Avengers: Age of Ultron

When the first of what threatens to be a franchise without end appeared (Infinity War – Part 1 is scheduled for release in 2018. True), I thought we were to be treated to a new take on the wonderful adventures of Emma Peel and John Steed.

Foolishly, I hadn’t done my prep (not for the first time) and was mortified by what eventuated – a dire two hours of Marvel comic buffoonery.

There’s no point in crying over spilt milk, so, with CGI being lord and master of the big screen these days, we must accept that wit and cleverness and, most tragically, differentness, might be behind us for good.

To be fair to Robert Downey Jr, he does succeed, as Ironman, in injecting some dry humour into what is otherwise just a mind-numbing smashathon. ‘It’s been a long day,’ says Ironman, ‘like Eugene O’Neill long.’

At the risk of sounding like an appalling snob, I’m betting that few, if any, of the blokes at the session I attended would have a clue about the O’Neill play being alluded to.

Not that that matters. Not that anything matters, really, for without preamble, or any hint of what the textbooks refer to as an ‘inciting incident’, we lob straight into an enormous fight – shortly after which I lost interest.

Before long I didn’t have the foggiest idea of what was going on.

I could see that Ultron, a metallic figure, was aiming at the usual destruction of everything on the planet, and I got the impression that Wanda Maximoff, the girl who was his sidekick (or was she?), had the ability to mess with the super-heroes’ heads.

This led to Ironman and the Incredible Hulk having a stink that went on and on and on, with the guys destroying buildings as they pummelled each other.

The movie cost $250 million to make. It’s enough to make you weep, isn’t it?

Boring beyond words and unspeakably awful in every way… I wonder, is Marvel responsible for our prime minister’s world-view?

~ John Campbell

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