Last Friday, I made a joke about putting up the wrong review, secure in the knowledge that the correct review, about the blockbuster sequel that was kicking off the summer season, would be following that first review by only an hour or two. So, that was six days ago.
Yep. I really am that busy, apparently.
Anyway, though, Avengers. Did you see it yet? No? I guess that’s not numerically surprising, it has not made the bank it was expecting. And there have been all kinds of complaints, from anti-feminist to muddled and confusing to unnecessary antagonists. Some of that is fair, and some of it is not. I come neither to defend Caesar nor to bury him, just to say that, you know, I still liked it?
Obviously I’m a total Marvel fanboy. But I don’t think that’s it. It got me in the door, sure, but the things that I liked were along the lines of, “It’s really awesome that Whedon managed to provide a character arc for every person onscreen, even though there were like ten of them.” I completely get why someone would turn that around and complain about how overstuffed the thing is, it just wasn’t my experience. Or, “I appreciate how Ultron’s motivations are thumbnailed so quickly, so we can get on to the plot and character development that succeeds his existence.” Which was turned into a question by a person that I wouldn’t have expected to hear it from, about why nobody bothered to explain why Ultron is trying to <spoiler elided>.
And more things like that. Basically, it’s possible that even though I’m actively looking for details about these characters, my decade long immersion in the characters they’re based upon is giving me an unfair advantage over the uninitiated viewing audience. So, I cannot say if this movie is for you. (Well, I can, for three or four specific values of “you”, but mostly I cannot.) I can say that the director’s cut is probably a visibly better movie than this was, and that this movie, despite a couple of missteps, was still a really excellent chapter in what is probably the most ambitious long-form piece of storytelling Hollywood has ever attempted.
There are worse epitaphs.
 He’s the guy whose Age it is, right? Age of Ultron? Right? Also, while I’m here: Spader nailed that character. I’m not surprised, but I am pleased.