Christmas came early this year as we raced to our local movie theater to watch “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” While the majority loved the film, what comic book geek would be worth his street cred without critiquing some major or minor point of the film?
Our three heroes for this outing are Eddie deAngelini, Geoffrey Patterson and Mauricio Machuca, a trio of longtime comic book collectors and co-owners of Hi De Ho Comics. We watched the new Avengers movie together, yet came away with different critiques. Join us here in the spoiler-free zone!
EDDIE: I enjoyed this movie more than the first. The first “Avengers” was lacking in characterization, especially in regards to Hawkeye. “Age of Ultron” more than made up for that by better developing several of the heroes. Like “Avengers”, The Hulk steals the show. But unlike the first, where I loved watching him smash everything in sight, this time I rooted for and sympathized with his human side.
GEOFFREY: The depth of the Ultron character really impressed me. How awkward he was, petulant, like a child and prone to anger, despite being a robot. The story was fascinating, and the characterization made me want a lot more Ultron than we ended up getting. Plus when BLANK picked up BLANK (Hey, we said no spoilers) — THAT was awesome!
MAURICIO: 3 out of 3 comic book store owners agree, the characters have more depth in this outing. Although stilted at times, the characters have grown and spread their wings. These are different people than last time around, with new motivations and richer back stories. The film really benefits from it.
EDDIE: The biggest problem was Ultron. He should have easily been able to hack into the financial and military systems around the world, bringing mankind and society to its knees, yet his methods seemed misguided and off track. He never felt to be as big a threat as the film seemed to think he was.
GEOFFREY: “Age of Ultron” suffers with was how similar its plot is to “Avengers.” Both movies start with a fight to gain control of a powerful weapon and our heroes are split apart through repetitive means, to name a few parallels. The list of similarities is as long as the movie is. This experience was more pronounced for me, as I saw a double feature of “Avengers” and “Age of Ultron.” A few minutes into the sequel, it felt like I was watching the same movie.
MAURICIO: I have to differ from the guys on this one. While the film was not as good as the first, I didn’t have any major problems with it. Perhaps, dare I say, there was TOO much action? I feel like the complaints from my compatriots could also be said of any Bond film because, let’s face it, if the Avengers are going to save the world every film, there’s going to be a lot of overlap. I’m fine with that.
EDDIE: “Age of Ultron” ranks high on my list of Marvel films, but doesn’t beat “Iron Man” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” which are firmly at the top.
GEOFFREY: I enjoyed myself but, I would have to say that “Age of Ultron” does not crack my top 5 Marvel films.
MAURICIO: Action drags it down to a B grade but, characters bring it up to a B+ — a top-5 Marvel film, easily.
Geoffrey Wood Patterson II, Eddie DeAngelini and Mauricio Machuca co-own Hi De Ho Comics, 1431 Lincoln Blvd., in Santa Monica.