Considering its global success ($600 million-plus in North American grosses alone and $1.5 billion worldwide), it was a no-brainer that Marvel and Disney would pump out a sequel to 2012’s  The Avengers as fast as possible. And here it is, Avengers: Age Of Ultron or, as I like to call it All-Star Wars. This latest Avengers aims to break its own record with the film business’ highest-grossing opening weekend ever.

Deadline Review Badge Pete HammondNo doubt the appetite for this sequel is out there: Every survey says this is the summer’s most anticipated film (it is also the summer’s first, kicking off Hollywood’s most lucrative season, the massive April-long success of Furious 7 notwithstanding). And it certainly is bigger and louder, but is it better? As I say in my video review above, not really.

Don’t get me wrong. I am a big fan of the first one. Watching these Marvel characters teamed to fight evil three years ago made me feel like a comic-book-loving kid again.

I’m happy to report the stars are all back, especially Chris Evans’ stoic Captain America, but also Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth. Also happily returning is the witty banter and interplay. And writer-director Joss Whedon has expertly ladled on lots of action, in a kind of Transformer-itis excess. But the thrill is gone. For me, it’s a been-there, done-that feeling, like watching the all-star edition of Dancing With The Stars. 

But does it matter if I was just a bit disappointed? I think not. Marvel and Disney have a cash cow, and nothing will keep the fans away. Much as I admire Whedon, Joe and Anthony Russo will take over the franchise’s next two installments, and I look forward to seeing what they do. Their Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a textbook example of how to take a comic-book sequel forward.

Do you plan to see Avengers: Age Of Ultron?  Of course you do. But watch my video review and let us know what you think about this latest Marvel extravaganza.