Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron | dir. Joss Whedon | 2 hours 22 minutes | Buena Vista
Everyone reviewed The Avengers: Age of Ultron like it’s the new Taylor Swift album. I didn’t see the movie. And I won’t. It doesn’t need me. It’s already made three times its gigantic budget, and it’s been in theaters 48 hours. Instead, I rounded up reviews from two of my favorite critics, who had strikingly similar opinions.
In Corner 1, we have Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times film critic for 24 years, author of nine books, and lecturer in the Masters of Writing Program at USC. Turan reviews all the highest- profile films for the Times because, duh, he’s the best.
In Corner 2, we have The Superficial Guy, sole journalist for TheSuperficial.com, where you can see many many celebrity boobies. I love this guy because he publishes nothing but the facts (boobs are facts!) and his own hilarious opinions/ dramatizations/ criticisms. He calls obtainer of celebrity booby pictures Photo Boy.
Here’s what they had to say about Age of Ultron:
On how you will immediately forget this movie and spend 17 additional dollars seeing it again, when you should just wait for it to come out on TV:
The Superficial: Photo Boy described it as watching The Avengers again on cable. You know what’s coming, but it’s just entertaining enough to not change the channel. And maybe everyone just remembers the first Avengers too fondly, myself included, and expects to love the sequel because the first one made a billion dollars. Instead, AoU delivers a “serviceable” story with minimal impact.
Kenneth Turan: The ideal vehicle for our age of immediate sensation and instant gratification, it disappears without a trace almost as soon as it’s consumed. Marvel movies are, in effect, expensive Saturday matinee serials.
What was Age of Ultron about again?
The Superficial: Robot Man building a Robot Man who builds another Robot Man while everyone fights an army of Robot Men and then totally forgives the first Robot Man for making the second Robot Man – even though he almost destroyed the entire earth – because the third Robot Man turned out pretty fucking sweet.
The whole thing’s called “Age of Ultron” even though he’s around three, maybe four days. That’s a weekend, not an age. I don’t go around saying the “Age of I Went To Chipotle And Mowed The Yard.” That’s assholery.
Kenneth Turan: Ultron wants to destroy the world and kill everyone in it for the best possible reasons.
On how James Spader as Ultron is the best thing about this movie:
Kenneth Turan: Ultron [is] of the most memorable of Marvel movie villains and an entity impossible to confuse with anything else. Beautifully voiced and brought to life by Spader in a motion capture suit, Ultron is eccentric enough to do things like singing “there are no strings on me” when he initially breaks free of Stark’s control. Ultron is certainly a memorable creation, which is not always what you can say about the film that brought him to life.
The Superficial: [The movie] is spectacularly unremarkable save for maybe Paul Bettany’s vision, but definitely James Spader‘s voicework.
On those pesky Marvel fans:
Kenneth Turan: Marvel audiences hunger for fresh blood just as much as the vampires in “Twilight”…Whether this is what fans ravenous for nonstop stimulation want, what Wheedon prefers or what the Marvel hierarchy mandates, all this action overloads the senses.
The Superficial: Just don’t go in expecting to have your socks blown off or to see earth-shattering changes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe because Cap and Iron Man practically hug at the end.
On the Black Widow/ Bruce Banner/ The Hulk love triangle:
Kenneth Turan: The filmmaker also tries to make up for character familiarity by taking advantage of Marvel’s penchant for superheroes with complex psyches and, for instance, amping up the potential for romance between the troubled Bruce Banner/the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).
The Superficial: Apparently [Black Widow] can give the Hulk a boner and make him change back to Bruce Banner without smashing her skull.
On how Joss Whedon might actually hate his job:
Kenneth Turan: Whedon, whose first Avengers movie was more appealing in part because his sensibility was fresher, works very hard to compensate for this over-familiarity in big ways and small.
The Superficial: I’m actually nursing a theory right now that Joss Whedon is sick of the MCU.
On how it was good, but not *that good:
The Superficial: By no means was it a bad movie, it just wasn’t anywhere on par with Guardians of the Galaxy or Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Avengers: Age of Ultron is an okay Marvel movie that’s better than its predecessors in some areas – No time wasted introducing the characters. Captain America doesn’t feel like a throwaway character, Scenes don’t look like they were shot to be an ABC pilot – but falls short because we’ve already seen way too much of the same thing by now.
Kenneth Turan: It would be silly to pretend that “Avengers: Age of Ultron” isn’t good at what it does, that it’s not proficient at delivering superhero thrills for those who crave them most. But even as all these good things are acknowledged, the uncomfortable reality remains that although this movie is effective moment to moment, very little of it lingers in the mind afterward.
The Superficial: GRADE: Half a Hulk-boner
Kenneth Turan: The Avengers: Age of Ultron is full of thrills but quickly forgettable.
Well said, guys.