Movie Madness: Age of Ultron – Reception Prediction

After having seen Age of Ultron twice on opening week here in Australia last week I came to a quick thought on the new Avengers movie, it won’t be as well received. It might bring in more people than the first one, strong Marvel fans will probably love it, but you’re general crowd (and a certain niche I’ll mention) will be less enthralled. People have already started to interrogate the movie for why but I think we also need to look at ourselves and the nature of sequels.

Here’s why.

1. It’s more of the same.

We’ve already seen The Avengers get together, a great team of heroes who we’ve come to love through their own stories and appearing in others. Yes The Incredible Hulk is Marvel Cinematic Universe canon.We have seen Joss Whedon’s great ability to juggle diverse characters and have them interact in a genuine realistic way while keeping the action pretty fresh and decidedly “EPIC”.

Avengers Assembled

The Avengers assembled before, does that make the magic a little less?

We’ve seen the great threat with big ambitions and the ability to back up his threats, something great enough to actually warrant all the team coming together. The drama that rattles the team, a staple of almost every story ever told, even feels familiar. Some of the reasons for this have even been seen before. While this is actually great character building it’s not going to get most people jumping from excitement.

Personally I’m a fan of getting more of what I like if it is done right and is a new story. Plus as a huge superhero fan I just love seeing how they bring worthy adaptations to the screen that fit their MCU whilst still being as true as they can to the source material. You’ve also got the deeper interesting questions it poses and themes the storyline taps into (which are there from the comic where it is deeper) but most people come to The Avengers to see an A grade popcorn action movie.

2. Loki fangirls and fanboys.

Tom Hiddleston played a fantastic role of Loki through the original Thor movie and into The Avengers. He blended all the great elements which make a loved villain. He was smart instead of a brute, he could be insanely funny and he was a legitimate threat to his enemies. I also think the fact a lot of people find him highly attractive probably helped too.

Ultron he's certainly not Loki.

Ultron he’s certainly not Loki.

I am convinced the great love of the trickster brought in a lot of the great passion for the first Avengers movie. Ultron is not Loki and no matter how cool he is he isn’t Loki and for some people that’s enough to make the movie not as exciting.

Don’t worry though if you are part of the cult of Loki. He will be back soon enough, I’m sure.

3. It’s another step forward to the real goal.

It feels more like a stepping stone than a game changer with where the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now. The first Avengers movie set up much for what is now the lay of the land in the Marvel Cinematic universe and did it in a way that felt like the closing of a chapter and the opening to a greater universe.

The Avengers gave us all the lead ins we needed for the next of the major hero movies. It provided a source for Iron Man’s PTSD, Captain America’s distrust of S.H.I.E.L.D, Loki going home with Thor. It not only gave us Culson becoming a hero and not just a cameo link between movies to lead into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but also unknown to us gave us the setting for Daredevil with New York being scarred by the invasion.

Admit it, you want to fast-forward to this.

Admit it, you want to fast-forward to this.

The big thing here however was the Chitauri invasion and seeing Thanos’ hand in play along with seeing Thor and Iron Man share screen time in a believable way. These two elements combined opened up your normal movie goer to the possibilities of a greater universe where Groot and Rocket Raccoon meeting Star Lord and being in the same universe as Captain America is not totally absurd. As far as I am concerned this was no small feat.

Age of Ultron certainly gives new directions for old beloved characters, set ups for new movies, TV series, impacts on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and maybe even a yet to be relieved Hulk or Black Widow movie (if you’ve seen it you probably know what I mean).  A couple elements and lines however make it seem more about steam-rolling towards the Infinity Wars and maybe part of that is us wanting to get there. What we are missing however is the feeling of an end of a chapter. Maybe it would have if we saw the events that lead up to the start of the movie.


What are your thoughts? Do you see Age of Ultron being as well accepted by non comic book readers? Am I way off and will it be Marvel’s biggest fans that will be most annoyed (no Hank Pym and all)? Let me know below. Also be sure to keep an eye out for a spoiler filled analysis of the movie in the coming weeks, once I take a chance to see it a third time and really look for clues.

Comments 1

  1. My answer is Batman.

    (Which is also the best possible answer in Cards Against Humanity if anyone cares)

    Sequels, remakes, parodies, etc., all have their place in recycling the excitement and enthusiasm (or the opposite) in an industry that thrives on pushing money-making content. While I can agree ostensibly that a well-done first experience with a particular brand/team/license will likely be more endearing to a viewer than the cursory follow-ups, a movie’s reception is still dependant on the ebb and flow of the hype/marketing machine that primes you for this exciting new ‘experience’.

    Tim Burton’s Batman was a dark and gritty iteration of the well-loved character and while not received as a amazing experience still managed to establish itself as a classic within the super-hero (yes I know he isn’t) genre. The follow-up Batman Returns was a much better movie in my opinion and certainly in the numbers of movie-goers when it was released. Why?

    If I ask which of the Nolan Batman movies was the best or gave you that I-MUST-SEE-THIS-FIVE-TIMES!!! feeling, I would bet on most people picking one of the two latter films. Again why?

    My feelings for the ‘sequels’ stem from the fact that I don’t need the hero/team’s origin ties that the First Movie’s provide. I want and appreciate specific stories that show the established character(s) dealing with exceptonal circumstances as an experienced hero/team. Not everyone is or has to be a Marvel/DC comics fanatic to appreciate the how/why’s of the Big Events that are being portrayed/set-up on the big screen at the moment, what matters is how the villain/calamitous circumstances are presented and whether I am invested in how the ‘heroes’ will deal with it.

    I think most sequel flops are more due to director hand-offs and poor writing than the idea that I’ve already been-there-done-that with the current new thing.

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