“I was designed to save the world. People would look to the sky, and see hope… I’ll take that from them first!”
It seems like we’re getting closer and closer to Marvel universe singularity. Soon, there’ll only be two kinds of movies, solo superhero movies, and super hero team up movies. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti super hero movies. The Marvel universe is just too reliably good. But in the lead up to this latest installment, I was definitely starting to feel a little super hero fatigue. You can have too much of a good thing. But, I’m only human, so it was pretty much impossible to not get sucked into seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron.
With a James Bond style cold open, the Avengers, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) are mid mission, raiding a compound of the evil organization, Hydra. The baddies from Captain America: Winter Soldier, Hydra have managed to score the staff of Loki from Thor: The Dark World. Once the Avengers secure the staff, Tony Stark decides to see if he can unlock its secrets.
Discovering some sort of artificial intelligence within the staff, Stark thinks it might be the key to finishing his Ultron project. A world wide security system, Ultron would mean Iron Man and his mates could retire from the ol’ super heroin’. But once Ultron (James Spader) becomes active, it quickly surpasses Stark’s idea expectations, becoming sentient, building an almost indestructible robot body and undertaking Stark’s instructions to enforce world peace. The only problem is, the literal minded Ultron decides the only way to ensure everlasting peace is to eliminate the one cause of all war, the human race.
My fears of superhero fatigue were put to rest straight away. The attack on the Hydra compound is a great way to get things rolling. What would usually be blunky exposition about past movie plot lines and a reminder of who our main characters are is all wrapped up in a tight, pumping action sequence that means Avengers: Age of Ultron is off and running. But writer / director Joss Whedon makes sure to let us know that we’re not going to be smashed over the head with action the entire time. Because the very next scene is a fun, light, even silly party scene, as the Avengers celebrate their victory.
It’s this balance of big spectacle, fun little character moments, and hardcore comic book history reverence, that makes Joss Whedon such an important part of the Avengers movies and the ever growing Marvel TV and movie universe. And like the concept of comic book movies itself, I kept waiting for the clever quips, pithy comebacks and rapid fire dialogue to become too much. But again, this is Joss Whedon we’re talking about here. The master of clever, pithy and rapid fire. So every time I thought I had reached my absolute limit, another character would crack wise and my limit would be extended once more.
I really don’t know how much more I can handle when it comes to comic book movies and super heroes. I enjoyed Avengers: Age of Ultron, a lot. While the endless battle and city destroying climax went on a little too long, the two plus hours of this movie generally flew by. As long as the Marvel Universe maintains this level of quality, my fatigue will be abated that little bit longer.