Number 11: The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Joss Whedon takes the Avengers on another epic adventure with the first Avengers sequel. This one beefs up the roster with newcomers Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Vision; adds a memorable new villain in Ultron and features an unforgettable Hulk vs Iron Man clash.
Watching the Avengers assemble to take on a robot army is amazing with Whedon fully aware of what makes for a mighty Avengers adventure. The Thor/Iron Man/Vision vs. Ultron scene is one of the best sequences in the MCU films. Still, there’s some nagging issues with this chapter.
Namely, Whedon forcing the Black Widow/Hulk romance, the unnecessary and illogical death of Quicksilver — how can a speedster not out run bullets he sees coming? — and generally ignoring events from The Winter Soldier. Whedon acted like SHIELD wasn’t shut down or Nick Fury went into hiding just for the sake of a last minute rescue.
Whedon also seemed to struggle trying to incorporate plot threads for future films. I’ll always contend that Age of Ultron immediately lost its thunder when Marvel announced Civil War before this came out. This is a fun Avengers film, but will invariably be everyone’s least favorite.
This probably remains Marvel Studios’ greatest success story. A film with no connection to the Avengers featuring a raccoon and a talking tree became a monster hit.
Just like with Joss Whedon and The Russo brothers, Marvel found an ultra-talented filmmaker in James Gunn who fully understood a property.