Avengers: Age of Ultron is a solid movie from beginning to end and fans of the movie heroes probably won’t be too disappointed at the sequel.  And although sequels tend to have a natural slow down effect on the story and the characters, in the Marvel Universe, it’s particularly pronounced.

What the movie suffers from (and this is nitpicking) is the same thing that the comic books suffered from; too much of everything.  The constant introduction of new characters (Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, various Hydra goons and a few others, plus everyone from the last few movies) starts to overwhelm the screen a bit.  Yes, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark is still definitely in charge and Chris Evans as Captain America is the incredible stoic team leader, but the rest of the team starts to fade back a bit.

There is some nice character development and some fun lines and moments, but there are literally so many characters the movie just can’t possibly juggle them all that effectively.  Parts of the movie lose momentum, while others feel rushed, especially Ultron and Ultron’s progeny.    Like the comic books, it gets hard to make the story matter if the previous story saved the entire planet from an alien army.  Ultron rockets to a threat so quickly on the one hand, one wonders why he just doesn’t kill everyone with an easier plan.  At the same time, the Avengers stop for character development that feels long enough, one wonders if he’s actually that big of a threat.

Additionally, the last shot of the new team of Avengers feels exactly like the comic when I read it in the 80’s.  The first string characters leave and a bunch of new untested guys move in.  Comic book-wise, there’s a weird continuity problem with Quicksilver.  The character was introduced one way in X-men: Days of Future’s Past and then in another way here that doesn’t really jibe.

There’s plenty of action, but because of the locations it doesn’t feel that the stakes are as high.  Had it taken place in Manhattan again, that would’ve been perfect, except the ending would’ve needed tweaking.  The movie is ultimately just set up for the final installment of the trilogy, which feels like the big fight.  There’s only one after the credits bit this time.

I give it an 8 out of 10 keggers.  Fun stuff, but like the comics, it’s a lot off set up for other stories to come.