DIRECTOR: Joss Whedon
The Marvel Universe comes together again for the second mash-up of this decade, with Avengers: Age Of Ultron. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU as it known, is now a fully functioning, diverse universe with TV shows and movies working in tandem, driving, as well as hindering each other in equal measure. This is a reminder of how Star Trek dominated so many aspects of media at the same time during its peak in the 1990’s.
Marvel have pulled it off and I must admit, I didn’t think that they would manage it. I expected Avengers Assemble to fail and it didn’t, in fact it is MY personal favourite to date and its sequel is also just as good, if not a little better. They have proven that handled well, the superhero mash-up can work and it is now the turn of DC with there Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice which is due out next March, to prove whether that this it is Marvel’s genius or the shape of things to come.
But Joss Whedon’s involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has raised the franchise to new heights, paving the way for Anthony and Joe Russo, who debuted with Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) to continue the Avengers with the two-part Infinity War sequels in 2017 and 2018.
Fun, brevity and action are key ingredients for the success of this franchise, with Whedon’s signature wit and three-dimensional character building as established with his hit TV series Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel, along with some nice twists interspersed with the clichés and decent turns, Avengers: Age Of Ultron is an action packed extension of the ever-growing and evolving MCU.
This film also marks the conclusion of Phase Two, with Phase Three kicking off with Captain America: Civil War which intends to take us deeper into this world and hopefully guide us towards The Avenger: infinity War, referring to the Infinity Gems which have been collected throughout the movies so far, with one now sitting squaring in The Vision’s (Paul Bettany) forehead.
The movie starts in the middle of a breakneck action sequence and this sets the tone for the whole film, with action and humour amalgamated to the max, to keep us both thrilled and amused in equal measure, but does this action packed opening also tip its hand as to where its confidence, or lack there of, truly lies? Is there enough depth to keep us interested without the zippy, fast paced action and quirky interplay?
I’m not so sure. The Marvel Universe is light compared to the brilliant Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight universe, with themes of power and physiological torment contained within both but here, it feels forced, hollow and insincere. Because when it come down to it, these are comic book films and are just that, a live action comic and a firework display, doing so brilliantly. If you want depth then these probably aren’t for you but if you want family action to share with your kids, family and friends alike, then you can’t go wrong with these.