During the heyday of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," I was an active advocate for studios to pick up on the wonder that was Joss Whedon.
Watching "Avengers: Age Of Ultron," it feels like that is exactly what we were asking for when we asked for him to be in charge of our pop culture. And I mean that in both positive and negative ways.
Joss Whedon has a great ear for clever dialogue, and that can be a wee bit of a curse. There is something about the way he writes that can make it feel like he's afraid to fully engage in some of the bigger emotion. When you're doing 22 episodes of a television series, you can take one episode to shift the tone to something darker, more somber, and it feels appropriate. In a 140 minute film, you can only find moments to downshift, and when it's surrounded by non-stop wisecracks, it can feel glib or insincere. That's also true when you have this many characters you're trying to serve. Characters who have had several movies worth of set-up can afford to be given less screen time, sketching in new details quickly. With new characters, though, growth can seem artificial or forced. Whedon knows how to create a character arc, but juggling seven or eight of them in one movie would be a challenge for anyone to pull off with anything approaching grace.