Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, May 04, 2015

My Avengers: Age of Ultron adventure

As part of a late birthday celebration(due to the fact that nothing good was playing at a theater near me last weekend, unless you count Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and I certainly don't), my sister and a mutual friend joined me in checking out the cinematic set-off to the summer movie season, Avengers: Age of Ultron.

We went to the Alamo Drafthouse in Yonkers and this is the second Marvel movie that I've seen there, making the evening an extra special treat. If you can get to an AD for this or any other movie, it is so worth the effort.

In addition to the great mix of specially themed clips that ran before the main feature(I know I saw Superman III but had no recollection of a robot lady monster scene), ranging from a Bangladeshi Hulk short to  clips of Nick Fury as played by the Hoff, the whole atmosphere was very geek friendly.

When one of the managers stepped forward to explain the no-talking/no-texting rules, he started off by saying "Hey, everyone ready to see Hawkeye and friends?' A woman's voice answered him with "Don't you mean Black Widow and friends?" I was one of the many who backed her up with cheers and that exchange was handled with good humor quickly.  Kudos, Alamo Drafthouse!

On to the plot, which has the Avengers finishing up a mission to retrieve Loki's specter(which caused a bunch of trouble in the first Avengers movie) from Hydra. While examining the weapon's power source, Tony Stark believes he has found a way to make his plan of a robot task force that would protect the world work.

Unfortunately, that notion goes awry, as the artificial intelligence created and channeled into the prototype Ultron(well voiced by James Spader) goes mad with power at a rapid pace. Aided by Stark's own technology and a pair of specially enhanced twins known as Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch(Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen), Ultron's mission is to save the world by destroying it's worst threat, namely us humans:

That's enough to get you started, although I will say that yes, Nick Fury does have a part to play(and I hope he stops by Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. before that season ends) and another new character, The Vision, is introduced.

One of the great things about this film is how supporting players from the other Marvel films like War Machine and The Falcon are showcased within the wide framework of the story. True, there are a plethora of plot points and character beats that make a slightly tight fit into the running time but that time flies faster than Quicksilver on the move.

Not only does Joss Whedon keep this story ship as steady as she goes, his trademark witty banter helps to lighten the load along the way. It's a shame he won't be around for the next Avengers movie(the folks who did Captain America: The Winter Soldier are taking over) but his impact will linger on as the characters move forward to their cinematic stop, no doubt about it:

The action sequences were nicely done and while it would have been good to see a little more character development pursued(such as Black Widow's romance with the Hulk), they did manage to make several non-fight scenes very memorable.

All in all, this second chapter in the Avengers saga was a good time to be had and by the looks of what may be coming next, a very engaging change in the line-up shows some real promise. I will say no more but both comic book and movie fans should be happy here!

As for the new players, Olsen and Taylor-Johnson are welcome additions and it's fun to see Paul Bettany(who has been the voice of Stark's computer butler Jarvis since the first Iron Man film) become The Vision. He brings a level of gravitas to the superhero proceedings that makes for a pleasant change of pace.

So, this was a wonderful late birthday gift to unwrap, thank you very much Marvel and hopefully I won't have to wait too long for the best blockbuster present a girl geek could have; a Black Widow movie.

I have faith in you, Marvel, because unlike the mess that the upcoming Wonder Woman film is appearing to be, there has not been one false step so far with Black Widow. Just avoid those cheesy rom-com pitfalls and you'll do fine:

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