Avengers: Age of Ultron Reviews
In the comics, the Avengers have some very intricate stories. Not all of them are wildly unique. But many are.
Age of Ultron is more of the Avengers with some added wrinkles. Wrinkles such as Banner/Widow, Quicksilver/Witch, Mostly no Shield, bad guy created by the Avengers, and the Hawkeye back-story. These wrinkles are overlaid on top of the basic overall arc of: Threat pops up, Avengers save the world (After pummeling said threat, and looking good doing it). They're enough to get us interested once again in this rich universe.
The lower ratings on RottenTomatoes are interesting since this film matches the quality of the first in every way and exceeds it in character development for the original Avengers. It just doesn't have the ability to reproduce the novel experience of all of these heroes (actors) being on the big screen at the same time. For the first time. Where it might fall down a bit is the development of the twins' and Ultron's backstory. Rather than have the twins verbally explain why they are motivated the way they are, the movie might have wanted to show some scenes with them in that situation. This would emotionally invest the audience more when it comes to the twins. As for Ultron: "I'm created? This is wrong. Hey, I'm a bad guy everybody!" It's very possible I'm missing something about Ultron's creation and motivation. But I feel if that's the case that it is not clear.
The film also takes a detour into Wakanda (to setup a future film) and then rolls right into Hulk-Buster stuff. Not sure this whole detour was needed. The Hulk can be a little much to take in prolonged action sequences.
Overall, this is a very high-quality movie with enough story to clearly separate it from mindless action.
With that said, it's not certain how much more of this Avengers formula audiences (who are not sweaty nerds) will put up with. Up until now, the Avengers have been very appealing to mainstream audiences. As we move on to new movies for new characters and Infinity Wars, I wonder what will mainstream (read non-nerd) moviegoers think about the Marvel Cinematic Universe then. The MCU has been wildly successful up to now. In my humble opinion though, the MCU stands upon the edge of a knife (to quote Galadriel). Mainstream moviegoers may not care to have to follow a plethora of new characters, especially if they are replacing older ones. "Who is this guy?" "When did that happen?" "Why is Grimace trying to take over the universe with Happy Meal jewelry?" Marvel has to make sure they tell unique stories. Stories about characters audiences care about.
Captain America 3: Civil War can be such a story.