Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Avengers: Age Of Ultron ... Wham, bam, thank you, maam

THE prevalent feeling I got from watching writer-director Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron is that of being pummelled into submission. The action is relentless, from the start to the end.
Explosions, gun fights, fist fights and all kinds of fights take place in this sequel to The Avengers (2012).
   After awhile, however, they all looked the same, and my mind started wandering, thinking of the eggs, ham and sausages I had for dinner.
   This doesn't mean that this blockbuster is disastrous. I enjoyed the conflict and rivalry among the testosterone-filled white superheroes, especially the dreams each experienced.

     I also enjoyed Hollywood's attempt to portray these superheroes as striving to impose peace on the world, even though it knows very well that these superheroes prefer using their fists rather than their heads.
   Billionaire entrepreneur Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is still the leader of the pack with his Iron Man. He's well aided by Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Natasha Romanoff /Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).
     There's a lot of hype surrounding these special effects-laden films, and they often flounder under the weight of their expectations. I'm happy to say that Age of Ultron exceeds the lowest common denominator for success, which is to be more entertaining than the middling Furious 7.
   The start of the film is invigorating as all the superheroes get to exhibit their ability to wreak as much havoc as possible by storming a lair in the middle of a forest. Hardly original, right?
    They chance upon a programme that will allow Stark to develop Ultron, a kind of Star Wars propagated by former US president Ronald Reagan. As Stark tells Banner: Ultron will allow people to have "peace in our time". I find this intention disingenuous as is portrays Westerners as peace-loving activists, when we know that this is far from the truth.
   Anyway, things go awry and Ultron gets too big for its own head and spreads its evil tentacles via the Internet. I can hear gasps of shock and surprise from readers: what's the big deal about an evildoer wanting to reach all corners of the world through the Net?
    This film has two additions to the cast: twins Pietro/Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olson).
   Quicksilver moves faster than the speed of lights, just like a Speedy Gonzales in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), while his sister can get people to do bad things.
  The film's redeeming quality is showing Wanda getting into the minds of people, which allows viewers to see the painful pasts of the superheroes. Her propensity for mind games sows seeds of discord among the tight-knit group. Will they rise above their pettiness to see off the mighty Ultron, who likes to hide in a similar get-up to Iron Man?
    The film takes a short time out to show viewers Hawkeye's family, who lives off the grid in a rustic farm.
   It then progresses into even more unrelenting action, which takes viewers to South Africa and South Korea. A lovely Asian (Claudia Kim) plays scientist Dr Helen Cho, who under pressure from Ultron, helps the latter to devise and out-of-body experience.
    Romance intrudes in the realm of violence when sparks fly between Natasha and Hulk, but the latter pushes her away because of his condition.
 3 out of 5 stars
Crouching Black Widow, Hidden Great Body.

Battle of the biceps.

The gang gets ready for action.

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