Take a Drink: for every battle scene and plot shocker.
Take a Sip: each time The Scarlet Witch head trips and telekinetically whips.
Take a Drink: anytime the Hulk smashes or Lullaby crashes.
Take a Shot: for every slo-mo and motherfuckin’ cameo. Take Two: if you’re the last to spot Stan Lee.
Take a Sip: whenever you hear “Ultron” or “Avengers” or J.A.R.V.I.S. speaking.
Shotgun Your Beer: to Infinity and beyond! (you’ll know when).
By: Felix Felicis (Two Beers)-
Once Upon A Time, in a galaxy far, far away, there lived a bearded wonder. His name was Whedon, Joss Whedon, and he pooped more excellence than most men could dream up in a lifetime so you can’t even imagine how psyched I was to nab this assignment (I mean, not more than the guy dressed up like Thor-complete with hammer and virginity intact-who showed up to hold a spot in line at 9am for the premier showing, but close… ish). That said, I almost had a similar catastrophic failure to launch as last week’s difficulties in making it to screen Age Of Adaline because the universe hates me and I kick puppies in my spare time. In a rare moment of sobriety, I managed to purchase my ticket a week ago (the showing sold out soon after) and made it to the theater two hours early to wait in an already-formed gaggle of geeks.
If that’s true there were like thirty X-Men in this line.
After grabbing a seat in some prime real estate (top row center) I thought I’d broken the bad juju but no such luck. During previews I saw a trailer for the film about to play, Age Of Ultron, weird but I rolled with it THEN FURIOUS 7 BEGAN INSTEAD OF AVENGERS AND THE NERDS, THE NERDS WENT WILD. Thor threw his hammer at the screen and the guy to my left began wailing like someone told him Firefly had been cancelled (what, too soon?). I heard assorted sobs and expletives as half the Marvel enthusiasts sprung from their chairs to rend unsuspecting theater staff limb from limb. The images haunt me still. But they got Ultron up and running and this is the (not so) true story… of nine superheroes… picked to defend the earth… work together and have their lives taped… to find out what happens… when bad guys stop being polite… and start getting real… real murdery.
This is the second tweet of mine he’s faved. Legally, we’re BFF’s now.
Avengers: Age Of Ultron picks you up and drops you right down in the middle of the action as the team tracks down stolen contraband from the Chitauri invasion. Soon the super-powered Scooby Doo Gang is quickly drawn into spiraling, out-of-control extinction level events brought on by some classic Tony Stark philanthropic megalomania as he creates an artificial intelligence (on crack) out of alien technology. Shockingly things go horrifically, terribly awry as that A.I., Ultron, immediately takes a page out of the Skynet playbook and decides that in order to protect humanity it must wipe humanity out. Cue tricky new “enhanced” bad/good guys, a bipolar robot with daddy issues and unexpected events that throw the Avengers into chaos (and the world into peril) as the race to save earth begins.
GAME ON… Sadly Captain America’s shirt not off.
The same elements that made 2012’s Avengers great are back in the saddle for the sequel: superbly directed and written by my spirit animal, Joss Whedon, same dynamic cast (Robert Downey Jr.’s “Iron Man”, Chris Hemsworth’s “Thor”, Mark Ruffalo’s “Hulk”, etc.) plus some (introducing Elizabeth Olsen’s “Scarlet Witch”-yes! The OTHER Olsen!-and Aaron Taylor Johnson’s “Quicksilver”) interesting new faces, slick visuals and witty dialogue the Avengers: Age Of Ultron is like a really awesome high school reunion where you get to see all your favorite people again and NO ONE’S GOTTEN FAT OR LESS FUNNY. Kind of like a unicorn, Ultron manages to capture the essence of its ensemble cast and reflect all their best qualities onscreen. Plus, there’s the added bonus of a shirtless Thor scene so Age Of Ultron is a win on almost every level.
Baths confuse me, too, bro.
Best seen in IMAX (IMAX 3D wasn’t bad and didn’t detract from the viewing experience), Age Of Ultron is a fun flick to see on the big screen, kicking off the beginning of the summer blockbusters. The opening day audience insanity aside, this is definitely a movie enhanced by the shared collective of a theater-going experience. I laughed with strangers, I actually applauded with them during the movie (something I normally hate) and at one point I unabashedly squealed with them when a major plot point (and new character) was revealed. If you’re a hard core fan of the Marvel-verse, you might have some issues with character arcs, bios, and backstories, but taken with a grain of salt and a beer in hand you can’t beat Age of Ultron for entertainment per square inch.
Ultron, it’s so hot right now, Ultron.
That’s not to say Avengers: Age Of Ultron was without flaws. For starters, the theater concessions was out of both hot dogs AND corn dogs when I made a mad dash to grab overpriced treats. This is America. Marvel movies are like Cinematic Superbowls- HOW DO YOU NOT HAVE A HOT DOG SURPLUS READY AND WAITING TO SERVE MY SNACKING NEEDS?! But I digress. The pacing in Ultron lagged a bit in the middle and lacked significant tension throughout the film (even during the climactic final battle I never doubted the outcome despite “overwhelming” odds). While entertaining, Age Of Ultron ultimately failed to engage on a deeper level; not to mention weird character arcs and tangents that seemed inauthentic to what we’ve previously seen.
What in the ever-living fuck?
Without getting into Spoilersville: Population You, I’ll just say that the Black Widow/Bruce Banner side arc felt forced and disingenuous to what we know about the business-first-and-always Black Widow. The chemistry was believable enough and the pairing a natural(ish) concept but the introduction and evolution of that subplot was jackhammered down your throat in between the weirdly humanizing and languorously odd Hawekeye tangent (distracting and unnecessary at best). Despite those attempts to add character depth (in all the wrong places) Ultron manages to hit the mark in the awesome stratosphere but falls just short of epic.
– Joss Whedon after Avengers: Age Of Ultron (probably)
Avengers: Age Of Ultron feels like the middle layer of an ice cream cake; though both tasty and delicious, you’re still left wanting a little more than you actually got.
Last Call: Stay tuned for a kick-ass mid-credits scene. There’s no post-credits love other than a placard with “The Avengers Will Return…” so feel free to skip out before that.