Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"Avengers: Age of Ultron": This comic book franchise sequel translates into politics


Avengers: Age of Ultron” (directed by Joss Whedon) is based on the eleventh of the Marvel Cinematic Universe comics franchise, and a sequel to the 2012 film, based on the sixth. 

The basic plot has to do with an AI entity called Ultron (James Spader, from Blacklist) designed for peacekeeping, going rogue and trying to destroy “the world”.  The program has been designed by Tony Stark (Robert Downey, JR, who won’t work for a low budget, remember) and Bruce Banner (a middle-aged Mark Ruffalo). It has a curious instantiation as a couple of brain-like holograms that can float in space, rather comporting with the cosmological idea that the whole universe is a hologram. The usual heroes have to come forward, including the Hulk (also Bruce), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth).  Scarlet Johannson ithe Black Widow, Jereny Renner is Hawkeye, Samuel L. Jackson is Nick Fury and Don Cheadle is the War Machine.
  
A lot of the action concerns an Eastern European mountain city, and with the alphabet shown, it’s easy to wonder if this town is supposed to be in the Ukraine, and Ultron is a metaphor for Vladimir Putin.  The movie does seem like a convenient political metaphor.

The script, at one point, discusses cyber warfare rather seriously (with a reference to Wikileaks and Anonymous without mentioning them explicitly), and I believe even mentioned the Internet "Kill switch" concept.
                
Late in the movie, at the two-hour mark, a huge earthquake happens, anticipating “San Andreas”.  But in fact most of the city, with buildings collapsing and imploding, rises into the sky (an effect known from “Avatar”).
  
  
The official site is here (Marvel and Walt Disney Pictures). It's rather interesting that Disney did not show its Magc Kingdom trademark before the film started.
   
I saw the film before a light late weekday afternoon audience in 3-D at Angelika Mosaic in Fairfax VA.
 
I wanted to mention here that there is an indie film called "Killswitch" (also mentioed on my "BillBoushka" blog March 12), directed by Ali Akbarzadeh, which I will see as soon as it is available. 

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