film was…okay. Once the novelty of seeing all the characters wore off after the first viewing, what you had left was…a pretty mediocre movie (with a middle section that just dragged and dragged and dragged).

    I actually like Age of Ultron quite a bit. I was surprised by how much I liked the Vision, a character who I find dull as dirt in the comix. The Achilles heel of this film (like all Marvel films) is its overly jokey, glib, superficial tone. Clearly audiences are responding to it, but for me it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard. I prefer the darker, more melancholy tone of the DC films (as well as the first trailer to Age of Ultron which promised a very different tone than the actual film). It adds a nice counter-balance to the inherent colorful silliness at the core of the source material.

    I thought Infinity War was a total mess. I could not get invested in the story. Too many characters that were thinly drawn that I just didn’t care about. Too many settings that looked exactly the same as the one that came before it. And no relatable protagonist. This was the film that made me check out of the MCU for good (Ragnarok (which I despise) was already pushing me out the door).

    My thoughts.

  • Walaka says:

    Mike, I’m not going to go into detail on my response to the movie (somewhere between yours and Daniel’s), but I just want to say “I fully expect Chekhov’s Hulk to be fired at someone next time” is one of the best lines you’ve ever written.

  • Andrew Davison says:

    I was surprised to realize that Howard the Duck was the first Marvel-based movie, but what about 2001, Logan’s Run and Star Wars — they were Marvel comics and the movies predate HtD!

    In fact, you can stretch my argument back to Dracula and Frankenstein!!

  • Hal Shipman says:

    I was just going to the comments to say exactly what I found Walaka said.