Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – Is it just me, or do a lot of movies these days, especially installments of long-running franchises, seem to have a common theme of death, decay, inevitability, and entropy? I blame the Baby Boomers for this turn in the greater culture to a morbid fascination with death. There have been similarly death-obsessed times in history, usually when there were horrible, deadly diseases running rampant, and all a person could do was hope they didn’t catch whatever makes you bleed out your eyes like that. Nowadays, the disease running rampant is being-born-in-the-forties, and the people who have been the center of the western world for the last seventy years or so are facing their mortality. I don’t mind a good story about death, and a little navel gazing is fine, but do we all have to gaze at their navels all together? Aren’t there nicer-looking navels out there? By the way, happy Mother’s Day, Mom.
I was talking about a movie at some point here, wasn’t I? In Age of Ultron, we have more of the meticulously crafted media juggernaut that is the Marvel cinematic universe. I have no complaints, which I guess is all they can ask of me in a superhero movie. Joss Whedon plays his usual tricks; sorry to spoil it, but someone will die suddenly, and it will provide another character with all the Whedonesque grief they need to develop as a character and rip some bad guys to pieces in a torrent of tears.
Still doing my best not to spoil things too much, but the character who gets Joss’ed off (I’m not committed to that phrase, but if it catches on, remember I coined it) gets surprisingly little screen time or dialogue leading up to their untimely Jossing (with or without the apostrophe? It’s a neologism in progress). That part is not Joss Whedon’s finest work, he usually makes us feel things about the people he brutally Josses, but the sacrificial lamb may need to be kept out of the way until their time comes. After all, there’s not quite two and a half hours to give roughly six thousand superheroes their fully-developed story arcs.