Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr) is the unreliable narrator in this complex and hilarious mystery film. He is a thief who accidentally stumbles into an audition and is flown out to Hollywood to prepare for a role. His agent, Dabney Shaw (Larry Miller) even arranges for him to work with private eye Gay Perry (Val Kilmer) on a case to prepare – and there he gets entangled with actress Harmony Faith Lane (Michelle Monaghan who should be in everything – she’s fabulous), and a whole heap of other people – it’s very complex. In fact, despite having seen this film several times in the past, I was distracted watching this and had to go back to the start. Because what is the point of having a surprise plot twist if you have no idea what is happening.
I love it. It’s funny, it’s violent, it’s confusing, it’s an amazing cast and I think it is hugely underrated.
Man creates a robot with artificial intelligence that then threatens the existence of humans. What a refreshing and new concept! Oh, sorry, was that sarcasm? See, my problem with this film is just that I saw it only a few days after seeing Mad Max: Fury Road. And after seeing something with that grit and darkness, the Avengers just seem stupid and whatever.
So, in this film, the man is Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) and the robot is Ultron (voiced by James Spader). And the robot uses the internet to expand and take over everything. Then there are the side stories. Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) surprises them all by having a wife and kids and a life that most of them had written off because of their superhero-ness. There’s some romance brewing between Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and we all want that to happen. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans) are just standing around and being buff with the odd sarcastic comment here and there.
Look, I liked it enough, but I am totally aware that the studios have various sequels and stuff for all of these films set up for the next ten years or so, and I feel like they should be better than this. But that could be just the Mad Max factor. Here’s a challenge – I know you’ve got all these films written, and there is a lot of stuff that probably is expected to tie in with the comics. But how about we do some decent stuff with Black Widow, and let’s get some better female characters. And heaps more. And not like that one that Gwyneth played who simpered around in tiny denim shorts and ended up in bed with Tony Stark. Let’s all be better at this, hey?