Iron Man…our own Dr. FrankensteinLet’s face it. Comics are mythology. Their heroic ideals pull from of our collective conscious long-since forgotten lessons in mythology. The most recent Avengers 2:The Age of Ultron movie hearkens back to American lore—Frankenstein namely, and Frankenstein hearkens back to Prometheus, that pesky god who brought mankind fire. In this iteration, Tony Stark serves as our mad scientist Dr. Frankenstein, Bruce Banner an unlikely Igor, Ultron/Vision as the monster, and Thor (a god himself) brings the lightning. But there’s someting missing in this movie…Hank Pym. For all you non-geeks ( if you are reading this, you probably are a geek), in the comics, Hank Pym, a founding member of the Avengers creates Ultron. In the comic version, the emotional stakes are much higher than in the movie. Hank Pym is a self-effacing scientist with an extra helping of self loathing. Pym, riddled with self doubt, creates him in part to compete with the supernova that is Tony Stark. The guilt that plagues him provided the emotional core of the comics, but it is not present in the movie. Downey’s Stark doesn’t have the emotional maturity to be wracked with guilt. Stark’s version of Victor Frankenstein doesn’t ever emotionally grapple with the implications of what he has done.
Had they done that then I think we could have avoided the contrived Hulk/Black Widow romance. Let’s just say that I didn’t care. Why there was not a relationship with her and Hawkeye, I don’t know. Perhaps if it was Banner as the creator then we would have gotten a sufficient amount of angst. Many will say this is a better movie than the first. I’m not among them. Sequels are tricky. What makes Empire Strikes Back such a good movie is that the emotional stakes are so high and the questions in the end are so mind blowing that I couldn’t wait for Return of the Jedi. I don’t feel that here. What I love about Marvel comics and most of the movies is that the intensity and the cliffhanger aspect build. That’s absent in this movie. The first Avenger movie hinged on their dysfunction; this one hinged on a lot of different things. Don’t get me wrong! This is a good movie, but I don’t know that it is great. When I left Captain America Winter Soldier, I was blown away by how good of a movie-movie it was. Not just a comic movie. It authentically felt like a spy thriller. Now, it is not that you are going to be disappointed with this movie. The action and special effects are great. The Vision was masterfully played by Paul Bethany as was Elizabeth Olsen’s turn as Scarlet Witch delightful as well. I think the movie could have been masterful if more attention was paid was paid to the father/son dynamic of Ultron. Perhaps if there was an intial dependence on Stark than a major split would have heightened the experience. But enough of my meddlesome musings, pay your $12.00 and enjoy.