So, the first Avengers flick was a better than average superhero blockbuster, agreed? Yes? Great! The writing was crisp, the film’s villain, Loki, was well developed and it was cool to see Robert Downey Jr.’s snarky Iron Man trading barbs with Chris Evan‘s stoic Captain America.
But not Hawkeye, played by the underrated Jeremy Renner — Whedon decided he wasn’t important or an “interesting character” in the first movie and Hawkeye spent most of the film as a mind controlled zombie — this pissed off a lot of fans.
Good news, super-nerds, your voice has been heard! In Age of Ultron, Hawkeye is given tons of screen time to kick ass and Renner nails his lines with a dry, cool wit — similar to Bill Murray in Ghostbusters. And that’s the only positive thing I have to say about Age of Ultron.
At an exhausting 141 minutes, Age of Ultron is a jejune of scenes which fail to make a complete movie going experience.
Even Robert Downey Jr., the neurotic scene stealer he is, seems uncomfortable delivering his punchless one-liners for the first time. Perhaps on set RDJ knew the type of reaction a line like, “… it will be a long day’s journey into night – and not the Eugene O’Neill kind,” would get from audience members: Nothing.
Age of Ultron is Joss Whedon’s worst outing as a writer (something I thought I’d never utter) and director. Whedon isn’t exactly James Cameron when it comes to standing behind the camera, but he is a step up from say, oh, I don’t know, the guy responsible for 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow, Roland Emmerich.
But Age of Ultron is one ugly film to watch. The film’s cheap looking CGI combined with its awkward scene cuts and transitions, one can’t help but ask themselves, “What were you guys doing in the editing room? Jerking each other off over your Eugene O’Neill reference?”
Age of Ultron might be that rare moment when nerd pride — Whedon loves talking about how big a nerd he is — turned into nerd ego run amok.
Or maybe Joss Whedon is just experiencing what we’re all experiencing: Marvel superhero burnout.
It’s real, folks. And only we can stop it as consumers.