The Morning After: May 4, 2015

Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I’ve seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.

So, here is what I watched this past week:

Aveners: Age of Ultron

When Joss Whedon left television for the big screen universe, it was thought he’d bring his unique brand of kick-ass, character-driven panache to whatever he directed. While his Firefly adaptation Serenity certainly did that, some of his excellence melted away with the first Avengers film. Avengers: Age of Ultron is part-and-parcel with that universe. While the Whedon we loved is still there, it’s beginning to fade into the structure and calculation of the Disney empire.

The film centers on a rogue AI, unleashed thanks to the tinkering of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who wants to create an extinction-level event so that he can purify the planet of its bothersome heroes and populace. The original Avengers team, Iron Man (Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), makes a triumphant and adventurous return. They are joined by the calculating villain Ultron (voiced by James Spader), and the revenge-seeking twins Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and a bevy of supporting characters from throughout the current iteration of the Disney/Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The film is incredibly fun. The dynamic between the characters is as supercharged as ever, but the frayed ends of the premise are starting to unravel. There are more pointless action sequences than ever before and the acting isn’t necessarily where it needs to be. The parts are certainly becoming better than the whole, which is troubling considering the upcoming properties coming out of this impressive brain trust. Still, the house that Marvel built isn’t ready to collapse. It’s still a strong, capable structure. It just needs a bit more refocusing and a lot less ego.

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