These are some thoughts I had while watching "Avengers II: Age of Ultron". I didn't like it. I saw it in the movie theater after coming upon a free ticket via a friend.
Free or not, I wish I hadn't watched it. I could've used those two hours better. I realize this is a harsh judgement. I'd heard others speak highly of the movie, and it seems it got many more good reviews than bad ones. How is this possible? The movie really was lousy on its own merits.
This raises questions about the nature of Quality. If the majority say that X is of high quality, is it? If we all expect X to be of high quality, is it? (Self-fulfilling prophecy.) Is there an "Objective Quality"? Alternatively, is Quality purely subjective? This is the kind of question that obsessed the central character in "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," a book I read in 2012 upon recommendation from my friend Jared. Maybe we can even call it a core philosophical question of the past few thousand years.
Not to get too abstract. I think what may explain this phenomenon of mostly positive attitudes towards this (what I cautiously call an "objectively bad") movie is that it has a core loyal base of noisy partisans. I mean comic book fans (of which I am not one). They will be tireless partisans on behalf of "The Avengers," which is a kind of comic book Dream Team. Saying the movie was "really lousy on its own merits," as I did above, would be a kind of blasphemy to them. A tightly disciplined core group of partisans can shift a narrative in their favor, given a disorganized "opposition". I think this is applicable to almost any social dynamic in life. As Andrew Jackson said, "One man, with courage, makes a majority".
But the movie really was bad. I'll be the "one man, with courage" to say it.
Here is what one American reviewer wrote on movie website IMDb.com, which I agree with in full:
No one was more disappointed than me
It hurts to rate this so poorly, but it certainly deserves the low marks. There were so many things that ruined this movie for me.
1) The Storytelling - Or lack thereof. There was not a compelling story to be told here. Ultron wants to blow up the world, the Avengers try to stop him. That's all the audience ever really knows about this story and it felt flat and unfulfilling.
2) Plot? - The movie opens with our heroes in the middle of a battle for reasons that are largely unimportant. That pretty much sums up this whole film
3) The Love Interest - Totally underdeveloped. We're basically told by the script writer that these two people are in love, but never are we SHOWN that they're falling in love. It rang completely hollow.
4) The Humor - There were WAY too many jokes in this movie, and that wouldn't have been all that bad if so many of them weren't eye rollers. Many of them left me groaning.
5) Ultron - This guy appears out of nowhere and is woefully underdeveloped. Plus, he's supposed to be some kind of AI but he's constantly cracking off stupid one-liners and making facial expressions that I thought were inconsistent with what and who he was supposed to be.
6) Character Overload - There were WAY too many characters to do any of them any justice. I would have liked the film to focus on a smaller group of characters and their relationships with one another, instead, we got a who's who of the entire Marvel universe leaving a lot to be desired.
I could go on, but my heart is still aching and I don't want to talk about it anymore. I see that a lot of people liked it and I'm happy that they did. I only wish it hadn't been such a colossal disappointment for me.