The biggest battle in Avengers: Age of Ultron—which is a movie of many, many battles—is the one between writer-director Joss Whedon and the massed forces of Marvel Studios. Whedon strives to enrich the film with the sort of crackling wit and soulful character sidelights for which he's noted. But you can almost hear his Marvel overlords (and Marvel's own Disney overlords) objecting throughout, demanding more noise, more chaos, more budget-justifying digital effects. Whedon, who has wearily announced he won't be back for the next Avengers sequel, was overmatched.
He put up a good fight, though, and the movie's best stretches are clearly his.