Grade: B


Directed by Joss Whedon

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans

The biggest movie of the year always comes with the highest and the lowest expectations. Audiences galore will be showing up to feast their eyes on every inch of digital goodness, hoping it lives up to each and every piece of hype thrown in the weeks leading up to the release. Critics will be combing each and every inch with a fine-toothed comb. If the biggest film is, in fact, a sequel, there's even more for cheer and scrutiny. Avengers: Age of Ultron falls into all of those categories. As Disney and Marvel continue to bridge the gaps between each superhero film, creating a Marvel universe, the fine line between fresh entertainment and overexposed ilk continues to be drawn.

Jumping into the action right away, the ragtag team of Avengers are beating up bad guys and relaying one-liners at almost every utterance of a word. It's hard to tell who is the main Avenger from the get-go, but pretty soon it's clear who is calling the shots. Money speaks and so does Tony Stark/Iron Man a lot. Captain America is the headstrong one with morals holding him down. Black Widow is the tantalizing, butt-kicking, femme fatale. Thor is good at reasoning and being strong. Hulk is good at getting angry and emotional.

As an admitted non-fan of Marvel films, I don't want to speak too much of the story out of fear of the wrath of the diehards. There's definitely some sort of rush for capturing a stone. I remember this being similarly important in last year's Guardians of the Galaxy. This stone lies in the headdress of a powerful bad guy/good guy created with the help of Jarvis, Iron Man's handy computer helper.

Quality or stylistic filmmaking isn't necessarily what you go to see when seeking out a Marvel film, but kudos should be given to the special effects. The acting is better than decent (which should be expected with names like Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo attached). The standout performance is the voice work by James Spader.

I feel like any true criticism with the story wouldn't be without bias towards bashing the film, so I will leave that be. I will say, though, that there were moments when I felt captivated and moments when I really wanted to pull my phone out and see what time it was. The action wasn't quite too overbearing (a la Man of Steel), but it did start feeling a little tedious by the end. Also, those one-liners from Robert Downey Jr. are becoming less and less clever and funny.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is as grand as it should be and the audience who eats it up will be satisfied. Can't wait to see the final numbers for the opening weekend.

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 141 minutes

© 2018 by Scottie Knollin.