(out of 5)
The superhero variety bag is back, they once again have to save the world and, in an ironic twist, the villain trying to destroy humanity is their own damn fault! Robert Downey Jr.‘s Iron Man has been dabbling with artificial intelligence technology and his latest experiment has gone awry, a wormy entity that has taken over his entire command network, destroying his Jarvis program and becoming its own malevolent being (voiced quite effectively by James Spader). Its mission, it says, is mass murder in order to move on to the next stage of evolution and its reasons that the Avengers are becoming obsolete and no progression of life on Earth was ever without its painful sacrifices. Add a few public relations nightmares like The Hulk accidentally destroying a few city blocks, plus the personality clashes that cause infighting among the crew and you have the distinct possibility that the bad guy might get away with it and our heroic team might actually be rendered asunder. Joss Whedon keeps it effectively light despite the mammoth length in this reasonably entertaining adventure, a worthy follow-up to the immensely popular original. There’s some intelligent philosophizing in the writing that never overpowers the main focus of escapist entertainment, and all the richly talented actors get to show off in their respective roles, but if you didn’t give a shit about any of this before, you’re not going to this time. The film isn’t torture to sit through, but it’s best avoided if you’re not already a convert to its world.
Directed by Joss Whedon
Cinematography by Ben Davis
Produced by Kevin Feige
Production Design by Charles Wood
Costume Design by Alexandra Byrne