The world is about to end (again)


Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron..L to R: Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel 2015 Movie Stills Database

As the trailers reached their conclusion, the theater darkened and the popcorn slowly began to find its way into my mouth. My anticipation for “Avengers: Age of Ultron” hit its peak.

Behind a mostly-unanimous endorsement from friends and critics, I had built up my excitement for this superhero film that would be the next dramatic step in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

About 20 minutes in, I realized that I had already seen this movie. I had watched this film a handful of times already, just with a different name.

If you haven’t noticed, Marvel has somehow taken the factory-line approach that can be found in manufacturing cars or creating knick-knacks found in your local Toys-R-Us and utilized it as the backbone of producing superhero movies.

Every single Marvel movie is now formed using a cookie-cutter.

The narratives all begin the same way, with a loud and sprawling action sequence promptly followed by high-fives between the heroes as everything is now alright.

Then, the protagonists find themselves in a tranquil location where suddenly everything goes haywire. Through the power of teamwork, love, family — or whatever the movie wants to use as their rallying cry — the good guys eventually take back what is rightfully theirs after a tussle in a public location, which usually revolves around the Earth’s approaching demise.

The only difference from movie to movie is what major city will be taken out by the latest superhero-villain clash.

The newest installment followed this guideline to a tee, beat by beat. It wasn’t that the movie was bad, but it was repetitive, making it bland and uninspired.

Furthermore, what makes this universe so dull is the knowledge that nothing truly impactful will happen from movie to movie.

It’s not like the filmmakers are ever going to kill a main character. They have to pump out more films, action figures, video games and lunchboxes (do they still make lunchboxes?), which would be difficult to do if the character on the box was dead.

The movie can play up the danger to the nth degree, but it doesn’t matter when the audience knows none of the main protagonists will ever be truly threatened before the movie even starts.

What made the first “Iron Man” so great — and my personal favorite of the Marvel superhero movie splurge — is that it was so new. Here was this wisecracking and witty jerk that had a bit of a wild side and never knew when to shut his mouth.

This type of superhero movie that had comedic moments felt like a James Bond-Sherlock Holmes 21st century homage that also told an interesting and unique story.

Marvel has done its best to suck out the fun of the superhero movie. They have all become the same film, and, I’m sure, the upcoming Ant-Man will follow the same flavorless storyline.

Earth’s existence can only be threatened so many times before it becomes stale.

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