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The Avengers: Age of Ultron

With every passing Marvel movie, it gets harder and harder to write them up. That's not to say they're not awesome (because they totally are awesome), but by now we know what to expect. And by now, you have opinions on the franchise in general, so it's not like I need to per(or dis)suade anyone.

Even this one had a bit of a feeling of, we've been here before. When the first Avengers came out, it was something that had never been done. All these incredible stand alone movies were being knitted together and we had an insane cast with everyone we'd known and loved. Now it's like, oh it's time for this again?

But you know what? It still works. Even though we've seen various characters pop up across other's films, it's still exciting to see multiple stars team up or secondary characters from each series brought in. The Avengers are all about teamwork, and that's what's really on display here. From the way that Thor and Cap can use their hammer and shield together in brilliantly time fight choreography, to Widow and Hawkeye's BFFF status, to Stark and Banner science-ing together. That's what's at the heart of this movie.

Writer/director/demigod Joss Whedon has said that the plan with this one was to tone it down a bit more, get to know the characters moreso than the big action wow factor. He really delivered on that. We got some backstory into some of our lesser explored Avengers, and more emotional insight into those whose stories we know but haven't dived into as deeply. He also brought in a couple new characters, mostly to add in new visual elements (he claims the existing core all have similar "punching" type abilities). I think Scarlet Witch is my new favorite Avenger. I'm considering Halloween costumes. (Side bar: Apparently there was much confusion on set because the two most prominent females were an actress named Scarlett and a character named Scarlet, not to mention the various body doubles for the former).

For two and a half hours, I was transported to my happy place. Yes we've been here before, but there's a joy and comfort in the familiar. We also got some set up for some of the places phase 3 promises to go (infinity stones! civil war! Black Panther!). The middle installment of a trilogy is often the low point, and while our days of watching the current Marvel Comics Universe have certainly come to a middle, we're certainly not low. On to phase 3!

The Avengers: Age of Ultron - \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/
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