First one was better. This was still an amazing film, but there are stylistic differences that made the first better. The look and cohesion of the team here is excellent, but the overall fight scenes of them together were better in the first, which may have something to do with the fact that this entire film is basically about them breaking up/changing of the guard. As i've stated previously, I don't like this because we've only actually seen them work together once. And we can already assume they'll split apart further for Civil War in a year's time (May 6, 2016) It really would've been better to throw in 2-3 more films before this one, where you either have minor team-up's (Like how DC at first planned a Flash/GL movie, before deciding on standalone's) or just another Avenger's movie entirely. This then gives more time to really see this great team in action and building up their trust and faith in each other, and then makes this film and Civil War more tragic overall. As it is, when Civil War comes around we already have Cap and Iron Man at odds, with there really having been no point that we can really say they were friends. (And that goes for most of the heroes as well in fact. They're really not friends at all.) The first was also just more fun to watch with the entire team coming together, yet in this film you really see more of the shared universe, with War Machine and Falcon showing up at different points. I know things like this have been a complaint, with people asking where various characters are when certain things going on (Like the President being kidnapped in the 3rd Iron Man film) and it's then good to see them shown to be doing something here. Also, Hulkbuster vs Hulk was
Perhaps my favorite part of the film, and easily one of the best fights in the MCU so far.
In terms of how this effects the next Avenger's film, Infinity War of which we'll have two parts: I assume that the new team assembled at the end will feature in the first, before the old team, or all the members that left in this film come back to bring home the win. That's great, I love that, however it would again be better had their been another avengers film in-between the first and AOU. That being said, everyone shined in this movie. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Widow, Hawkeye, Vision (Who i'm not even a fan of, but that hammer scene was well presented based on everyone else's failure to do so at the beginning.) the only one's who I was disappointed in were the Twins and Ultron. Wanda's powers were ill-defined, and I'll just come out and say that Days of Future Past Pietro is the better of the two. Considering they did everything in the world to make it seem like Clint was going to die it was a surprise, but why exactly didn't he just move Clint and the kid instead? Ultron was then cool, and it worked how he was kind of awkward but menacing at the same time, but man it through me off. He speaks like this big conqueror fused with a child, which again makes sense, but I just wasn't expecting it going in. What's more, I felt that his overall threat level was just gone by the end of the film. Toe to toe with Iron Man and Thor, then engages in a fistfight (Admittedly a good one visually speaking) with Captain America...what? And speaking of awkwardness, there was too much comedy in this film. Like this was a dark-*** movie, and it showed, but their were a lot of jokes where there really shouldn't have been. This is obvious to me, because i've noticed a high amount of comedy in previous films, Iron Man 3 (Which sucked because of it, and was also billed as being dark as hell and then wasn't) and Guardians of the Galaxy (Where while I thought there was too much, it at least fit the tone of the story itself) As it is, the comedy didn't kill this film, like it did Iron Man 3, but they should have toned it down some, and definitely needs to do that going forward in my opinion.
Speaking of going forward, Thor's clearly gone to remove him from Civil War and to set him up for Ragnarok (Which is probably the film i'm most excited for right now) but what the **** are they doing with the Hulk. I know i've heard about a Planet Hulk movie through rumors, but there's currently no stated movie to be featuring him all the way through 2019, that's after both Avenger's films. What really ticks me off about this is that they already have a new Spider-Man film planned for July 28, 2017, already have plans to introduce him in Civil War, but only just gained the rights to use him like a month ago. Don't get me wrong, I love the character, but where's the Hulk respect? I have no problem with them showcasing new characters (Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and the Inhumans all also have their own films coming up after all) but I find it odd that they're not doing more with the original cast. Maybe Hawkeye and Widow can't hold their own films (Which i'm not really sure I agree with, but they also cameo all over the place as well) but Hulk is certainly popular enough to do so. Iron Man's had 3 films, Cap and Thor are about to have 3, and within this continuity Hulk's only had 1, so let's get him another. (And since the first one is still canon, Leader and Abomination are both around anways and the former hasn't even been mentioned or dealt with at all. NOTE: Just talked to a friend that and was told that Marvel confirmed they would not be doing another Hulk film. Not sure how true that is, but regardless I call it a wasted opportunity)
Going back to the characters in this film, the Hulk/Widow pairing made no sense to me, nor did Hawkeye having a family. I'm also confused as to why Tony is Iron Man again with no explanation, when he destroyed all his armors in Iron Man 3. Don't have a problem with him being Iron Man, didn't agree with him destroying his armors, but when a characters makes a decision like that some explanation is needed. It'd be like if Hulk was suddenly on the team again as of Civil War or the next Avengers film with nothing to explain why. I personally liked how it was Wanda messing with Tony's head that really spurred him on to create Ultron how he did, along with Bruce helping him, only because i'm not a major fan of character bashing and I feel that Ultron's creation is something that usually leads to that. I was annoyed that they were then shifting that onto Tony, instead of having Hank Pym do it (Especially as I think some of Pym's most important stories have stemmed from Ultron's creation) but I then see why with how it'll effect Tony in Civil War (Which comic-wise damn near killed the character, so I hope it's handled better here.)
Overall it was a great film, which I may very well see again in theaters, and i'm excited for things going forward. I don't think it'll hold up as well as the first, but it's still extremely entertaining and does a lot to further the cohesiveness of this universe that Marvel has created. I also enjoyed this ending clip FAR more than the one for Guardians of the Galaxy, though I still would have preferred that the Infinity Gauntlet have been created the same way it was in the comics: Thanos gathering the gems and then just fusing them into the gauntlet he was already wearing. No major reason, I just always thought that was cool lol though with the reveal that there are two separate gauntlets, one in Odin's throne room and another whereever Thanos is i'm interested to see the expansion on their past. Know a lot of people wanted Loki, but I didn't miss him. (Though given the end of Dark World it would've made sense to see him on a throne during Thor's vision or something) There was a lot happening in this film after all. I think this film also did a good job of finally revealing another Infinity Stone (Gem).