Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – Big and Loud and Long

Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron

Why bother reviewing a film that will be reviewed by tens of thousands of professional and homegrown reviewers, bloggers and film fans?

Why bother when reviews have been out for days, despite embargos and tweeted right after the private screening? Because I have an axe to grind that’s why.

CGI is still way off being awesome. Its still blue gray and chrome, jagged, rippled and lifeless look is appallingly awful. It’s hard to look at and it’s a dark nonentity of a look.

Makes it hard to relate to any given scene and intent. It is unemotional, grim and uninteresting. It kills wonder and depth. It’s ugly. Instead of binding us to the screen, it creates a strong urge to tune out to make mental amendments to the grocery list or just leave. That’s the single worst thing about super hero movies. Bad CGI is the tipping point.

The concentration of action, all close up, creates blurring and uncertain lighting, you stop caring, how can you care for something that is merely movement? Ultron isn’t the sole offender; it’s true of almost every recent film of the genre and I don’t know why no one says anything. It stinks and stinks three times as bad in 3D.

The action picks up just moments after we left off in the Avengers, and races forward. Knowledge of the first film is essential as well as a pretty good handle on the Marvel universe and mythology. There is no lack of Marvel experts and hagiographers amongst us. A breeze.

The best thing about the Marvel universe is the human variations of the heroes; they have might, especially Hemsworth (swoon) their own moral stances and human hearts; there is an attempt to give them “psychology” from which their action – and inaction – springs. It pretends to feel real. Kudos for that.

Take poor Bruce Banner. He’s the Hulk when he’s mad, and when he’s Banner, he knows it’s a conversation killer. He can’t allow himself to feel strong feels or he will transform into that green wrecking machine and destroy all. It’s why he can’t have a satisfying relationship with Natasha/Black Widow because she stirs emotional responses and he fears hurting her. OMG what would Freud say?


They group has a strong work ethic – Tony Stark funds the entire Avengers operations through his hard work with artificial intelligence and robotics, good for him. (Note: Downey, Jr.’s amazing dancer’s posture is true eye candy). He’s somewhat struck by conscience though because his peace keeping program has gone rogue, but later for that.

The heroes have good attitudes. Johansson’s the chillest of the bunch, able to talk down troubled superheroes and move things along for the common good as easily as she can fight alongside any male hero. She’s a relief in the world of testosterone, but they still frame and shoot her as a walking talking rack and butt. Will that ever change?

Chris Hemsworth’s Thor doesn’t do much but run a contest to see if anyone else can pick up his hammer. He’s a born warrior, raised to do the right thing, but his main contribution to the film, and everyone knows it, is his own fine self. He’s ancient yet contemporary and reminds us that Norse mythology has a lot to answer for in today’s pop culture.

Captain America and Thor
Captain America and Thor

Captain America, the old fogey of the bunch seems to be receding, or did I just read that into it? His values are old hat. Jeremy Renner as Clint / Hawkeye is still in the game fighting at top drawer level. But his heart’s not in it; he has a wife and children on a farm / safe house that he’s kept secret. The tide comes in and goes out. Even for the Avengers.

Oh, the story. Well, Stark’s peace keeping entity he’s built spews forth Ultron, a monstrously ambitious programme that threatens life on earth. The team goes to war. It sets the stage for the next film and well, the ending opens up a whole new game.


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