After what seems like an infinity of waiting, Joss Whedon's The Avengers: Age Of Ultron is upon us at last! The summer blockbuster season is ready to officially start, as Whedon’s second Marvel outing will be throwing open its doors and welcoming the public in only a couple of days. With all sorts of objects and characters flying around, throwing things and being flung across the screen, you’d think the film would make great usage of the 3D gimmick every tentpole seems to require in its theatrical release.
Which means it’s time again for To 3D Or Not To 3D! While our theatrical review can help you determine whether or not The Avengers: Age Of Ultron is right for you, this column will focus solely on the film's use of 3D. Considering seven separate categories, To 3D Or Not To 3D evaluates the full scope of the 3D viewing experience. Think of it as a consumer's guide for your movie-going, complete with a viewers poll where you can weigh in on how you plan to see The Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
A good old fashioned Marvel movie is probably the pinnacle of 3D thrills and spills, so The Avengers: Age Of Ultron is no exception to the rule. Joss Whedon’s imagery and action framing lend themselves perfectly to the third dimension, and with every Avenger having a gimmick that can be adapted to pop out of the screen, this is an easy fit.
Planning & Effort Score
Here’s where The Avengers: Age Of Ultron starts to have its troubles. The film clearly has moments that are ready and willing to make themselves into 3D standouts, which goes a long way as far as the scoring is concerned. However, two crucial points are docked because all of that planning fails when the effort to convert the film is lackluster, at best.
Before the Window Score
In any 3D movie, there are at least a couple of parts where you’ll instinctually duck or flinch because of an object being portrayed as coming right at you. Those moments are non-existent in The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, as it really doesn’t feel like all that much is popping out of the screen right at you. There might be a protrusion here and there in your field of vision, but there’s nothing that really stands up and grabs you. No Cap shield. No Mjolnir. No nothing.
Beyond the Window Score
The depth in The Avengers: Age Of Ultron is pretty decent, with easily definable plains in the images. As usual, Tony's holographic computing system gives the 3D a great workout, and even some visualizations of JARVIS and Ultron's warring A.I. minds are quite impressive. But overall, there’s not much depth between objects and superheroes in this flick, so you’re not going too deep with your eyes on this one.
3D glasses guarantee the intended picture will be tainted with a tint of grey. So, it's up to distributors to be sure the color correct for 3D releases compensate accordingly. The Avengers: Age Of Ultron is a relatively dark film in its color pallette, but thankfully it’s not dark enough that we can’t see what’s going on. It could stand to be a little brighter, but you’re not going to strain your eyes too hard with this one.
Glasses Off Score
This is an extremely rudimentary test to show, in the basest terms, how much 3D you're getting on screen. Take the glasses off, and observe the blur, which will reveal the different perspective being manipulated to create the 3D effect. There is not a lot of blur when it comes to The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, though. In certain scenes, there’s an interesting effect of faces being front and center, while the blur takes over the rest of the image, but frankly there’s just not a lot going on here.
Audience Health Score
If anything arouses your motion sickness in The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, it’ll be the frenetically paced cuts during the action. The 3D, on the other hand, won’t upset your eyes or your stomach all that much. Since Marvel hasn’t had the thought of shooting one of their superhero films in 48FPS, we should be safe for the time being.
3D SCORES RECAP
P & E
Before The Window
Beyond The Window
Glasses Off Test
Final Verdict: The 3D in The Avengers: Age Of Ultron is decent, but should be spectacular considering the post-conversion work we’ve seen when a director like Gareth Edwards or James Gunn puts the time in to tweak it personally. The Avengers: Age Of Ultron didn’t get as much love as it should have, and as a result, its 3D is rather meh-tacular when you get down to it. Aside from some standout visuals, and trademark floating graphic interfaces, The Avengers: Age Of Ultron really doesn’t wow when it comes to the 3D conversion. If you have to see it in 3D, at least see it in IMAX 3D. The extra money spent on a Large Format presentation will compensate for the wasted 3D opportunity.
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.