The Avengers Age of Ultron | Exclusive and original film review/editorial video music presentation with West Coast Midnight Run publication, starring Eiffel 65 (Move Your Body), Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel Jackson, and Jeremy Renner.
Marvel's second Avengers adventure carries some of the same elements of punch, sarcasm, dour innuendo and team spirit that made the first installment a megahitcrowd pleaser. It is a letdown when such a highly anticipated film fails to match or surpass its predecessor, especially when Marvel has now several of our heroes adventures in the can and has had the opportunity to expand on the characters and test with audiences what works
and what doesn't.
Having screened this film one week before opening day in the USA, it is extremely difficult to review, critique or offer insights into a movie of this genre while revealing absolutely zero plot points or pivotal plot devices. All of our favorites from the entire series of the Marvel superhero universe are practically included in this film, except for the X-Men and Spider-Man. There are unexpected cameos that pepper this film, the ensemble acting is both fluid and the character interplay in top form. Whedon finds time to weave personal storylines in this movie and in some instances it works great and in others, it seems labored and works not so great.
With two first rate scientists onboard the Avengers team, Stark and Banner, it is impossible for the writers to resist the seduction of taking pot shots at Big Science, the pros and cons, the good and evil of technology. And thus once more the Hollywood bag of tricks puts together a magic show on one of its most traversed roads yet, Robotics and Automation.
We've seen I, Robot, The Transformers, Robocop, The Terminator, Pacific Rim, The Borg's Resistance is Futile, The Cylons, The newest X-Men Days of Future Past, my favorite Real Steel, The Star Wars Droids Campaigns with General Grievous, Blade Runner's bioengineered slaves from the Cyborg era (Steve Austin Six Million Dollar Man). And on a smaller footprint we also enjoyed Autom4ta, ExMachina and a few hundred other low budget but not necessarily lesser treatments of the issues surrounding cybernetics, robotics, and the Species versus Machine theme. On an anecdotal tangent, does the S for Superman stand for "The Species"?
This time the genie is out of the bottle as The Avengers tackle one of the most feared concepts in practical and applied sciences, the Von Neuman Machine (more recent credits to Kim Eric Drexler) as defined by early pioneers of the Space Era and Humanity's dreams of colonizing and mastering the solar system and nearby stars. On a bad hair day, a serious misstep or miscalculation with The Von Neumann design can lead to catastrophic consequences, albeit this is what this film attempts to portray to its audience.
On a more human scale, The Widow from the East Coast is trying to land a new partner, unfortunately for her, despite her "witchy" guile, two of the newest recruits for The Avengers are its fastest casualties ever. We get to say goodbye to them close to the final scene in the movie. We offer our saddest condolences to Marvel fans. There is the customary Stan Lee signature moment and this time he agrees to a Top Gun officer's lounge Bottoms Up "O'Shin" wave for his audience.
Now for those of you with a keen sense of the larger world picture, Whedon and Disney may have had global politics on the coffee table, no doubt some fans may have already forgotten the recent events in the news at the time The Sentinel adventure with X-Men was in production, with the "Evil Empire" aka present day CIS going for a few risky moves in the Far East and Europe resulting in frequent brushes with NATO and US Airforce command aside from all the moves on Wall Street so then the Romanov thing
trying to get a new partner may have been a side jab to geeky audiences about the "East Coast" girl looking for some change in currency and tech-know gadgets.
We are all guilty of lapses in data processing that nowadays some of us simply forget that the news media machine and the entertainment factory sit on opposite sides of the galaxy. Whedon and Disney weren't trying to be a sly fox with this or is it this reviewer reading too many storied bytes in this flick? Call me Sinclair
Red 'cause my CERN circuits often overheat and I see Blinkin' Read, but some folks at the editorial pool tease me as "Simple Mind" minus the Union Jack.
S.H.I.E.L.D., global peace, "we fight the war to end all wars so we can go home" and a few more clues dot the landscape.
There are many fine touches in this film that makes it difficult to resist, yet all in all it seems to have fallen a step or two beneath the polish and originality of its predecessor.
Some photo elements © 2015 for Marvel/
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, CERN European Organization for Nuclear Research, Paramount Pictures, Carloco Pictures, and Universal Pictures are used for editorial purposes in compliance with the US Copyright Act Fair Use clause.
All content © 2015 (Apr. 27, 2015) for West Coast Midnight Run™ and Citadel Consulting Group LLC