Avengers: Age of Ultron

Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) managed, in the first installment of Marvel’s heroic team-up, to exert his sure-handed command of multiple characters and fast-paced witty repartee in the

Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) managed, in the first installment of Marvel’s heroic team-up, to exert his sure-handed command of multiple characters and fast-paced witty repartee in the service of what ultimately was a light narrative punctuated with a few serviceable action set-pieces. The Avengers, after the build-up based on individual character’s movies, teased audiences hungry for a fast and furious comic book adventure. We now know what it would look like for Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) to pick and poke at each other before turning their attention to a horde of anonymous aliens. This time out, Age of Ultron must go a step further, tinkering with the backstories of significant characters in the canon, seeking to invest the core team with complex humanity while providing us with more and more bang for all the bucks it will inevitably yank from our wallets. That will be quite a swan song for Mr. Whedon as he closes out the latest phase of Marvel’s expanding movie universe. (Opens wide Friday, May 1) (PG-13) Not screened in time for review

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