Sunday, June 07, 2015

"The Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015)

This post should be subtitled "Why I Like It (But Don't Love It)."  I went to see it a second time yesterday, five weeks after I saw it for the first time, and I'm confirmed in my initial reactions on most things, so I'm finally ready to share.

First of, please don't get me wrong.  I liked this movie a lot.  I intend to buy it on DVD and rewatch it, probably many times.  I might even go see it in the theater again, if the opportunity arises.

But compared to my reaction to The Avengers back in 2012, that's practically lackadaisical.  That movie blissed me out.  I had to go see it over and over again -- I saw it in the theater 5 times that summer, even though I had a six-month-old who believed that any time Mommy was out of her sight, she was going to be eaten by rabid porcupines, judging by the tales Cowboy tells.  When I went to the Thorsday marathon in 2013, I was more excited about seeing The Avengers on the big screen again than about seeing Thor: The Dark World for the first time.  In April, when I went to the double-feature, the same was true -- seeing Age of Ultron was a bonus, but the real draw for me was The Avengers.

And the trouble here is, The Avengers is jewel-like in its perfection.  There's not a smidgen of it that I would ever change, that feels off, that needs a little smoothing or polishing or tightening.  It's brilliant in every sense of the word.  Age of Ultron is not.  It's fun and exciting and funny and heart-warming and sad.  It's a great ride.  But I was hoping for another Avengers, and it's not that.

EDIT:  Spoilers ahead!

This will sound odd, coming from me, because I was freaking out beforehand about how much Joss Whedon was going to rip my heart out and stomp on it, but... I think he needed to rip my heart out and stomp on it.  I'm happy he didn't, but I also wish he had, if that makes any sense.  I came out of the theater the first time going, "I'm so relieved that no one died!  They're still friends!  Thor is okay!  Yay!"  But the more I've thought about it, the more I realized that at no time during the movie did I actually worry about any of them.  Nothing truly bad even threatened to happen -- not compared to the first one.

Yeah, I know Quicksilver died.  That was sad.  I teared up over that, both times.  But it wasn't tragic, somehow.  Not like when Coulson died.  It lacked that gut-punch of emotion that I still feel over Coulson's death even though I know he gets brought back.  And yes, Bruce left.  That's also sad.  But somehow not as sad as Loki stabbing Thor -- one is an understandable reaction to discovering the woman you love chooses the mission over you, but the other is a brother offering to help his brother and getting physically and metaphorically stabbed with rejection in return.

And before you say to me, "Oh, but of course you're sadder over Coulson than Quicksilver, because Coulson was in other movies before this -- you knew that character," um, no, I didn't.  I went to The Avengers having never seen any of the previous MCU movies.  All I knew about the characters was what I'd seen in the trailers and what I remembered from reading comic books twenty years ago.  I really didn't know any of these characters at all, but I still got shattered.  And this time around, I never got down to that same emotional low, so when they finally defeated Ultron and don't blow the world up, I didn't get the same emotional high that I get from defeating the Chitauri and Loki.  Does that make sense?

So.  I really like Age of Ultron.  I want to watch it again, I do.  But I didn't love it.  And I've decided I'm okay with that, because I still have  The Avengers, in all its jewel-like perfection.  Now I also have another MCU movie to enjoy, and that does make me happy.  Not ecstatic, but happy.  Happy is good :-)


  1. I agree. I liked Age of Ultron quite a bit, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I did the first avengers movie.

    1. Faith, yeah. It's enjoyable, just not as much.

  2. I know what you mean--it's always kind of a disappointment when the first movie or book in a series is AMAZING and the second or third is only "good," not "great." You keep wishing the director or author could have maintained the same level of awesomeness throughout.

    1. Jessica -- it's such a bummer, isn't it?

  3. This is really quite shocking -- I know ;P -- but somehow I've only just very very very recently gotten interested in these. I am now, though, so maybe sometime in the next year or so. I think my brother might get into them, too, so we shall see..... ;)

    1. Oh, oh, oh! Heidi! That is so awesome! I want you to come over to my house and we'll have a marathon.

      I think you might like Captain America a whole lot. Like, a LOT a lot. He feels very much like someone you would go for. (And he's my 2nd fave, so I'm kinda partial to him...) I hope you do try some of them out, because they're such fun! (And then we can oooh and ahhhh over them together!)

    2. Heidi--I personally can testify that even if you don't care much for superheroes as superheroes, you'll still LOVE watching Captain America because he's just a great person. Funny, brave, modest, self-sacrificing . . . all that.

    3. Hamlette,
      Hee! And ohmythatwouldbesoamazing!!!! (As in reeeaaally amazing. :)) Captain America does sound like something I might go for hard. This really has got to be looked into.... *puts on thinking cap* ;)

      Yes, I haven't really seen much to compare in the genre, but "funny, brave, modest, self-sacrificing?" Definitely! Eeesh.... That's the sort of deep character development that gets me (pretty) much regardless of setting. ;) Thank you for the comment!

    4. It would be splendid! Hmm... how could we make this happen for reals?

      Even if we can't make a marathon happen in person, maybe we could work something out where we watched one or two of them simultaneously while chatting on instant messanger or something. DKoren and I do that all the time, and it's a hoot.

      I would kind of suggest you see Captain America: The First Avenger first. To "funny, brave, modest, self-sacrificing" I would add "loyal, helpful, considerate, kind, and chivalrous." He's a pretty amazing guy. Not to mention easy on the eyes :-)

    5. Well, maybe I should try to see them sometime by myself one by one and then maaayyybe someday a real-life marathon could happen? (One never knows.... But then, of course, in such an event there are all sorts of other amazing things that could top the list, too. ;))

      I'm not sure the instant messenger would work on my end as (due to our current internet provider) there are certain restrictions on streaming, etc. and our two dvd devices aren't attached to the internet at all.

      And.... I do have a TBW pile yea high. :) It/they do sound super intriguing, though! How about I add it on with the others and then if/when I see it, you'll be the first to get my (hopefully) ecstatic reactions ASAP (kind of like a N&S scenario in reverse ;)). Sound fair enough?

    6. Hee, yes -- don't wait for a "someday maybe" chance of a real-life marathon! See them when you have the actual time and opportunity! (Besides, if you saw all of them first, then we could just pick one or two that we both reeeeally like to watch in person...)

      I fully understand about the internet issues -- just a thought :-)

      So that estate sale I talked about... I bought like 10 movies there. My literal, physical TBW pile of movies I own but haven't seen yet now has more than 50 movies. That's not counting the 50+ our library system has that I want to see, things I want to watch online, etc. TBW piles are almost as bad as TBR piles!!!

      So yes! When time and opportunity converge and you get to see any of these, I will very much savor even non-ecstatic reactions! Actually, The Avengers is the only one that I lovelovelovelovelove -- but the others are great fun, and range from "I liked that okay" to "I liked that so much!" in my estimation :-) So I'm not going to be upset if you don't love all of them! (Just The Avengers. Because it is amazing.)


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