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Director: Joss Whedon
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 141 min.

After recovering Loki’s scepter from Hydra scientists, Stark attempts to harness its power in order to create an artificially intelligent, peacekeeping android called Ultron. But when his experiment decides it would like to be its own master, the Avengers are faced with the difficult task of shutting him down before he destroys the entire human race.

Some of the same problems that existed with the first Avengers movie resurfaced in this film, namely the sheer number of major characters limiting the amount of character development for each one. This film divided the bulk of its character development between Hawkeye, Black Widow, Hulk, Iron Man, Ultron, and the Scarlet Witch. But Iron Man, Ultron, and Quicksilver needed more. As much as I love Hawkeye, had some of his screen time been given to others, the story would have been far more powerful. Essentially an anthropomorphic computer virus, Ultron was not as frightening as an external enemy, like the Chitauri and of course Loki. What made him compelling were the human emotions that he exhibited and his similarities to his creator/nemesis, Stark. Yet neither Stark nor Ultron is forced to come to terms with how much they each resemble the other, although the theme appears frequently throughout the middle of the film. And as a new character for this particular run of Marvel films, Quicksilver needed more screen time and development for me to become truly invested in him.

In addition to these character development issues, the film was less humorous than the first Avengers movie or the Iron Man films. The less compelling enemies made the stakes seem lower. And there was realy no moment that compared to the death of Coulson in Avengers 1 as a tragic and unifing climax since the dramatic threads were more scattered. There were still plenty of great lines, great action sequences, and interesting character scenes, but it fell short of many of the other Marvel films. I would put Age of Ultron somewhere in the middle of my list, after the Captain America films, Iron Man 1 and Iron Man 3, and the first Avengers. But it was definitely better than the Hulk and the Thor movies!

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