The latest constellation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe hits screens this weekend with Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). It’s predestined to make a billion dollars at the box office regardless of whether anyone actually digs it or not, but for me it marked a step backward from Joss Whedon’s 2012 tentpole starter. I could’ve done without Black Widow morphing into a googly-eyed romantic and the digression to Hawkeye’s idealized bucolic utopia with pregnant wife and two moppets in tow. And if you’re taking a grade-school-age kid – one of those little tykes who make this franchise transcendently lucrative by gobbling up toys, Underoos or whatever Avenger-branded accoutrements are on shelves these days – you probably could do without the grim forced sterilization monologue or the zucchini-related sexual innuendo. On the plus side, you get a droll James Spader-voiced evil robot as the villain. And that’s fun for children of all ages.
Behind the Scenes