Have you caught your breath? I think this was the biggest weekend in entertainment since I finally caved and signed up for Netflix. There was something for everyone with the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight, the Kentucky derby, NBA and NHL playoff games, the NFL draft, and of course the U.S. release of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. For someone who has spent the last four months watching and reviewing comic book movies, it was painfully obvious which would hold my attention. (The insane price to see the fight played a role as well).
For the last week I’ve been on a full internet blackout to avoid spoilers flowing in from television spots and bloggers blessed by earlier release dates. It seems that spoilers are on the rise recently with studios pushing to maximize profits and social media offering cheap and extensive exposure. Spoilers weren’t invented by Twitter or YouTube but they have become increasingly difficult to avoid. And now they include not only plot points (I’m looking at you Terminator: Genisys), but visual spoilers (like seeing Iron Man suit up with the Hulk Buster for the first time), and out-of-context one-liners that stunt in-theater humor or make you worry about a character’s accent. (“You didn’t see that coming?” Yeah, actually I did. Because I’ve heard that one dozens of times).
Without spoiling Age of Ultron more than it may already be, I’m happy to report that most of the film’s finer moments were not ruined by Marvel’s massive marketing push. Even well-read fans should find enough up the film’s sleeves to satisfy. Please take this with a grain of salt since I already mentioned that I’ve tried to avoid spoilers as much as possible. Still, no matter how hard I tried, I assumed I knew the major arcs before I bought my ticket. And maybe I did. I knew the heroes, the villains, and the general thrust of the movie. It’s a superhero flick after all and there’s a difference between going in blind and maintaining suspense. Marvel walked the line between generating intrigue and revealing too much as well as can be expected. The movie itself helps. Beneath the surface there is the kind of compelling story we crave but don’t always get in the genre. And yes, there are plenty of fresh fight scenes and one-liners. But you probably saw that coming.
-Flashback / Backslide