The Marvel Universe has finally comes to its “Thunderbird” point. The great thing with a franchise now this size is that with all the mythology you can go into something really comic specific and people will likely go with you. There is a lot of that here. There are still a lot of battles and the roof raising finale works its best. However it becomes too disjointed to really to create a caring requisite for the rest of the team. Like the second part of “The Hobbit”, it is the romantic subplot that best fuels the tension and plot direction. In “The Hobbit”, the relationship between a female Elf and a male dwarf really brought the story together. The only thing that could light a candle to them literally was Smaug. Here the same thing is true of Black Widow and Hulk. Though some might perceive Widow’ strengths as an assassin and thereby recognize shortcomings in other parts of her life, she does seem to have the most dynamic range of all the Avengers. Hawkeye is the most grounded but not as engaging. Banner versus Hulk seems so bi-polar but that might point to the problem in trying to base a whole movie around him. It is hard for an audience to give him complete empathy. Even Tony Stark has more to speak of here in terms of that connection.
Some of resolutions and even the new characters have their highlight. Casting Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor Johnson as brother and sister (Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver) is an interesting progression after they played husband and wife recently in “Godzilla”. Ultron, as manipulated in motion capture by James Spader, gives an undeniable sophistication though the stakes never truly lock in. Paul Bettany is interesting as The Vision especially in his philosophical perspective of the human race in relating to Ultron. And finally watching Andy Serkis is his brief cameo as “Claw” shows his chameleon-like status in live action. He is fantastic doing motion capture and was a consultant here but people should give him more live action possibilities because he can disappear just as easily. “Age Of Ultron” completes its dues adequately but seems to be setting up future story lines instead of focusing on the ones right in front of them. As long as it keeps audiences engaged it shouldn’t affect the bottom line but this kind of disjointed storytelling sometimes overwhelms the attention. It hasn’t quite yet but it is on the cusp.