Avengers: Age of Ultron

2015 super sequel

Rating: 13/20

Plot: Occasionally, a company who I will not name because I do not do product placement here at shane-movies--the exception would be Zubaz, pants that enable you to embrace the awesome--sends me a coupon for a free movie as long as I'm willing to go to a nearby pharmacy or supermarket to find the giant red box and spend the time perusing, selecting, and punching in a code. One day earlier this month, I got an email with one of those coupons, drove a mile down the street, and rented this movie because I thought it the experience of watching superheros and one Norse god running around fighting evil would be worth the nothing that I paid for it. That experience was so amazing that I completely forgot about it until right now. And now I'm writing about it before I forget it again, especially since I know this is the exact type of movie that people would have wanted to read about three or four months ago. You've got to give the readers what they want, right?

Bloated. That's the word that keeps popping into my head. This movie, and probably most of the other Marvel movies, is the movie that reminds me most of a sebaceous cyst that I had on my lower neck or upper chest--depending on your angle, I guess--that I had to have removed. That's right--it's a sebaceous cyst of a movie. It feels like it could burst at any moment, but it doesn't and eventually requires the surgical precision of a little Indian doctor who you can barely understand. And that doctor questions your manhood while dumping half a bottle of peroxide on the wound. You wonder why you have a "wound" to begin with and nearly pass out as you walk through the waiting room. You're shocked to see a giant hole in your upper chest or lower neck the next day, and several years later, you've got a scar that nobody knows about except you.

I've digressed before I even started, but I'm pretty sure I'm a little drunk again. I'll tell you what--I'm glad I didn't start drinking as a younger man because I'm pretty sure I would have died a long time ago.

I haven't watched many movies this year. When I started this blog, it was all about the 365 movies in one year because I wanted to have some sort of goal and see if I could do it. I'm falling well short of 365 movies this year, but that doesn't matter any more. Honestly, I'm not sure why I keep this thing going except I do like to have a chronicle of what I've seen. I have a terrible memory, so it's good to have somewhere to go to find out what I thought about a movie. Like this one. In a few years, once the third movie, Avengers: Another Buttload of Money, comes out, I'll want to come and read this to remind myself what it was about and whether or not I liked it.

I'm going to be really disappointed in myself.

I guess I have to write a little about the movie. My favorite thing about the entire movie was James Spader. He's got such a great voice that I wouldn't mind hearing him read my obituary. And you know what the stupidest thing about this movie is? In a movie that has a lot more stupid than most Marvel movie fans would be willing to admit, the stupidest thing that the bad guy is voiced by James Spader.

Here's a question: Did Joss Whedon decide somewhere in the writing process that he wanted some sinister plan that Batman t.v. show villains would think was too complicated but with a far more costly special effects budget? I sort of remember the first movie where bugs are falling from the sky and our heroes have to fly around trying to stop them. At least I remember being bored by the whole thing. The climax of this, in which a chunk or real estate is being lifted into the heavens, is just as boring. One can only take so much special effects swooping.

Like all comic book character movies, this one confused me.

I am wearing a shirt that glows in the dark, and I'm 42 years old. How's that for ideas that clash? Today, I should have done something productive.

How many of these movies did Robert Downey  Jr. sign up for? He's going to be in the next Captain America movie and at least another one of these Avengers movies. Iron Man kind of turns out to be a doofus in this, doesn't he? Scarlett Johansson's in this, but it's seemingly only to be a love interest and later a damsel in distress. She gets her moments--furious motorcycle riding, etc.--but she winds up just being somebody who needs to be saved. There's too much of Bow and Arrow Guy in this. He's just not an engaging character, even if you give him a family. Hulk sulks, and Thor's running around doing things that I don't entirely understand. The Captain America movies are my favorite of the Marvel movies, but he always seems like too much of a good two shoes when he's with the other Avengers. Who am I missing? Did I cover everybody? I don't want to miss an Avenger!

Where's it go from here? The Avengers are apparently going to be fighting in the next series of movies, and that makes me a little sad. But these movies seem like they're going to go on forever. Long after they're interesting at all, I'm pretty sure people will pretend they're interesting just because it's expected. I find it difficult to get excited about these movies although I did sort of want to see what that Antman was all about.

Oh, who am I kidding? It's the same thing. There's some exposition, some action sequences, a little time to catch your breath, and then a giant fight scene. That's what it was all about.

I know who I forgot--Don Cheadle and the guy with wings. And two new characters, mopey siblings who stole their superpowers from Incredibles' characters. And Samuel L. Jackson who appears to be getting too tired for this shit.

