Pixel Tracker

Saturday, February 23 , 2019, 11:25 am | Fair 57º

 
 
 
 

Cinema in Focus: ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

3 Stars — Intense action

The ongoing story of the Avengers continues to push the limits of cinematic techniques. However, this 11th film in the Marvel’s Cinematic Universe — Avengers: Age of Ultron — not only increases the intensity of the action but the complexity of the relationships within the Avenger team.

This makes for an enjoyable, multilayered tale that speaks to your heart as you sit on the edge of your seats. It also keeps the film from being so overwhelming as we are given time to breathe. Like the films before it, this chapter is best understood by having seen those that went before it, though it is complete within itself.

Written and directed by Joss Wheddon, who also directed the previous one in the series, we find the ensemble cast comfortable with one another and continuing their on-screen romances and agendas. The most disturbing of those agendas is that of Tony Stark as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). When he almost died in a final attempt to save the world from an alien attack at the end of the previous film, he is convinced they need an artificial intelligence with ultimate power to protect them.

Calling this creature Ultron (voice by James Spader), he tricks Thor (Chris Hemsworth) into letting him keep Loki’s scepter to study. Powered by an intelligence and power far beyond anything in this world, the scepter seems to provide Stark with exactly what is needed. Instead, it creates a threat far greater than the aliens he fears. But due to his secrecy, the threat is not only the maniacal power of Ultron but the loss of trust between the members of the Avenger team.

The interplay between the Avengers is becoming more mature. Steve Rogers as Captain America (Chris Evans) is humorously kidded when he chides them about cursing, Bruce Banner as the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Natasha Romanoff as the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) continue their mating dance, Clint Barton as Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) reveals a secret home with a beloved wife and children, and Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) continues to assist through his connection with S.H.I.E.L.D.

Introduced into the saga are two new members who become allies with Ultron, Wanda Maximoff as the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and her twin brother Pietro as Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Their roles shifts as the story progresses.

The consistency of good battling evil is a marvel value. However, the evil shifts in a variety of ways from the evil of Hydra’s Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) to the evil of the mind-altering Scarlet Witch to the evil of artificially intelligent machines. But in every instance the evil lacks the supportive teamwork that makes the Avengers stop them. It is this message that together we can use our unique skills to stop evil in its various forms that the Avengers represent.

Discussion

» The Scarlet Witch has the power to bring your greatest fear into a mental hallucination. What is your greatest fear, and do you ever get caught up in paranoid imagination? How do you bring yourself back to your “right mind”?

» When Tony Stark tries a second time to bring artificial intelligence into his creation, Thor intervenes and a synthetic creature is formed named Vision (Paul Bettany). Do you believe this creature is to be trusted? Why or why not?

» The fact that Hawkeye’s wife and children seem to be able to live a normal life while he goes off to “save the world” is a stretch. Did you find that believable? Why do you answer as you do?

— Cinema in Focus is a social and spiritual movie commentary. Hal Conklin is a former mayor of Santa Barbara and Denny Wayman is pastor of Free Methodist Church, 1435 Cliff Drive. For more reviews, visit www.cinemainfocus.com, or follow them on Twitter: @CinemaInFocus. The opinions expressed are their own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.