Magazine article The Spectator

Cinema: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Magazine article The Spectator

Cinema: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Article excerpt

Avengers: Age of Ultron

12A, Nationwide

Avengers: Age of Ultron is the second film in the Avengers franchise, as written and directed by Joss Whedon, and stars Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark (Iron Man), Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Mark Ruffalo as Dr Bruce Banner, aka the Incredible Hulk, who probably had to be included, as no one would have wished to piss him off. ('IF HULK NOT IN MOVIE HULK WILL THROW CAR!') I am not among the target audience for this particular genre, but I attended with my son (22), which was useful, as I found it confusing -- a lot of prior knowledge is assumed -- and he was able to fully debrief me afterwards as to who was who, and where Samuel L. Jackson had suddenly come from, and who's the funny fella with the red painted face? I don't know what it is about the minds of young men such that they get all this but do not get picking up wet towels, or coming in at

4 a.m. and closing the front door quietly, but there you are.

Back to black: Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow

I am not among the target audience, and neither am I an ardent fan of these films. I didn't grow up on the Marvel comics, only Bunty , and 'The Four Marys', who never had to save humankind, and were too busy having midnight feasts anyhow. But I have not proved unwilling over the years. I enjoyed all the first of the modern superhero movies -- the first Superman (Christopher Reeve), the first Batman (Michael Keaton), the first Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) -- but now that the technology has moved on they all seem much of a muchness. That is, they seem to exist not as dramas, but as feats of cinematic engineering, so what you ultimately have is a surfeit of CGI bling, strung together by a few lame jokes and a few lame stabs at character and back story as the soundtrack pounds and as good as takes your ears off. (In this instance, I could even feel the sound pounding up my legs, if that makes sense, and my whole body was still jangling and throbbing two hours later.) And the main plot never varies, involving as it always does some evil alien force that wishes to destroy the human race. In this instance, it is Ultron, a robot with red eyes, as voiced by James Spader. Ultron thinks humans a disgrace because they are always starting wars with each other. So he starts a war against them? What kind of sense does that make? That's what I asked my son, but all he would say was, 'For God's sake, mum, you sometimes just have to go with it, OK? …

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