As Avengers: Age of Ultron opens in some parts of the world (it premieres in France on the 22 April, in the UK on the 23 April and in India on 24 April), ahead of its 1 May release in the US, early reviews of the film have started pouring in.
As expected, the film is being praised for its grand action sequences and mind-blowing special effects, critics seem to be disappointed with the story and content of the film – not that it will make much difference to the box office collections of this summer's biggest action movie.
Check out some of the early (spoiler-free) reviews below:
Scott Mendelson, in his Forbes review, calls the film "a Galactus-sized disappointment."
"Avengers: Age of Ultron plays like an obligation, a box to be checked off on a list before all parties move on to the things they really want to do. The story is shockingly inconsequential, both in terms of the overall Marvel cinematic universe and even in terms of stand-alone Avengers movies," he states.
Talking about the overall feel of the big Marvel film, Mendelson says that there is "an air of artifice and irrelevance to the whole affair".
The Wrap's Alonso Duralde says: "...This sequel has its share of thrills and laughs, but you can feel the requirements of franchise empire-building weighing it down."
"Sequel fatigue for the second chapter of any cinematic saga is generally a given, but Avengers: Age of Ultron sags under the weight of not only its 10 Marvel Cinematic Universe predecessors, but also the dozen or so already-announced follow-ups," he sates while speculating on the reason the film fails to match up to its predecessor.
"This latest film isn't a cheat, but neither is it a delight," he adds.
The Independent review calls the film "a very choppy and unwieldy affair".
Shedding some light on the primary drawback of Avengers 2, the review states, "Antagonist Ultron and his vast army of robots aren't 'real' enough to make worthy adversaries for the Avengers.
"The problem here, one writer-director Joss Whedon never quite solves, is how to ensure all the Marvel superheroes get their fair share of screen time while also coming up with an antagonist who presents a plausible challenge to their combined might."