Take one part superheroes, one part rouge AI and mix it with a massive amount of CGI.
I’m generally challenged when it comes to superhero knowledge. Ask me to tell you if a particular character is a DC or Marvel creation and I’d have to take a guess that would most likely be wrong. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a good superhero movie.
The the eleventh installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Avengers: Age of Ultron. You might know the Avengers. I don’t. I know of a few of the characters, like the Hulk and Iron Man, but I had no idea that those to merry fellas had joined forces with other superheroes to “fight the foes no single superhero can withstand.”
Avengers: Age of Ultron doesn’t waste any time with boring introductions and throws you right into the action: The Avengers are raiding a Hydra outpost defended by what might be extras from the new Star Wars movie. I have no idea what I’m looking at, but that doesn’t matter because there’s a lot to look at. I can almost smell the smoking GPUs that were scarified to create this amazingly CGI intensive sequence. After having killed an impressive number of Hydra henchmen, The Avengers find what they are looking for: Loki‘s scepter.
Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Bruce Banner (the Hulk) discover an artificial intelligence within the scepter’s gem, and secretly use it to complete Stark’s “Ultron” global defense program. The Ultron project was intended to defend the human kind, but since most movies about artificial intelligence these days tend you focus on the negative sides of AI, you can probably guess where the movies heads from here: Ultron decided that the best way to save humans is to wipe them out.
This sounds like a job for The Avengers, doesn’t it? Yes, it does.
The movie is 141 minutes long, 141 minutes that simply fly by in a flash. Most of the movie is action sequences, with very little downtime. What little downtime you get is filled with quasi-scientific discussions that make very little sense, and annoying little comments made by the characters. But I’m guessing that’s a thing they have among themselves: If you’re out there killing people together all day long, you have to vent a little pressure from time to time. But in between the annoying comments, we also get memorable quotes like this one:
“The city is flying, we’re fighting an army of robots, and I have a bow and arrow! None of this makes sense!” - Hawkeye
As previously mentioned, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a very CGI-intensive movie. The CGI climax comes in a long sequence where Iron Man, in his Hulkbuster armor, tries to calm down a rather aggravated Hulk, who is going completely insane in the middle of an African city. I have no idea how long the sequence is, perhaps as long as 10 minutes, and it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Amazing stuff. I might even go as far as to say that the Hulkbuster vs Hulk sequence alone is worth the price of the movie ticket. Here’s a little teaser:
Will there be another Avengers movie? Making movies about their superheroes is an endless pit of money for Marvel; of course they will continue to pump them out until the end of days. Right now there are two Avengers sequels planned, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2. They are scheduled to be released on May 4, 2018, and May 3, 2019, respectively.
I, for one, is childishly excited.