It’s official. I’ve had enough. Been there, done that, got the proverbial t-shirt and now I see why Avengers: Age of Ultron only managed a paltry 74% (Critics Score) on Rotten Tomatoes.
The first Avengers film was a thoroughly enjoyable experience with a tight plot, consummate acting, mixed with plenty of top-shelf CGI for a sweetener. It combined to make a memorable viewing experience and the Blu-ray still holds a place of prestige in my extremely limited collection. I was unsure what to make of Avengers 2 but must have felt a negative vibe because I wasn’t in a rush to see it. In fact, the film has been out for a couple of months and I just took in the theater experience for the first time. So much for a timely entrance.
Avengers: Age of Ultron saw all the classic heroes reunite for one more action-packed wash-rinse-repeat adventure from Marvel’s production factory — and one more plot crafted from the creative and brilliant mind of Joss Whedon. Except it wasn’t.
Brilliant, that is, which is kind of a bummer.
Perhaps it’s me. Perhaps I’m over the standard superhero diet of explosions, collapsed building, near-miss collateral damage, and saving the world at the last second. In recent memory, the general viewing audience has been treated to three runs with Ironman (each worse than the one before), has seen Thor whirl his hammer twice, Captain America has thrilled us with his wholesome stars-and-stripes work ethic in the past and present (the best of the lot, in my opinion), Spiderman’s spun a yarn or two, and we can even sprinkle in some Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye for good measure. So, after viewing Avengers: Age of Ultron, I left the theater underwhelmed at yet another superhero flick — once again.
Yes, the film included a host of incredible actors, the CGI remained top-shelf (including amazing fight scenes, some new “enhanced” character effects) but it just wasn’t enough make me want to return for more. Why? The plot was a touch unfocused at times and I just felt as if I’d seen this all before. If you want to distill this film down to its basic components think about the first Avengers film, change the bad guys, include a rather lengthy fight scene against multiple enemies in a public setting and job done. Sound familiar? It should.
What made Avengers 2 tedious is what actually led to a winning strategy for another recent release: Guardians of the Galaxy. Avengers was more of the same; Guardians was something brand spanking new, with vibrant characters, plenty of tongue-in-cheek moments, and Groot.
A moment of silence for Groot.
While I appreciate the production value of Avengers 2, I’d be stunned to find myself in another theater, paying those kind of prices, and dealing with a noisy-popcorn eater, to see something I’ve seen a handful of times. I understand working a story angle until the money runs out but this could be the beginning of the end for this all encompassing Marvel run. Word on the street is Marvel are even skipping San Diego Comic Con this year. Huh.
I would rate Avengers: Age of Ultron as a solid 6/10. A good, but not great film, probably worth theater viewing for the sweeping vistas, and grand menu of action but little else. I won’t be buying this one for the permanent collection.