#25 & 26: THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (24/4/15 & 26/4/15)
Starring (deep breath) - Robert Downey Jnr, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffallo, Chris Evans, James Spader, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smuthers, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Andy Serkis, Anthony Mackie, Claudia Kim, Hayley Atwell, Stellan Skarsgard, Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston and Josh Brolin. (and breath).
Written and directed by Josh Whedon. 141 MINUTES LONG!
Imagine a 240 minute movie shoe-horned into 141 minutes. Imagine a film that takes a huge, deep breath and then doesn't take in air again for the next 2 hours and twenty minutes and you still have no idea how utterly packed with incident this second Avengers movie is. Indeed there's only one scene in the entire film when it's slows down enough for the audience to relax and try and process what's happening and sadly before you're half way through trying to play catch up you're off again, like a roller coaster, reaching the top of an insane arch before plummeting towards the ground at about a million miles an hour. What's it about? Hmmm, well Tony and Banner get their hands on that staff thing that Loki had and discover an intelligence within the gem at its centre and Stark decides it's the very thing he's been looking for to kickstart his Ultron peace-keeping program of artificial-intelligent police robots and before you can say, 'hmm, Tone, that doesn't really sound like a terribly good idea, no seriously have you really considered the pit-falls?' James Spader's Ultron turns up only to be revealed to be as bat-shit bonkers as a bag full of mentally-deranged beavers. After that it's a relentless chase around the world after Ultron as he gathers the ingredients he needs to make something really, really, stupidly dangerous to all humanity. Then it's a final push to the finish line with our band of heroes laying waste to Ultron's entire army of metal robots before the end credits and the post credit teaser. It's like a marathon run like a 100 metre sprint.
Featuring fantastic special effects but, alas a tad too much shaky cam during the fights (the best fight is the one between Iron Man: Hulk Buster and The Hulk) this is an enjoyable enough movie, but sadly not as brilliant as either last year's Captain America: Winter Solider or Guardians of the Galaxy. And while it is entertaining, well made and action packed, boy is it action packed, there's just no time to enjoy the characters before the next big fight and after a while that all becomes a little one note and poe-faced, and it lacks a sense of humour, something that made the first Avengers film so delightful.
With such a big cast it's hard to pick out any one performance but the chemistry between Johansson's Black Widow and Ruffallo's Hulk is lovely and Chris Evans powns it as Captain America, but it's Spader who has the most fun.
Big, spectacular, action-packed and the most comic-like movie ever made, but lacking a sense of humour. This is definitely enjoyable but sadly and disappointingly not better than that.
Just come back from seeing this for the second time in 48 hours and second time round I still enjoyed it, but I was aware it was all a bit sort of samey, it never peaked, I was aware of the bullet points, it felt a tad obvious and lacked the glorious spark of the first one. so, what was originally an 8/10 becomes a 7/10 second time round.