I have read the reviews. The newest installment in the Marvel Comics universe, "Age Of Ultron" has been called out for being too big, too loud, too long,with too many characters. Too too. Of course, my fanboy reaction is to point out that we should expect this kind of spectacle from a team of super heroes who routinely have to band together to save the planet from annihilation from this evil plot or that global threat. Once you've saved the world, you get a certain reputation, and then you have to live to face it down. It is a saga, after all, and sagas don't tend to be crisp, character-driven think pieces of independent film. It was what eventually killed the Sam Raimi Spider Man films, the third of which even I had a hard time digesting. Too many bad guys, too many life or death threats, too many epic battles.
Wait a minute. Too much Spider Man? This coming from a guy who sat in the third row of "Spider Man 2" and waited for them to rewind and start the next show? Is it possible to have too much of a good thing? Well, I would suggest, that if that good thing isn't so good anymore then the answer is "no," since it's not too much of a good thing. It's too much of a mediocre shadow of what was once a good thing. I should also point out that many critics turned up their noses at Peter Jackson's "King Kong," pointing out that it took his movie as long to reach Skull Island as it took the original to do that, capture the big ape, and drop him from the Empire State Building. And I wouldn't have skipped a frame. Not a pixel.
This is why I wonder if people who write movie reviews have spent much time reading comic books. Like the kind of time I put in, back in the day. These stories start out big: a planet blows up and the only known survivor is sent to earth as a baby in a rocket ship. A kid is bitten by a radioactive spider and suddenly gains the powers of the arachnid what bit him. A ninety-eight pound weakling is injected with a serum that turns him into a super soldier. These are the origin stories. How do these super types get along with the rest of us over time? That question is still being answered on a monthly basis in comic book stores across this great land of ours. The fact that special effects technology has caught up to the point where we really do believe a man can fly, in an iron suit no less, says "it's about time" to me.
To me. I also really love those movies Richard Linklater makes. The kind where real people deal with real life and all its confounding simplicity. Which makes me wonder why no one has put him on the short list to direct Avengers 3. Of course, maybe Monty Python already did that with their "Bicycle Repairman" sketch. In a world full of Super Men and Women, it's the guy who can fix a flat that turns out to be the real hero.