Remember the first time you had sex? The explosive excitement of your prepubescent dreams finally realizing is a memory even the most regressive minds can recall with crystal perfection. But what do you remember about your second time?
Comic book fans across the world lost their virginity when The Avengers premiered. The anticipation and build up was unbearable. We had been given little teases of each part individually, but it hadn’t come together yet. When The Avengers finally released in 2012, we all breathed exasperated sighs of relief. It was better than we could have hoped and the pleasurable memory has been ingrained in our minds forever.
But now it’s time for round two. From a pure technical standpoint, the second time can often be better than the first time. The novelty is diminished and it makes room for new experiences to be built upon a fresh foundation. But from an pure excitement standpoint, the second time is often lackluster. These feelings are no longer foreign and as newer experiences flood your brain, technically better isn’t going to be enough to elevate it above the first time. It needs to blow your mind.
Sequels like Captain America: Winter Soldier and The Dark Knight are able to introduce titillating new experiences that make us sit bolt upright. Two and a half hours later we clamber out of the theater, dripping with sweat and breathlessly whispering, “I didn’t know it was possible I could feel this way.”
This is not the case with Avengers: Age of Ultron. In respects to the original, the action is often more exciting. The characters are a little more developed. But only two movies in, the shtick begins to get old. They can’t keep going to the same move over and over.
Dirty talk and quips are fun, but sometimes you just need to shut your mouth and get with the getting on. But that’s not to say you should start switching between crazy new moves with no experience. Going for the gusto require patience and vision. Upping the ante too soon often leads to a weird muddled mess.
But it’s too easy to go hard on Age of Ultron. The first time wasn’t as good as we remembered, but we don’t care about the flaws because it was the first time. We are less forgiving the second time even if the experience is essentially the same. And ultimately, Ultron took what The Avengers did well and did more of it, faster. It’s pretty good, even if it didn’t last quite as long.