Film Review – Avengers: Age of Ultron (spoiler free)

Summary from IMDb: When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.

This is going to be little different from my usual reviews because the first part of this was written before I saw the film. And there’s no need to raise your eyebrows at me, I’ve got a good reason. Well, reasons actual, in the form of all the hype and the reactions that have swamped the social media platforms I use since it was released last week. And my reactions to them.
Written before seeing the film:

I have absolutely no idea what I’m expecting to see on the screen any more. Before it went on general release I was completely hyped for it, looking forward to seeing how far after the events of the CA:WS the film picked up, whether we’d get to see Bucky in this or would have to wait for Cap 3, stoked to see Bruce and Thor again and very much looking forward to more Steve and Sam buddydom and Black Widow kicking butt. 
And now … I’m a bit ambivalent and setting myself up for disappointment. I freely admit that if I had to list the Avengers in order of my preference, Iron Man would be at the bottom of the list but that isn’t saying much since that’s just a distinction of how much I like each one rather than like to dislike. However one bloggers comments that (and I’m paraphrasing) “the only difference between filming what they did and filming Joss Whedon jacking off to a picture of Iron Man was the budget” has made me wary. I don’t want to believe that Joss has ignored those superheroes that many see as the “minor” ones (they’re not, not to me anyway) in favour of another story that only focuses on Iron Man’s issues but … it wouldn’t surprise me if he had.
The trailer and the publicity shots didn’t seem to give that vibe but then they’re designed to make as many people as possible want to see the movie, they’re going to reflect all aspects of the film whether or not what they show is an accurate reflection of the balance given to each character and story arc. If it had just been one lone comment in a sea of “awesome” I’d not be worried but the focus on Iron Man to the detriment of other characters seems to be a theme in the (thankfully spoiler free) reactions I’ve come across. In short, I’m a bit panicky that, for the first time since I was sucked into this franchise, I’m going to leave the cinema disappointed. I really hope I’m worrying unnecessarily.
Written the moment I got home from the cinema:

OMG that was awesome. I loved it. Action from the opening seconds, backstory for Clint, all sorts of other “minor” avenger schenanigans, Cap leading the team, a resolution to the mess Hydra left Sheild in and OH GOD the action sequences. I’m not sure what the person I paraphased above saw in the film, but it certainly wasn’t what I just watched.
I can see, as the adrenaline leaves my body and with it the blanket adoration for every second of footage, that there will be elements in there some people wont like and that there are also characters and storylines that were missing that others will be upset about. I’m sure, if I was feeling particularly nitpicky I could rip it to shreds. But I’m not because it made me far, far too happy for that. I watch Marvel movies to see good triumph over evil, for the team to win out against all the odds. I want to be moved, wowed, have my disbelief suspended in the best way possible. Age of Ultron did all that and more. It made me wince, it made me laugh, it made my heart ache in a myriad of different ways and, as usual, I left the cinema feeling that I wanted to be a bit more like Cap.

Mostly thought, I left wanting to go back and see it again. NOW.  THIS INSTANT. However I’ll exercise a limited amount of impulse control and wait until the weekend. And yes, although my reasoning for that should be due to the time and the fact I have to work in the morning, it’s mainly because the cinema is closing for the night.

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