Review by Ken Burke
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Joss Whedon)
Marvel’s Avengers are back in action to save themselves and Earth from impending catastrophe as a Tony Stark-created sentient robot is out to destroy everything that evolved from primates. The story gets crowded with such a large cast, but the action is well-rendered, we get a few insights into our heroes’ psyches, and new members join the group.
Take care, curious readers, for plot spoilers gallop rampantly throughout the Two Guys’ insightful reviews. Therefore, be warned, beware, and read on when you’re ready to be transported to … wherever we end up. Please protect your eyes from the dazzling brilliance.
Overstuffed plotlines (and the periodic “need” [?] to have various Avengers battle each other—except for the semi-comic-relief of Iron Man’s off-screen-punch coming into the frame to quiet Hulk’s mid-movie-hallucination-fueled-rampage, I saw little value in this diversionary scene, reminiscent of those eternal fanboy [and girl] fantasies about who’d win a battle between … [D.C. and Marvel even co-published some crossover-comics years ago based on that premise but Spider-Man quickly found out that his version of super-strength didn’t make much of a dent on Superman’s generally-invincible-body, except when his opponents are other Kryptonians], unless this was a future-plot-setup about what type of opponent might truly be able to go toe-to-toe with the Hulk) aside, Avengers: Age of Ultron is active, generally exciting, and well-managed in its special-effects-sophistication given all that Whedon had to contend with, nicely punctuated at times by snappy patter (usually from Tony Stark) to show that these folks aren’t always taking themselves too seriously either. With that spirit in mind, I’ll close out these comments on this latest Avengers saga with my own irreverent choices for Musical Metaphors, first the opening and closing credits theme music from the 1966-68 live-action Batman TV series at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ9ymE2Rcxo (I just had to use this version of it so that you can see the lyrics in print below the video screen, verifying that if you’re singing it yourself you get the proper number of “na na”s in there on the 1st and 6th repetitions [“Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na Batmaaaaaan!]), followed by the memory of another superhero coming to save the day with Andy Kaufman lip-synching to the “Mighty Mouse Theme Song” from the October 11, 1975 premiere of SNL at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-wUe5aEwHM (with a comparison to Jim Carrey playing Kaufman doing this bit in the Man on the Moon [Miloš Forman, 1999] film at https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=3Tqgp93zs3Y). But, just like the Avengers, I’ll be back soon, with more cinematic commentary, after I leave you with a few additional notations on another society at war with itself but with “stars” who’re willing to be paid with figs instead of millions of dollars.
P.S. Just to show that I haven’t fully flushed Texas out of my system here’s an alternative destination for you, Home in a Texas Bar, with Gary P. Nunn and Jerry Jeff Walker.