I’m of two minds when it comes to The Avengers: Age of Ultron. On the one hand, it’s a fun summer adventure written by my favorite writers in one of my favorite current film franchises. On the other hand, it feels like it’s lacking a lot of the charm and heart that other Marvel movies — including the first Avengers film — have been known for over the past decade.
This is no real secret; Joss Whedon has been very vocal about how the finished version of this film doesn’t tell the story he wants to tell. Whether or not we’ll ever see Whedon’s true directorial vision is up in the air, though I’m assuming we never will. That’s a shame, but it’s the way multi-billion dollar company Marvel operates in 2015.
The biggest problem with just about every Marvel movie in recent years (with a few notable exceptions) is that they have to do too much. They need to tell an interesting story that will satisfy the people who go to see the movie. But they also have to set the story up in a way that allows for future movies to build off of it, and sometimes even have to introduce new characters for entirely different Marvel movies. It’s too much for any movie to do, especially for one with as many central characters as Age of Ultron has.
With all that said, though, The Avengers: Age of Ultron is still a ton of fun. Even if it’s not the exact story that Joss Whedon wants to tell, it’s still a Joss Whedon movie, which means there’s heart and humor and twist snad turns. Comic book fans are going to see every Marvel movie forever; it’s in their blood. They don’t need a review to tell them whether or not to see a movie. But everyone else — at least people with a casual understanding of Marvel’s cinematic universe — can enjoy themselves at Age of Ultron, too. It’s not perfect, but it’s well worth your time.