Movie: Avengers: Age of Ultron
My Rating: 3 stars
I wasn’t expecting much out of this film. Not that I think it’s a bad movie or anything. I’ll calm down all the hyperventilating super-fans right now by saying that I thought the movie was actually very exciting and beautifully shot. And, I’ve been enjoying a lot of the darker themes that have been popping up in these superhero movies lately. But, I’ve become a little suspicious of these huge, blockbuster, money-making franchises. I can tell that the filmmakers aren’t really having as much fun with the films anymore. It seems to have turned into a cynical cash grab. So, I approached this film with guarded emotions. And of course, as always happens when I don’t set my expectations too high, I was pleasantly surprised.
What did I like most about this film? Well, it certainly wasn’t checking back in with our old, favorite characters. I thought the writers seemed to be struggling to find new and interesting story points for our old standards (Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Iron Man). And, I certainly don’t know enough about these comics to have had a strong opinion about the introduction of the new characters. I don’t know any of the source material, so I was really just accepting the film as a standalone story. I guess the plot and new characters were compelling and made sense to an outsider. But, what I really liked about this movie was the new villain—Ultron. I’ve always been fascinated and terrified by artificial intelligence and the idea of a hive mind. It’s an enemy that you really can’t kill because it has splintered its consciousness into innumerable bodies that all have the same knowledge and capabilities. At that point, defeating him becomes a game of endurance. I like that this is an idea that hasn’t been beaten to death in pop culture. I guess the Terminator franchise dealt with some of these issues, but this film adds a subtle twist.
I liked this movie. I didn’t love it. But I found more things to enjoy about it than to be annoyed by. I didn’t go out of my way to rent it. The movie was just loitering in my Netflix queue, and eventually made its way to the top. So, I can’t really urge anyone to find some time to see this film. But, this movie is so big and high-profile that most people are probably aware of it and know whether they want to see it already. But, I enjoy sharing my thoughts about it.