Avengers: Age of Ultron (released for digital download this week) is a big, noisy, flabby, CGI-filled mess of a film, with set-pieces that are ridiculously difficult to follow. Joss Whedon’s sequel to The Avengers makes the first film look like a quiet chamber piece.
The film’s most interesting moment is a relatively quiet fantasy sequence when several members of the superhero squad are temporarily brainwashed, and each has a strange vision (filmed and edited with a sublime dream logic).
The rest, though, is a series of comic book bubbles: SMASH! BANG! BLAM! KERPOW!
For example, the final battle, which takes place in a fictional, vaguely Eastern European looking place called Sokovia, has so much going on I had no idea who was where and where each of the superheroes was in relation to the others. Buildings collapse. Things blow up. An entire city is lifted off the ground and brought into the sky. There’s some sort of giant drill-thing. It’s filmed with swooping cameras (or swooping software, I guess), occasionally going into slow-motion for hero-shots, but it’s still chaotic and – unlike the choreographed action of Mad Max: Fury Road – it’s annoying and ultimately boring.
And amidst all the carnage there are Audis (the car of choice, apparently, in London, Johannesburg, Seoul, and Ruritania).
The Marvel Studios film gives generous room for advertisers to display their wares.
Here are some of the blatant product placements I spotted.