Right off the bat, I’m going to say that Age of Ultron was an incredibly enjoyable movie. Sure, it has flaws, and I think its fair to say that its predecessor was better overall. But, c’mon people, Joss Whedon knows what he’s doing.
The film’s biggest issue is that, because of the abundance of characters, not every arc gets enough time to be fully fleshed out. And yeah, Black Widow’s story in particular felt somewhat short-changed. Plus, there’s the fact that Scarlet Witch’s mind-control power feels eerily reminiscent of Loki’s mind-control power. The fact that there just so happenned to be an Infinity Stone in Loki’s scepter that no one knew about also felt tacked on. Quicksilver’s death doesn’t hit very hard because we barely know him. And Ultron’s unstoppable, self-replicating powers are stopped fairly easily, with one line of exposition.
But enough with the nerdy gripes, as there is an awful lot with this flick that works spectacularly well. The trademark Whedon-esque banter keeps things unexpected. RDJ continues to deliver the perfect level of cocky swagger to Tony Stark. And James Spader is fantastic as the megalomaniacal Ultron. Hawkeye’s story actually made me emotionally invested in his character. The action set-pieces are extremely well-constructed. And unlike in some other movies which showcase the rampant destruction of cities (cough cough, Transformers, Man of Steel, et al.), *these* heroes actually make a conscious decision to *not* hurt innocent civilians. The ending feels organic, without everything forcibly being wrapped up in a nice little bow. There’s a lot of laying the groundwork for the upcoming Infinity War, but that was to be expected. The bottom line is that AoU is a blast for fans of the superhero genre.
On the other hand, Gotham just wrapped up its first season, and… yikes. I’ve complained about the show earlier in the season, and unfortunately the show has yet to find its footing. The stories take gigantic leaps in logic, and not even in the “yeah, but it’s based on a comic book” kind of way. Here’s just one example (of many): Gordon and Bullock are tacking down a serial killer, using a terribly drawn sketch. They find an escort who he attacked a decade earlier, she immediately ID’s the guy, and remembers the view from the window in his apartment. In the very next scene, Gordon and Bullock are there, because apparently in the sprawling city of Gotham, there’s only one apartment that has a view of a major hotel in the middle of midtown. For a show based on a superhero who’s a great detective, and that’s centered around two police detectives, there is an astonishing lack of actual detective work in this show. Instead, there is just a whole lot of one-dimensional characters and nonsense.