In many ways, Ultron is not exactly a movie. It’s the most recent entry in a franchise, a two-and-a-half-hour teaser for what’s coming next year and the year after and the year after. Mark Harris of Grantland dwelt on this aspect of cinema last year, pointing out that the studios that produce movies like Ultron are not in the business of creativity and originality – even if some of the movies they produce end up being creative and original. Marvel, Disney, and whoever owns the rights to the DC Comic universe are in the business of good business, where the future looks like more of what’s worked in the past.
I don’t want to be overly dramatic. As Harris points out, sequels and franchises have always existed in Hollywood. But the fact remains, for the average moviegoer to continue enjoying the stories of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he or she will have to be there each time a Marvel movie releases. The studios know this, and so they know they must tease the next thing. They must point the viewer to the future, or risk losing them altogether.
You can read the rest of the review over at Film Fisher.