Avenger's Sequel: Overloads On Action, Plot Is Weak Avengers: Age of Ultron is proficient at delivering superhero thrills for those who need them. While this movie may be effective moment to moment, very little of it lingers in the mind afterwards.
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Avenger's Sequel: Overloads On Action, Plot Is Weak

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Avenger's Sequel: Overloads On Action, Plot Is Weak

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Movie Reviews

Avenger's Sequel: Overloads On Action, Plot Is Weak

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When "The Avengers" movie came out in 2012, it broke box office records and was the biggest opening weekend ever in North America. Now the sequel is here - "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" has already opened overseas, and so far has raked in a king's ransom - make that a superhero's ransom. Today, it opens in the U.S., and film critic Kenneth Turan has this review.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: It would be silly to pretend that "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" isn't good at what it does. In fact, this film is proficient at delivering superhero thrills for those who need them most. As written and directed by the skilled Joss Whedon, this is the latest group appearance by the superheroes of Marvel comics, individuals like Captain America, Thor and the Hulk. It also presents, in its namesake Ultron, a convincingly twisted villain. He's played by James Spader, and he's a creature of artificial intelligence who gets his wires crossed and wants to kill everyone on earth for the best possible reasons.

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JAMES SPADER: (As Ultron) I was designed to save the world. People who have looked to the sky and see hope - I'll take that from them first.

(SOUNDBITE OF EXPLOSION)

SPADER: (As Ultron) There's only one path to peace - their extinction.

TURAN: Naturally, the Avengers - led by Robert Downey, Jr.'s, Iron Man - will have to take Ultron on, which brings back bad memories of what happened in the last movie.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON")

ROBERT DOWNEY JR: (As Tony Stark) Anybody remember when I carried a nuke through a wormhole?

DON CHEADLE: (As James Rhodes) No, it's never come up.

DOWNEY: (As Tony Stark) Saved New York.

CHEADLE: (As James Rhodes) Never heard that.

DOWNEY: (As Tony Stark) Recall that? A hostile alien army came charging through a hole in space. We're standing 300 feet below it. We're the Avengers. We can bust arms dealers all the livelong day, but that up there, that's - that's the endgame.

TURAN: But even as all these good things are acknowledged, the truth is that though this movie may be effective moment to moment, very little of it lingers in the mind afterwards. It's the ideal for our age of immediate sensation and instant gratification because it disappears without a trace almost as soon as its consumed. Where this Avengers movie is at its weakest is in its plot, which has way too much going on. All the action overloads the senses and congeals into an undifferentiated blob. You'll remember Ultron; the rest of the film - not so much.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Kenneth Turan reviews movies for MORNING EDITION and the Los Angeles Times.

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MONTAGNE: We bring you heroes - real and imaginary. And you can follow us throughout the morning and throughout the day on social media. On Twitter, you can reach us @NPRinskeep, @nprgreene and @nprmontagne.

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