The first question you might want to ask yourself after sitting though Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron is “What year is this?” Because at two hours and 20 minutes the Age of Ultron is almost an eon. After that you probably won’t ask much else, or think much else, about this film. Sure it’s momentarily entertaining, but it doesn’t exactly leave an impression. Ultron brings the band (Ironman, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye) back together on a mission to retrieve the previous film villain’s scepter, which features a jewel of incredible power that happens to be hiding the seeds of an artificial intelligence. After retrieving the scepter, Tony “Ironman” Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) uses the AI as a source for his Ultron program, peacekeeping robots whose presence will allow the Avengers to disassemble. This turns out to be a bad idea of course, as Ultron decides the most efficient way to keep the peace is by eliminating the pesky humans that are always breaking it. Cue multiple globe spanning conflicts between the Avengers and Ultron. It all looks great, if not endless. Hulks and robots and heroes tear through acres of CGI real estate in long and eventually pointless set pieces. Whedon’s wit and his weakness for character development occasionally shines through the endless visual stimulation, but mostly this film is just a hyped up roller coaster ride. I’ve got nothing against roller coaster rides, but I guess I was expecting more. B-
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