“I thought I’d use this opportunity to tell you my evil plan…”
I have waited my whole life to be this cool. This is the age of geeks and nerds and Marvel is our pimp selling us dirty-nerdy gratification. When I was a kid and you wore a super hero T-shirt, you were practically begging for a swirly. Now we rule the universe bitches! For the true believers out there, the geeks that still read comic books, the release of Avengers – Age of Ultron is akin to a quasi-religious experience.
For my brethren, we have read the original comics of the Age of Ultron story arc. In that story; Ultron takes over the earth and Wolverine and Sue Storm go back to stop Hank Pym from creating him – which leads to an alternate time-line almost as bad as Ultron’s domination of mankind.
The movie starts in-action – picking up right where last week’s Agents of Shield left off. There are elements of the story that tie back to the first Avengers movie as well as the other Marvel offerings. Once more the Marvel team is showing a depth in their mastery of this intellectual property.
Fast forward to the movie version. Ultron is created by Tony Stark. Rather than time travel resolving his evil intent, the Avengers fight Ultron in the here-and-now. Ultron is cunning and dangerous. The voice talents of James Spader are purely sinister. His lines rival and often top those of Robert Downey Jr.
There are two things that make this movie fantastic: the visual experience and the writing. The dialogue, right down to the running jokes, are well crafted. You find yourself chuckling during this movie, even in moments of raw action on the screen. Visually, the panoramic sweeps of the Avengers in battle are superior to the first film. The movie is like riding a visual rollercoaster around fireworks show. You almost feel as if you are in the middle of the fight yourself. Even Ultron’s facial expressions will impact how robots and androids are done in films from this point forward.
After the first movie you had to wonder where these characters could grow. Josh Whedon seemed to hear that question and evolves these characters further along. Surprisingly the character that has some unexpected depth is Hawkeye. Also the reveals about Black Widow have served to make her character one of the more interesting ones in the Marvel cinema universe.
The producers tapped the full well of Marvel characters here too. We see characters from the earliest of their films making some well timed cameos. This is something that the comic-fans like me love – Whedon’s willingness to tap that incredible mix of characters and bring them out to play. It makes the Marvel universe something that DC is going to struggle to match, let alone top.
Marvel Studios has figured out the awesome sauce for doing these kinds of movies. You don’t have to create some new story, you tap into a vast library of great stories from the comics and change it so that it is more suitable for the big screen. DC, you should pay attention to this.
I would love to tell you there is something I disliked about the film, but I can’t. It’s stunning…a rip-roaring ride across the Marvel universe. Even the Stan Lee cameo was one of his better ones. Nick Fury is somehow cooler than before he was in Winter Soldier. And the Vision – well, he is forged of awe-inspiring slickness and gets the last word with Ultron. When was the last time you went to a fun movie that panders to your every geeky desire with wanton abandon? This is the one!
I give this film seven out of five stars (that’s right – seven). Oh, and there is no post-credits scene – just one mid-credits scene. But I know you folks, you’ll wait around anyway. Heck, we all do.