Posts Tagged ‘ Don Cheadle ’

Avengers: Age of Ultron


Avengers: Age of Ultron
Release date: April 24, 2015
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Cobie Smulders, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Andy Serkis, Claudia Kim, James Spader, Julie Delpy

To rehash the opening lines of my Avengers review from 2012, a superhero film is nothing but people dying, buildings crumbling, the heroes rising and the villains falling. It is the same and will continue to remain the same. Avengers have a certain air of magnanimous extravagance around them, because you get six nine saviors in cloaks and costumes, and a few more waiting to climb the ranks.

Also, what separates this collection of superheroes from X-Men is the lack of a common lineage shared between the unearthly egos. Every Avenger has a different story to tell, and some of their respective pasts are touched upon in this installment of a most certain trilogy. These flashbacks and peeks into their psyches are assisted by the introduction of Pietro/Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) as the American hating or rather Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) hating twins from Sokovia.

Joss Whedon tries to recreate either the origins–like in case of Black Widow–or a vantage point of the superhero characters’ demons and fears. Stark and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) get their hands on the scepter which was previously wielded by Loki, and start deciphering what exactly it holds. They realize there’s an artificial AI in the scepter, and in an amusing scene, JARVIS and ULTRON, two AIs hold a conversation between them. And they are perfectly sentient and verbal, unlike C3PO and R2D2.

In an Empire Strikes Back-esque turn of events, the ULTRON raises an army of innumerable other flying androids or robot drones to cause human extinction and to neutralize the greatest force which could stop them i.e. the Avengers. What ensues is an exhilaratingly long battle and the Avengers falter, only to regroup and fight the robotic armies. Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) gets the due attention which his character was deprived of in the last film. Not just attention, he also gets a fun chemistry with another sharp and agile team member.

Age of Ultron successfully charmed me with all its wit, even in the scenes where the supposed world-saviors are getting their ass handed to them on a platter. The film retains the zany nature of the earlier film and goes on to build an unbelievably relatable universe. It’s not relatable in terms of the destruction and aerial-duels between flying harnesses, it’s relatable with respect to a feeling of familiarity where the silly one-liners never run out.

Unlike last time, the heroes have more subtext in the current film, as against requiring the viewer to be completely abreast with the individual films of Captain America, Iron Man and Thor. The premise for a dark film on the origins of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is finally laid in place. Again, unlike Empire Strikes Back, there is never a dearth of emerging helping hands for the floundering A-team. The suspension of disbelief hardly ever kicks in.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is an escapist’s paradise with incredible technical finesse. Every frame is almost a feat of technological wonder and sheerly spectacular. If you want to live in a dystopian universe, witness to superhumans guarding it from extraterrestrial and inhuman villains, substantial destruction and civilian deaths are minor casualties you’ll have to live with.

My rating: ***1/2 (3.5 out of 5) 

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3
Release date: April 26, 2013
Directed by: Shane Black
Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, Jon Favreau, James Badge Dale, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak

The swashbuckling millionaire with a capital B is back to his antics, only this time without rocking to an AC/DC track. Sadface. But there’s a bunch of women prancing around in lingerie, all in good taste though! The first superhero from the Super Friends’ League to come out with a film of his own post The Avengers.

The screenplay captures the residual spirit of the aforementioned film by putting Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) in a frenzy of anxiety, whenever the portal incident is mentioned to him. His girlfriend Virginia “Pepper” Pots (Gwyneth Paltrow) is flummoxed at his alarmingly increased devotion to developing more Iron Man suits. Meanwhile, Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) is now the permanent War Machine-turned-into-Iron Patriot.

Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) is the current antagonist with his anti-American ideologies. The bombings caused allegedly by him, come as close as killing Tony’s close associate Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) thereby provoking him to call down the new outrageous forces right at his home. Also Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) makes his return to put forth his new invention to Stark Industries.

There are just as many more characters as the plot has much finer intricacies induced into it. The usual self-indulging narcissist humor keeps flowing in, but they go overboard with it and end up spoiling certain moments. Tony Stark’s anxiety is just established and his attacks are just portrayed as fits, yet there’s no relevance to the entire trauma. The same humor that is an attraction to his character proves to be detracting from the impact of his conflicts.

Iron Man 3 is entertaining, heck, it’s even captivating. The thrills and the oomph that the heavy metal (no pun intended) armour pounding exude are sheer fun. It’s the usual approach of creating a dilemma inside the superhero’s head in the final-part-of-the-trilogy which left me particularly underwhelmed. So much that the entire angle seemed forced.

My rating: *** (3 stars out of 5)

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