I really wish I had a way to start this review off the way Avengers: Age of Ultron did….but Chiffon told me my graphics budget was blown on business expenses (which is apparently what we are calling Manny’s Liquor Emporium). That said, I will do my best to keep you entertained.
Following a film like Avengers, hell, following a film like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, is not an easy task. The weight of past events in the Marvel Cinematic Universes (MCU) has made the time since The Avengers and Age of Ultron feel like a decade, but that is a good thing, it helps bring the audience in and helps raise their connection to the film.
While the film has a massive CGI budget, no amount of money could truly do for the film what the cast does. With each installment of this Avengers world, the cast gets more and more comfortable with their roles. Not once did I ever stop to think, “OH! That’s Robert Downey JR!” or “That is Mark Ruffalo.” No. It was more, “THAT is a lovely new shade of red for Black Widow!” or “Holy Damn! Captain America’s ass is a national treasure.” At this point the actors are not resting on anything, they are all in, and the film succeeds because of it.
I will say Elizabeth Olsen’s accent was rough at first but it seemed to get better as we rolled along, she did, for me, feel like the weak link of the cast.
There is a dual split of MVPs of the film though: Paul Bettany and James Spader just brought a new level of life to this franchise. Bettany has been with us since film one and finally got a chance to shine…and show off. James Spader…I just…wow. Get this man an category at the Oscars for Best Vocal Performance so he can win it. It was fun, it was fresh, and it was all the whole menacing. Really goes to show Marvel’s best villains are the ones who are given a TRUE fourth dimension by the actor portraying them. Between Loki, Wilson Fisk, and now Ultron, Marvel is finally starting to get a grasp of villains.
I mentioned the visuals and needed to again because they were incredible. The action was magnifent . The film looked sharp in the most vivid of ways. I would hope so considering the high standard of look the first one gave us. I always felt like I was in the world and watching as if I was an Avenger, and that was so cool for me.
One thing of note that was either a good thing or bad thing depending on perspective was the pacing. I felt that it moved fast but that benefited the action but not so much the story. Things kept moving one to the other, now the moments were excellently executed but a times I wish I had a quick moment to process a couple things.
There is a love story, which I won’t say who it’s between, but I will say that it is the weakest part of the film. It feels like Disney rang up Marvel and said, “Would someone put far too much of this love story in there. Oh and please…do NOT give it any build up and if you could make it as uncharacteristic of the characters as possible, that’d be peachy! Ok, gonna go count all the money I’m gonna buy with the profits of this movie you’re making me. Love you mean it!”
…or something like that. Either way, this love story didn’t seem to fit.
Lastly, we all need to chip in, to get the biggest Edible Arrangement for Joss Whedon. Without his genius and imagination, this world (and ours as a collective) would feel like just some movies. He has set the standard of filmmaking for any subsequent comic book film. This movie felt like Joss. It was smart, funny, sad, hopeful, but in a way you have to earn. Joss Whedon has truly left his mark on this Universe and has been as important as any of the Avengers themselves. I know we just met The Vision, but it is because an equally powerful vision made an animated world come to life.
Would I recommend you go see the film? Honestly…if you’ve made it down this far and haven’t already left to see it, I’m shocked. Thankful…but shocked. If you are a fan of comic book films then yes you need to see this. There is something in the film for everyone to enjoy and I would say it might require another screening down the line to see how everything feels the second time, but in terms of a kick off to the summer cinema season, we could easily have found the Summer’s best right out the gate.