Review: Age of Ultron and the State of Comic Book Movies

by: Adam Matthew Ink

Marvel has done something no one else has. They have made an ensemble movie greater than the sum of its parts. Time and time again, Marvel has taken a risk with each hero they brought to the big screen. Back in 2000, they had most of their widely known superheroes (coincidentally, the heroes who appeared in 90’s cartoons) sold out to other companies and were left with 2nd or 3rd tier characters–yes it’s strange to think Iron Man, now, would be thought as a 3rd tier hero, but this was the case.  Marvel was fraught with a very difficult task: to make the audience care about the leftovers.  After risking it all on Iron Man, the world, almost unanimously, cheered in excitement.  Later, they would take greater risk with such unknowns  as Thor, Captain America, Black Widow and so on to get to the endgame of The Avengers.  Now, three years after the amalgamation of heroes took the record for opening weekend ($207M), fans are delighted to see a sequel

Marvel has made Phase II with Age of Ultron and the bright future of what’s to come in mind. Each movie has a specific story to tell with Easter eggs and hints at what’s to come and Marvel has built a universe so big, that not even Galactus could consume it all—an applause-worthy fit, if I do say so myself.  Inside a bag of Skittles I will always have my favorite flavors, but I won’t scoff at a good, or okay, film and bite the hand that feeds me–not when there are movies like Suicide Squad or The Amazing Spider-Man 2 out there making a mockery of the genre.

While sitting through the previews of Age of Ultron, following the Batman vs. Superman trailer, my fiance leaned over to confess she I had no interest in that movie.  I had to think to myself, this is where we are at: movie companies can’t just push out a flick with a mask in it and serve it to the audience on a cold plate anymore. Superhero films have made their footprint and they need to do more than step up to the plate, they need to perform.

Age of Ultron is the sequel to one of the biggest comic book movie moments ever: the first time we saw the Avengers on screen together. To surpass that moment, Marvel would have to take Ultron and…you know what?  They really can’t exceed that first moment.  Honestly, I don’t think I ever expected them to.  I came out of AOU liking it better than the first installment, but it was apparent a spark was gone.  They already unleashed their load in the first film. Once you’ve done that, the rest of the films are just me sitting in awe as I can’t believe any of these comic book characters or moments are getting a big-screen adaptation.  What I wanted from this film was them to expand on the Avengers, what I got was a treat filled with a lot of amazing moments, back story and new characters.

So, enjoy the film. Enjoy what Marvel is doing because it seems like it’s lightning in a bottle and pretty damn hard to re-create in the hands of Snyder, DC and Sony.  Now, go get prepared for Civil War!

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