I guess I should’ve seen it coming earlier. Hindsight is easy, we all know that. It’s mentioned with the stock market, NFL drafts and anything else of note. And now I’m applying it to my beloved MCU, Age of Ultron was never going to be as good as The Avengers.
The terms geek and nerd are thrown around loosely these days and I’m not attacking anyone who does or accusing someone of not being a true fan. I’d consider myself a nerd on certain things and not on other things, which I think most people are. Geek or nerd just means that you have hobbies designed around certain entertainment properties. I’m a huge wrestling fan but I couldn’t tell you the first thing about anime. I’m an expert on Star Wars and kaiju films but the second somebody starts talking about Star Trek I tune out. I know the basics of DC Comics but don’t really have much knowledge or investment there, my real expertise comes in Marvel Comics. Spider-Man was always my favorite and the X-Men weren’t far behind, so when Nick Fury showed up at the end of Iron Man to essentially announce the existence of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I was one of the millions who exploded with joy. The crowning moment of awesome in my MCU fanhood had to be “that sequence” in Avengers where the camera follows each Avenger, one after another, during their battle with Loki’s Chitauri army. It was the first time I felt like I was watching a true comic book action sequence on a movie screen.
And I guess deep down I knew they’d never be able to achieve it again.
I hope I’m wrong, I really do. I hope that come this time next year I look like a complete idiot when Civil War has a sequence that gives me a fan boner the size of the Hulk. But after watching Avengers: Age of Ultron I realized that there was no way we’d feel the same way we did during that amazing daisy chain of ass kicking from its predecessor. The table was set perfectly for Avengers, the novelty and anticipation were both there. This was the first time a super film had been done in our lifetime, we had been waiting FOREVER for it. In comparison we had been waiting for Age of Ultron for three years and we saw all the team up stuff then. Now it’s just another movie.
I don’t want anyone to think that I disliked the film, I really enjoyed it. I loved Spader as Ultron, they depowered him enough to make the conflict believable and everything he did made sense. Infusing him with Stark’s personality as opposed to making him a cold blooded logic machine helped the film out so they could get the action sequences and speeches they needed instead of him just instantly nuking everyone. We got expanded backstories on Widow and Hawkeye and teasers for Black Panther, Civil War, Ragnarok and Infinity War. Everything was pretty great and although I’d still put Avengers, Winter Soldier, Guardians and Iron Man above it on my definitive MCU rankings, it was a great time at the movies.
But it didn’t blow my mind like Avengers did. I am not kidding you when I say that I talked about Avengers for three hours after the film ended. Just ask my girlfriend, she’ll remember how annoyed she was. It didn’t achieve that perfect harmony that the original did during that magical May in 2012 and in all fairness, it couldn’t. I’m not mad at Marvel (like I was after Iron Man 3) and I’m still going to spend the same amount of money purchasing their products and watching their movies and shows as I did before the movie, but that sense of magic isn’t fluttering in my stomach like a tiny Janet Van Dyne. I hope Marvel can find some of that magic for Civil War and Infinity War and I’ll be the first person to tell you I was wrong and I’m so happy about it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to stop doing this and go and purchase another set of tickets for Age of Ultron tonight.