By Jonathan Pabon (guest writer)
It’s 11:59 p.m., May 1, 2015.
You’ve seen all the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films up to this point. You walk into the movie theater, ready to have all of your favorite characters back on the screen. You’re excited to see all the new characters being brought into the fold. Director Joss Whedon is back behind the wheel and you are ready for whatever they want to throw at you. How could this go wrong?
Ponder on this for a moment: It’s 2:30 a.m., May 2, 2015.
You’ve just walked out of the theater after seeing everything you “wanted”: great action, an awesome new villain, some cool, yet slightly confusing, new heroes and the biggest tease of what we’ve been working toward.
You’re pumped and your friends are pumped. You go home humming that catchy crescendo from the credits and you finally come down from this euphoric high that made you feel like a kid. A kid that got to see the Avengers — AGAIN!! Then, you fall asleep …
It’s the next day at 12:30 p.m. and the adrenaline has finally faded away. This is where reality starts to make you rethink the movie you watched last night.
Was it just the silly “fanboy” love for these characters that gave me the illusion of perfection in this film? Was this just a fluff piece to make Disney a boatload of money and I fell for it?
“Age of Ultron” gets the band back together for a fun ride through the MCU, but fell short of a cohesive movie and more a trailer of things to come. It was a lot of fun to watch and it has plenty of moments that you can truly enjoy, but it wasn’t as impressive as its predecessor. It’s still a gem of a film that I enjoyed even with its problems.
During the film we are fully introduced to several new characters — some that impress and others not so much.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver) and Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) have a very strange place in this movie. Legal issues plague these characters because of their fictional father, Magneto, who so happens to be the main antagonist in another studio film franchise. The actors are no slouches, but these characters just seem so stiff. When Quicksilver has his hero moment, I was glad that I wouldn’t be seeing him anymore. Olsen’s portrayal of the character was only slightly better due to the future she has with another new character.
The veteran characters felt very stiff, as well. The strange, budding romance between Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Widow (Scarlett Johansson) felt forced and unnatural. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) felt very out of place in the human world. Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) have a natural chemistry that no other characters have in the film, but all this gave me was the sensation that this was just a setup for the upcoming films.
Paul Bettany (Vision) was finally able to appear on screen and I couldn’t be happier. He brings a potentiality to a role that only the truest of fans know. He voiced Jarvis, the computer voice curated by Tony Stark, for 10 years. Now he’ll, hopefully, play the Vision for 10 more.
James Spader (Ultron) delivered probably the best performance, giving us a villain that truly fits into the MCU. A self-aware, artificial intelligence that creates a menacing and believable adversary for a super team that stopped an alien invasion.
I can’t say what brought on the issues that plagued this film following rumors of the director and studio executives not agreeing on what they wanted for the product. The film painted a picture of what’s to come, but that was its biggest problem.
When it’s all said and done, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” was a fun ride with tons of action and nods at classic comic storylines. The actors looked like they had a lot of fun, too. With the problems the movie had, it’s still awesome enough that I can say, “Wow, I saw the Avengers on-screen again and the 12-year-old in me still can’t believe it.”