How to Watch “Avengers: Age of Ultron”
By: Connor Lenahan
I’m tempted to start this off with my immediate thought coming out of Avengers: Age of Ultron last night – see this movie, and see it soon – but it seems relatively pointless. This movie, more than any other in recent memory, strikes me as one that just about every person I know will see at some point in the near future. It’s not only the most successful blockbuster franchise of the decade thus far, but it’s also yet another great entry into the grand experiment in filmmaking that is the Marvel Cinematic universe. Just by existing this movie was set to be successful. This much was proved by the box office results – second largest opening weekend of all time. When you print money, over $180 million’s worth, in that rapid of succession then you are bound to keep making a push towards the astronomical billion mark that the first Avengers film reached.
There are two ways that this film need to be addressed. The spoilers from the film will be kept to a minimum, because I don’t want to be that guy. This, again, is an event film. Watching and enjoying it will be one of the topics of cultural conversation for months to come.
The first way of looking at Avengers 2 would be to address the film itself. As a stand alone film this was pretty good. The first entry into the Avengers trilogy was better, but it’s not like the second movie is awful. Much the opposite, this movie is great. Reviews coming in over the past few days may not be all universally sold by how jam packed this movie is with stars and plot devices. This isn’t wrong – the movie has roughly 25 people that play a role in the story – but it also isn’t the worst problem in the world. Everyone comes to play, especially James Spader, who voices Ultron, the film’s villain. I loved Ultron more than I think I was supposed to. Any villain that can credibly entertain me while also getting his job done is enough for me. Ultron gives the gang a real challenge, one that is fun as all hell to watch.
But this is only part of the story. Yes, Avengers 2 is a good movie, but it also is getting mixed reviews because it’s only being thought of out of context. This particular chapter has the unenviable position of fitting between the first film where all our heroes come together as a team and the upcoming Infinity Wars, a two-part mega movie coming in 2018 & 2019. I am not exaggerating when I say Marvel has been outlining the path to Infinity Wars as far back as Iron Man in 2008. The success of Iron Man set The Avengers in motion, which then led to the reveal of Infinity Wars big bad, Thanos, in an end credits scene. Thanks further appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy and now is the finish line on the horizon. If I could pass along and advice to those that are awaiting viewing Avengers 2, it would be to confirm an understanding of the larger story to come. The fact that I had followed along with central plot pieces like infinity stones, which have been brought up multiple times in the past films, made me love the movie. A cursory internet search will help get those unfamiliar with what is to come down the line, like the Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel movies, will be even more excited.
Overall, go see the movie. Make sure to pay attention. There are a lot of moving pieces, but we are quickly moving towards incredible things. We already have greatness. But the end game is finally in sight. Time to get really, really excited whether you’ve seen the movie or not.