More Like Neuronal Genocide

By: Yehudit Mam

I never thought I’d say this, but after watching Avengers: Age of Ultron, I have to agree with Alejandro González Iñárritu. These bloated superhero movies have really become a form of “cultural genocide.” This one, at least, is bound to vanquish your last brain cell with boredom. At 141 minutes of torture, it is nothing but debris for the soul.

The “story” (I’m being generous with the word here) of Avengers: Age of Ultron seems to have been decided by focus groups in Chingadistán. It is a soulless, charmless enterprise, devised in the universal language of explosions, the only one, according to Hollywood, that worldwide audiences can understand.

Marvel spent a quarter of a billion dollars on horrid special effects, a wasted cast of mostly good actors, like Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle and Jeremy Renner, who look miserable acting against a green screen while trying not to be swallowed by the aforementioned special effects. No one is having any fun.

But what do Marvel Studios, director Joss Whedon or Stan Lee care? Surely, they are crying all the way to the bank. The movie has grossed over 630 million dollars worldwide (not counting the US) so far.

Whedon, who made a lovely no-budget version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing to purify himself from the stress of delivering the first Avengers, could produce all of the Bard’s works and then some, and I still don’t know if he could be forgiven for this garbage. I saw the movie in Mexico with my 13 year-old nephew (the epitome of Marvel’s demographic) and he looked at his watch every five minutes. If that is not an unforgivable sin, I don’t know what is.

The special effects are particularly hideous. At first, I thought they sucked because we were sitting too close. Then I thought maybe it was because we didn’t watch the 3D version. But there is no excuse for a movie that has not a single clearly executed sequence, a movie that throws heaps of digital destruction at the audience at precisely timed intervals, like a video game in the hands of someone with Parkinson’s disease. It could give ideas to Dante, if ever he wants to give his Inferno an extra circle aimed at Hollywood types.

Around the end of Act 2, right when you are starting to tear the last of your hair out, Tony Stark (Downey) and Bruce Banner aka Hulk (Ruffalo) decide to build a robot. But then—for some weird turn of event that only seems to happen in comic books (the most overrated form of human achievement ever known to man, and only to man, because girls cannot be bothered to care)—that robot turns out to be a rotten apple. Luckily for us, the Gods of Mercy decided to give this digital creature the voice of James Spader, who proceeds to go to town making Ultron a sexy mofo. Things improve whenever he shows up and talks, seduction and cunning oozing from his metal frame. (They don’t when he just tears stuff apart.) And then it’s like the rest of the movie: moral decay, digital refuse, talented actors feeling the weight of their prostitution in gold, a director trying, and failing, to instill some meaning into the accountants’ dreams of glory.

The decline of civilization as we know it.

LOGISTICS: Avengers: Age of Ultron, now maiming brains everywhere

Yehudit Mam has been in love with movies since her mom took her to see Krakatoa, East of Java when she was a little girl. She is a film blogger, a creative director in advertising, and cofounder of