Vic's Flick Picks
Avengers: Age of Ultron
(five popcorn boxes)
There has been so much hype surrounding this movie that I was almost afraid to see it. Would it be as good as the first? Would I be disappointed? Who invented liquid soap and why?
While I can’t say that Age of Ultron is as brilliant as The Avengers – the original was such a surprise in its awesomeness and that is difficult to duplicate – I will say that I was NOT disappointed. Not even once, not even a little.
We are dropped into the story with the Avengers battling towards a fortress to retrieve Loki’s scepter. If you don’t understand the reference in that sentence you need to go watch The Avengers. In case you haven’t noticed, every Captain America, Thor and Iron Man film contribute to the universe of the Avengers. And it is a marvelous universe. Ha! See what I did there? ‘Marvel’-ous? I have a million of them.
After successfully completing that mission (did you think they wouldn’t) Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) has an epiphany. He can use the scepter to create a guardian for Earth and have “peace in our time”. With his usual millionaire playboy philanthropist arrogance, he convinces Dr. Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) to assist him. As you can imagine, it doesn’t work out well.
What does happen is Ultron (voiced with pitch perfect complacency by James Spader). Predictably, Ultron imagines peace can be obtained by the annihilation of mankind. Yikes.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) are quickly assembled to stop Ultron.
But Ultron has recruited his own team – which includes enhanced” humans (given special powers by nefarious means) Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. Pietro/Quicksilver is very fast. Wanda/Scarlet Witch can mess up your head.
In fact, Scarlet Witch is so successful in messing with the minds of our beloved Avengers, it tears them apart. I’m not sure yet if they will ever get back to the breathtaking teamwork they displayed in their attack on the fortress. I am eager to find out.
The computer generated images (CGI) in Avengers: Age of Ultron is seamless, believable and enthralling. However, the strength of director/writer Joss Whedon shines in the emotional dialogue, trust and actions of these superheroes. They obviously love each other like family, but with the possible exception of Thor, do they love themselves? Always a hurdle for the hero.
Five out of five boxes for Avengers: Age of Ultron. Spader’s Ultron is maniacal, humorous and horrifying all at once. And the camaraderie and teamwork of the Avengers is what makes the heart of this film series beat. The early raiding sequence holds what I think is a key to why we love these guys. If you remember, in The Avengers Captain America and Thor manage to disable everything around them when Thor strikes Captain America’s shield while they are fighting each other. In this raid, they actual use that hammer strike as a weapon against the forces of evil they are battling. Growth and solidarity. Joss Whedon is a genius. I’ll stop babbling now.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action, violence and destruction. I happen to have seen the film in 3D IMAX…. Excellent. I highly recommend this version.
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Okay, I’m going a little off-topic here to test your trivia knowledge. In the first paragraph I use a quote from my favorite romantic comedy - “Who invented liquid soap and why?” Which 1985 movie might that be?
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