Monday, 1 June 2015

June 2015

10 Things Wrong with Avengers: Age of Ultron

Dear Friends,

I loved the first Marvel Avengers movie (released in the UK as Marvel: Avengers Assemble) and regard it as one of the greatest entertainment fests/treats of all time. An instant classic! Having just seen the sequel Avengers: Age of Ulton (in 2D) – I'm trying to like it; but am having a bit of trouble getting it beyond a rating of 7/10.

Don't get me wrong! It's a fun movie with characters we know and love and some excellent moments. If you're wavering – please do go and see it. But I do have to say that (in my humble opinion) the film has ten significant flaws which – at the end of the day – make it rather less than brilliant. Some have criticized it for having to “fit in” with the other Marvel movies too much; for example having Thor go off to do something that sets up Thor 3: Ragnarok. This harmonizing didn't bother me personally – but a number of other things did!

So here, in no particular order (and with minor spoilers) are my ten criticisms:-

1) The CGI in the opening action scene looked a bit ropey. (Perhaps it appears better in 3D.)

2) I didn't quite “buy” the relationship between Bruce and Natasha. It seemed to come out of the blue and was unconvincing.

3) Ultron's decision that the pursuit of peace meant he had to try to annihilate the Avengers and others on Earth – seemed quite arbitrary and rushed.

4) Why did the Avengers fly to a safe house? This seemed too passive to me. Why weren't they still out there trying to find Ultron? I think the script lost momentum at that point. 

5) Following the initial attack on Jarvis – the filmmakers could have made what happened to him a bit clearer. I understood what occured; but think it should have been explained a little more fully. 

6) Anthony Mackie was hardly used in the film and (although I realise this was for artistic reasons) Loki didn't even make the cut! 

7) There were too many jokes. Hardly a minute went by without some character or other chipping-in with something witty. Everybody was a “Tony Stark”. This reduced the impact of the best wisecracks in the picture. Hasn't Joss Whedon ever heard the phrase: “Less is more.”? 

8) The whole scene with Iron Man fighting the Hulk (though visually nice) was a pointless episode. It added an unnecessary few minutes to an already lengthy film. This aside seemed to me - just an excuse for another bit of action. The result? More loss of momentum. 

9) The movie lurched in tone from frenetic action (embellished with funny one-liners) to slow scenes of heartfelt pontificating on relationships. There were hardly any “normal” conversations about the mission. Thus, the film was unbalanced.

10) The plot just wasn't detailed enough. Ultron and his schemes weren't developed sufficiently. The movie lacked the substance of Iron Man, the intrigue of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the complexity of The Avengers. Overall, it could have been so much better!

But, even with the above imperfections, it's still an enjoyable film. It was great to see the team again and there was good banter between them. The action set-pieces (especially the finale) were really well crafted, there were some nice surprises along the way, and (when Scarlet Witch messed with the avengers' minds) there were some neat dream sequences – especially the one revealing a little of Black Widow's back story. By the way; when are we getting a Black Widow stand alone movie? Bring it on Marvel!!!

Changing the subject, this coming month's movie releases include Insidious Chapter 3, Spy, Jurassic World, Entourage, The Longest Ride, Mr. Holmes, Minions 3D, and a western called Slow West. Read a little about each of them in the latest edition of my movie newsletter – Big Films Monthly.  

Big Films Monthly – June 2015

Whatever you do, don't stay at home. Get out to the movies - and have a great night out. Happy viewing!

The guys from Entourage:-

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