Avengers: Age of Ultron

Rated 2.0

You can't accuse director Joss Whedon of “second verse, same as the first” with this sequel. As things turn out, perhaps it would've been OK to retain more of the good humor, camp and non-cluttered thrills that made the original Avengers such a gas. This latest convergence of Marvel superheroes is a flat affair. Nothing of any real consequence happens here other than a bunch of scenes teasing future Marvel movies and some action sequences that lack clarity. With the exception of an interesting smackdown between Iron Man and the Hulk, the action sequences feel repetitive. The main villain, Ultron, is a series of robots voiced by James Spader looking to wipe humans off the face of the Earth. It's surprising how underwhelming his efforts wind up being. If you're an Avengers fan, I guess you have to see Age of Ultron simply because it sets up a series of other films and you might find yourself lost when watching future movies. As for Whedon, perhaps he was the wrong man for the gig. He's gone on record as saying he didn't have the best of times making this movie, and the fatigue shows. The sequel searches for a darker tonal shift, a sort of Empire Strikes Back for the Avengers. The result is one of the year's most crushing cinematic letdowns.