11: Avengers: Age of Ultron
In case it was not clear at this point, Marvel has problems with its second films. Part of the reason is the inherent “lightness” of the MCU. It’s mainstream, it’s popular, it’s funny and it can’t ever stray too far from that path. I wrote a column on Westworld yesterday comparing it to Game of Thrones and it struck me how the androids-run-amok narrative, given a slow burn there, is reportedly so effective. Contrast that with the same artificial intelligence theme here except that Ultron, despite director Joss Whedon’s best attempts, is another flat Marvel villain. There simply isn’t enough time in this film to do all it wants to do.
There are high points. The Hawkeye farmhouse sequence is a joy, (one Whedon fought tooth-and-nail to keep in), especially for Hawkeye/Jeremy Renner fans like me (all three of us). But the Thor cave sequence is borderline incoherent and there is just so much action, any sort of narrative structure melts away. It’s just BOOM-BOOM-BOOM. The farm scenes stand out mainly because it’s the one part of the film where it slows down to process.