Mini Movie Review – Avengers: Age of Ultron, 2015

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Listen to my full discussion, with Dan Scully, of Avengers: Age of Ultron on I Like To Movie Movie.

How do you review an entry in an ongoing series that, despite 10 prior films of character development and world building, still feels like a middle chapter? You tread lightly – because there’s so much to love and praise here, but that also ends up being the thing that holds this back from being the show-stopper it could’ve been.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is packed with brilliantly choreographed action, surprising character developments, larger Marvel world building, and tongue-in-cheek, self-referential humor. And it’s all great. It all really works. But there’s so much of it, it feels like it meanders a bit as it tries to keep all its pieces in play without losing sight of the stakes.

Each of the pieces really work for me on their own – I love the Hawkeye story, the Hulk vs Hulkbuster fight, the Banner/Natasha love story, the Scarlett Witch nightmares. But if I were a ruthless editor, trying to make a better, self-contained story that keeps the audience on the edge of their seat, at rapt attention, in pure delight, most of those sequences could be cut or trimmed down in favor of a more fluent story.

I can’t really fault Avengers: Age of Ultron for giving me so much of what I wanted – a focus on character and their dynamics as a team. But this does somehow hold it back from reaching the heights of some of Marvel’s better films, like Captain America: Winter Soldier, Guardians Of The Galaxy, or even Iron Man 3.

Avengers: Age of Ultron scored ★★★☆☆

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