…but I’m actually more interested in seeing Ex Machina than Avengers 2. I’m sure the Marvel blockbuster is going to be full of action, spectacular visuals, Joss Wheedon-quippitude, and a surprise death by some beloved minor character just ’cause… It’sll be one of those you have to see in the big screen to really get the impact.
I also suspect it will have the issue most writer-director projects these days suffer from…they forget to hire a friggin’ editor. Avengers 2, like the first, is around 2 1/2 hours long, and I’m sure the final battle sequence will be about half the run time of a normal film. (The first had a bloody 40 minute action sequence!) I’ve been finding the really long action sequences in the Marvel movies are starting to, well, bore me. Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier was excellent at balancing action and story/character development, at giving the audience time to breathe and feel…until the final sequence which was just on the edge of being, to use a cinematography term: too damned long. I absolutely love Guardians of the Galaxy, and think it’s the best space opera since The Empire Strikes Back…but the battle over Nova Prima, again, was starting to tip over that point where an action scene stops being breathtaking, and starts being tedious.
For the most egregious example of this, find Peter Jackson’s King Kong — where every single scene was about 10-15% too long. The restored spider pit scene? Brilliant and truly scary for the first 4 hours… Another good example of how throwing too many action scenes into a movie breaks the narrative and winds up being a bit mundane, see Quantum of Solace. Now compare it to the spare, slick John Wick from this year: no shaky camera bullshit, action scenes that are tight, well-executed, and stop before they carry on too long so that you can have a breather and do exposition and character development.
Weirdly, I find myself suspicious that the “good” Marvel movie this year will actually be Ant Man — despite losing Edgar Wright, his influence may linger enough to give us a funny but poignant caper film stuffed into the interstices of the MCU.
Meanwhile, Ex Machina has had some pretty intriguing trailers and is getting an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, as of this writing. It looks to be a thoughtful sci-fi flick. Yes, they’re different animals — blockbuster action pick vs. low budget sci-fi thriller…but the more I see of Avengers 2, the more I’m getting this feeling I’m going to be disappointed.