The Avengers may be Marvel's most powerful superhero series -- and with their movie, Marvel's biggest box-office hit and focal point for the plot threads begun in other Marvel movies. Avengers: Age of Ultron brings the team back together for another round of saving the planet and battling their personal and team demons.
Thor wants to take the staff back, but Tony gets a few days to experiment on it. He learns the Tesseract has a gem that has a sort of program, and he (with Bruce's help) wants to use it to make a program to protect the planet -- without telling his other teammates. Unfortunately, it creates Ultron (voiced by James Spader), an artificial intelligence who wants to create "peace in our time" by driving the Avengers to extinction (and a lot more).
Avengers: Age of Ultron is both enjoyable and frustrating. The regular cast is quite good as always, James Spader is suitably creepy as the evil robot, and the twins are decent (even if Olsen's character is almost all defined by her accent). At the same time, the movie feels over-long at times, lots of characters "leave" when we know they'll be back for the sequel(s), and there's a bit too much slow-motion in the action sequences. Avengers: Age of Ultron is entertaining, but it isn't as quotable, exciting, or fan-fantasy-fulfilling as, well, the last Avengers movie.
Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch