Scarlett Johansson stars as the Black Widow in The Avengers' sequel

Scarlett Johansson stars as the Black Widow in The Avengers' sequel

In Theatres: Marvel’s megastars reunite in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner return in the sequel to 2012's superhero smash hit.



Far From the Madding Crowd comes out this weekend. Preggoland, too.

But you’re not seeing those, are you?

Because the summer’s blockbuster season is about to kick off – and maybe it’s already over – with the launch of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the sequel to 2012’s explosion fest starring Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, and Thor, which was somehow squeezed into a plot by director Joss Whedon.

The first Avengers became the third-highest grossing movie of all-time, with over $1.5 billion at the box office. (It also delivered critically as well, with a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.)

This one has sputtered to 75% by the same aggregation metric. It’s not piss poor, although it’s not a great start, since most films drop in the Tomatoes rating as the weekend passes.

But the website doesn’t give out stars or grades – it simply splits the bad film into Rotten and the good ones into Fresh, which are fair adjectives to apply to any sequel, since it’s much easier to go stale than stay plump.

“At this point, more has mutated into too much,” writes Grantland‘s Wesley Morris, in his review of the film, which was negative. “With a bad issue of a comic book, you can whip through, shrug, and hope for something better the next month. But these behemoth movies – megabusters – have to seem worth the bother. The genre is an economy unto itself: too big to fail. (“Next month,” after all, is more like two or three years away.) They have to seem busy and stuffed with action. Of course, by packing in all of that action, they risk excess.”