"I know you're good people. I know you mean well. But you just didn't think it through. There is only one path to peace... your extinction."
Age of Ultron doesn't live up to the first Avengers mostly because the novelty of seeing all these superheroes together has warn off, but it is still a very entertaining film with some positive elements to take out of it. First of all, the villain voiced by James Spader is an improvement over most others we've seen in the Marvel Universe. He is actually a menace to the heroes, and although Ultron isn't as charismatic as Loki, he still represents a much more dangerous threat for them so we feel there is much more at stake. The addition of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch also enhances the franchise. Olsen is an actress I've admired ever since her screen debut in Martha Marcy May Marlene, so it was exciting to see her play this role alongside other fantastic actors. Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Quicksilver wasn't used as well as he was in X-Men, but it was still fun to see him on screen. Quicksilver was the highlight for me in the latest X-Men franchise, but here he is simply another new character. It was much more fun to see his quick movements in slow motion instead of at such a rapid pace. The returning characters also enhance the sequel and make it entertaining. Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man is by far my favorite character in the franchise and Mark Ruffalo's Hulk always delivers some of the best comedic moments. Age of Ultron delivers plenty of fun scenes, but it also tries to take itself a bit more seriously, and that didn't work as well for me considering I found Captain America The Winter Soldier to be a slightly better and interesting serious thriller. In summary, it doesn't match the comedy of its predecessor and it doesn't stand out as a more serious film either. The run-time does begin to feel a bit heavy, but I still have to admit that I had a fun time with the movie. There is a lot going on and with the addition of the new characters some of the scenes feel rushed and the plot gets a bit convoluted.
The main problem with these Marvel movies is that they're getting more and more difficult to view as individual films. They seem to be always building up to something and I expected all the build-up in the previous films was going to lead to something important in this second Avengers movie, but what we get instead is more of a build-up to the next phase of the Marvel universe. Ultron presented a great threat to the heroes, but everything was rushed and it seems it was resolved all too easily by the end. It's still hard to resist a film with so many likable characters and charismatic leads, but I couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed with Age of Ultron when the introduction of the main villain seemed promising. Spader's voice work stood out for me in this film as one of the best performances. I was also happy to see Jeremy Renner get much more screen time with his character, Hawkeye, as well as Scarlett Johansson with Black Widow. This is probably as close to an individual film about them we'll get. Captain America and Thor however, are underused and I really didn't care too much about them here.