I once again find myself late to the watercooler party in finally getting around to watching the sequel to Marvel’s Avengers. When the Whedon directed Age of Ultron made its debut some four months ago, it created no small amount of controversy among the impassioned internet masses. Despite making more money than God, AoU had a decidedly more mixed reception from fans for reasons ranging from odd character choices to continuity errors and straight up plot holes. Having waited until the proverbial shitstorm died down to take a look myself, I’m rather glad I did. I can definitely empathize with some of the issues my fellow nerds had with the movie, but on the whole, I still liked it quite a bit: enough, in fact, to consider it on par with the original.
The preceding statement is by no means a declaration of worship towards the movie, though. I consider AoU as good of a summer superhero blockbuster as the first; enjoyable through its fantastic action scenes, interspersed with Whedon’s as-always entertaining dialogue to add humanity to even the least human characters while we wait for them to begin smashing stuff again. That being said, the characterization is uneven in its quality, and at times perplexing as to why the director decided to take a particular direction. I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Let’s get some background and take a look at some of AoU’s strengths while I set up the ol’ cinematic dissection table. Continue reading