Speaking of Samuel L. Jackson, it's interesting that so many people who hated the Star Wars prequels are so excited about the upcoming Force Awakens movie. I don't think you should be allowed to be excited about any Star Wars movies until you're willing to admit that most of what George Lucas was trying to do in those prequels--even The Phantom Menace--was at least fun. I mean, what the hell are you excited about if all you can remember about the prequel trilogy is how much you hated Jar Jar Binks?

This review isn't very helpful. I'll make it simple for you. If you've already seen this movie and engaged in some kind of fanboy circle jerk, then it's probably the right movie for you. If you think all these Marvel movies are entertaining but more than a little overhyped, then you're going to think the same thing about this one. And the next one. And the next one.

I'm feeling pretty cynical here. It might be the alcohol.

One more thing--the Fast and the Furious movies are better superhero movies than these Avengers movies. At least they're not all the same exact movie with different shadings.

Jimmy Johns. I like their sandwiches a lot, but they are really overpriced. That's a lot to pay for a sandwich. They definitely are freaky fast though.

Ok, so there's more product placement, but it was accidental. My instincts are telling me just to delete all that about my sandwiches, mostly because nobody cares but mostly because the Zubaz people might wonder what's going on. From there, it's a logical progression of feelings. If nobody cares what kind of sandwich I ate and how I feel about how much money I spent on it, why would they care about my reaction to Avengers: Age of Ultron. And if they don't care about my feelings about that superhero movie, why would they care about how much I enjoyed the last Neil Breen movie I watched? And if they don't care about something I'm that passionate about, would they care about anything at all?

It makes me wonder why I continue doing this blog. It chronicles, it gives me something comfortable, it's as much of a legacy as a really manly fart.

You know who I really want to be? I want to be the guy who knows a lot about movies but who has never seen Avengers: Age of Ultron. I think that's who I was born to be. Unfortunately, it's too late for that because I've seen Avengers: Age of Ultron. And I'll probably see the next one if that company sends me another coupon to get a free movie from their giant red machine.

I think I might be a little depressed actually. You get to be a certain age--in this case, 42--and you assume it's your last year on earth because you had a premonition when you were a much younger man and you look around at a world that should be much better than the world you were in 20 years ago but can't help noticing it's really not better at all. And you're experienced enough to look into the future and know that it's probably going to be a lot worse. And you're confused because you know that you're getting wiser with age and feel that the world should be getting wiser with age, too.

This is a movie that should make you temporarily forget all that, but it doesn't. And that's where the movie kind of fails. I want to watch a superhero movie that makes me feel like I did when I watched Superman for the first time and saw Christopher Reeve using his x-ray vision to look at Lois Lane's underwear. I was five when that movie came out, and the world was much simpler, the type of world where a guy in tights matching wits with a bald man can make you forget that there's even a real world out there at all. That magic is gone now.

I've probably changed more than superhero movies have.

Still, I can't figure out how they can put a Norse god in these movies and make jokes about his hammer.

I could write paragraphs about Scarlett Johansson, but I don't like her in this movie. I don't like her character, and every time I saw her on the screen as Spider Woman or whoever she happens to be, I just wished I was watching Under the Skin instead.

Now I'm sidetracked again. Here I was trying to focus on Avengers: Age of Ultron again, and I decided to go to imdb instead to see what people were saying about the far-superior Under the Skin. Here's something insightful:

Can you read that? It's a middle-aged man who thinks Scarlett Johansson's ass "looked absolutely delicious." Now I'm really depressed. Is it normal to see something like that on the Internet and immediately question every decision you've ever made in your life?

In my defense, I'm not sure what somebody is supposed to say about a movie like this. Maybe that has more to do with me as a person who blogs about movies. But seriously, what is there to say? The special effects are adequate? The story is exactly what you'd expect? The established characters are moved from point A all the way to point B in a way that wonderfully leads into the next blockbuster? The explosions are loud?

Let's talk about what this has to say about life. It's probably the exact same lesson as nearly every 50's B-movie except it says it in a more flamboyant way. Flamboyantly explosive and swoopy.

I'm reminded that Tommy Wiseau, a guy who made a movie like Tommy Wiseau instead of making a movie like everybody else, expressed a desire to direct a sequel to that last Fantastic Four movie. Now that would be something! That's a blockbuster I'd camp out to see.

Movie idea: Secretary 2: Age of Ultron.

Anyway, I'm having a difficult time focusing, so I'll end this and pretend it never happened.

Any questions?

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