Most popcorn movies like this need a protagonist whom you identify with and who guides you through the story, but [Avengers: Age of Ultron] has six heroes, none of whom have clearly defined arcs, and none of whom have needs or wants that are established or resolved. Another rule of filmmaking is to introduce every element that the story needs in the first 20 minutes. But here we have a seventh protagonist introduced in the last half hour, and there’s no explanation as to why he wants or needs anything, or even why he’s fucking purple. And then Purple-McWeirdo is the one who gets to kill Ultron. We get a scene with a magic swimming pool in a cave that has no explanation at all, and which probably breaks, like, a rule or two. Stellan Skaarsgard appears, and he’s like, “Hey, what’s up. I’m Stellan Skaarsgard.” And that just can’t be right. Roughly half the movie is more about the next movie in the franchise. It is, in short, everything movie snobs hate about modern filmmaking, and it’s pretty goddamn aggressive about it.

-J.F. Sargent on why Marvel eats itself.

Hey. You remember when Joss Whedon did that thing at the end of Angel where he had Lorne go supes OOC to shot a dude and make an awkward, whiny speech at the camera about how unfair it was that he, Joss Whedon Lorne, had his show cancelled by the network to shoot a guy or something IDEK what the hell was the end of Angel again, anyway?

You remember that?1

Well. Age of Ultron as the $250 million version of that speech: discuss.

  1. I remember it. Because it was, incidentally, the exact moment I stopped trusting Whedon to write stuff that prioritised the enjoyment of the viewer as opposed to existing to prop up his own ego. []