As I promised, I am bringing my report of Avengers: Age of Ultron and what I learned from the movie as a writer. For those of you that may be newcomers to the party, the stories I write can be defined as superheroic or speculative fiction. The slate of superheroic movies is a great opportunity for me to learn about writing that works and does work specific to these genres. I’ve been doing this series since Iron Man 3 so for my three fans, they expect this when a new movie of this caliber hits the silver screen.
Now with that out of the way…
I went to see Avengers: Age of Ultron Saturday, May 3rd, opening weekend at 3:45 p.m. Yes, I did wear my new Avengers green tee. Of course, I was excited like everyone else and the theater filled up pretty much to capacity.
I immersed myself in the movie as my wife and a friend that went with us fell asleep. I didn’t flog and beat them for their effrontery. However, there were a couple of things that I had to consider. One was that they are not a geek like me when it comes to comics. That reason was soon dismissed however as my wife enjoyed Spider-Man (Toby Maguire, not that other nonsense), Thor, and especially the new Netflix Daredevil (though she falls asleep on that as well but that’s because of long days at work). The other was that I had to consider why they had fallen asleep. After mulling it over, I somewhat understood (emphasis on the somewhat).
One thing that I saw in the Avengers: Age of Ultron that really was bothersome was the overuse of the campy device. That absolutely annoyed me to no end. To me, it was worse than in the first movie which, though it was overused there also, in my opinion, it was not so egregious. Writers can go overboard with certain devices that simply kill the story. I’m actually experiencing that now in the novel I’m reading, Iron Man: Armor Trap (more on this when I’m done). This can make a story drag on instead of being engaging for the audience. It really doesn’t do anything for the genre either as people will come to take it less and less serious. If there’s anything that writers want to be, it’s to be taken seriously.
That being said, the movie had its moments. Several of them. On the opposite end of the spectrum, it explored the fears of each character which enabled them to foreshadow some upcoming movies as well as add more depth to the characters. But because of the number of characters, it didn’t allow them to go real deep which is disappointing but understandable given the limitations of the medium. When writing novels, you have more freedom to explore those things and reel a reader in to become engaged even with many characters. You want them to care and everything in this movie made it hard to do that on more than a superficial level.
The writing for Avengers: Age of Ultron wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t as good as the first Avengers. Now, that may be because it was a total surprise that a superhero team movie was done so well or just having the experience in general since it really hadn’t been done before. Enough people went to see it to make close to 900 million worldwide (and that number is still climbing) so it wasn’t a flop by any means. But now, I think they really have to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and write with an eye to seriousness and moving people more than just trying to make them laugh.