Avengers 2 Felt Like a Sequel
Linda Cardelini's man hands distracted me in every scene she was in. No spoilers here, but her character takes Hawkeye's face in her hands to kiss and I was more than a little concerned for everyone's favorite non-DC archer. Have her hands always been this gargantuan? Now I feel awkward for my Freaks & Geeks inspired crush. Her hands could have played Erik Josten as Goliath. Seem superficial? Sorry. Man hands just freak me out, especially on a 53 foot wide screen.
The rest of the movie felt like Transformers 2 or one of the later (original movie franchise) Batman movies. I have heard some criticism already of Ultron, that his sense of humor is too far afield from his textual source, I was fine with it; in comics, Ultron is the creation of Henry "Ant-Man" Pym, who is an introverted entomologist and roboticist, but in the movie, he is created by Tony Stark, and shares personality traits with his creator. That was all the explanation I needed. My criticism of the character was that the script introduces him waaay too early into the movie. Instead of the gradual, dramatic rise of the villain, there was the quick intro, which gave room for a sh** load of plot confusion for Ultron's complicated plan to kill the Avengers and supplant humanity. While the insights into the Black Widow and Hulk dynamic and into Hawkeye's personal life were great, fight scenes that ravaged three cities kind of diminished the heroism of the titular characters. Sure, Tony Stark steps up to mitigate the consequences of the fallout in these locations, but I think even a one-minute conversation on screen could have paved the way to the impending Civil War movie. Instead, the only time that the whole team is involved in ensuring public security is when they are also in dire straits, and here I am talking about the last battle.
The senseless deaths of significant Marvel players was extremely disheartening, and seemed like potential stabs at Agents of SHIELD, especially now that the Inhumans are emerging on that series. However, the survival of Klaw, like Batroc the Leaper in Captain America: The Winter Soldier creates the possibility of recurring villains like the Scarecrow in the new Bat-franchise of films and, of course, opens the door for the King of Wakanda to appear in a later Marvel film.
The cumulative result is that this film was okay, but not my favorite. All of the behind-the-scenes work was comparable to the first movie, but the on-screen story was a little disappointing. Oh! And the pay off teaser scene for the next movie happens during the credits, with nothing afterward, just so's you aren't sitting alone in the theater waiting for... AHEM.