The new “Avengers” movie is unable to defeat its predecessor in popularity

With almost all movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe being monster hits, it is not a surprise that “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the sequel to “The Avengers,” is just as big of a hit in the box office as its predecessor. Unfortunately, critics and fans seem to have more problems with this film than they did with the last.

The largest problem with the film that critics have discussed is how cluttered the movie is. There are multiple story threads belonging to different characters playing out at the same time; all of these multiple storylines make the film confusing and “claustrophobic.”

Some of these story threads, however, do work in context of the film and for character development, particularly the story with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). In the previous film, he was dubbed as “useless” to the fans. However, the filmmakers improved upon his character and expanded his story. Not only that, but they gave him a much more active role, even poking fun at his “uselessness” in the last film in the first ten minutes.

Other characters, however, did not get the credit they deserved. One example of a character whose story was not given enough attention was Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). Throughout the film, her subplot revolves around her having a romance with the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). The chemistry between the two characters is also imbalanced, making the romance seem contrived and forced. This is a step back from what her character is meant to stand for and is also what devolves Black Widow from a strong female lead to a love interest who needs to be rescued by the end of the film. It is not only detrimental to the character, but also who she represents: the female audience.

The film, however, is generally very solid. The plot was compelling enough to keep a younger audience captivated and long-time Marvel fans hooked to see what would happen next. There were not very many plot twists, but the basic story was executed well enough. The dialogue in particular was well-written and witty like previous films, and the acting made the characters really come to life. The special effects and cinematography were top notch, allowing for action sequences to be as exciting, if not more so, than previous MCU films.

There are problems with the film that fans might take issue with such as the addition of Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) not having any ties to their original X-Men mythos. However, for a general audience, the film is a fantastic action film that almost meets the mark that was set by the first film. It is the problem with having too many stories at once and the romance between Black Widow and the Hulk that hold it back from surpassing “The Avengers” in quality. It is, however, a good addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and sets up its future films brilliantly.