The visual effects in the film were phenomenal, there was a minute or so at the beginning that felt a little off, but I think that was just me. After that the battle scenes were amazing, in my opinion second to none in comic films, it was as beautiful to watch as the action in say "Edge Of Tomorrow". There was some scenes that seem so flawlessly made that they could easily pull off being real life events. Stand out effects for me was the Hulkbuster and Ultron, both were amazing to see, especially Ultron the range of emotions shown by a completely robotic humanoid made the character that extra bit disturbing.
As for the characters and cast, which at this point due to longevity have become one in the same really, by that I mean when I think about the characters I envision them as their live action selves and no longer their comic looks. All the returning cast are as good as they have been in previous instalments, except for Jeremy Renner, he was outstanding in his role as Clint he was really given the freedom to actually show emotion and his range as an actor. Was great to see him able to flex his acting chops, which I will be honest I was not sure he had. The biggest additions to the cast are Paul Bettany as Vision who was brilliant in what he done, but didn't have to do much due to being an emotionless android, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver his acting is as expected personally I find him to be a good actor who is really honing his skills in recent years, while his accent falters at times, it is a hard accent to pull off I find. Then we have Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlett Witch, another extremely talented actress in my opinion, she was brilliant in this too, especially in the more emotionally driven scenes then we have James Spader as Ultron the most ominous audible villain I have heard in a LONG time, his voice just oozed evil and dominance I can say I finally understand the hype around his ability.
The action starts at an 11 in this film and only gets better, that's not to say that the story or characters miss out. The film has a solid story to it, but even more so, has some wonderful character development, you get to see sides of some characters we have not yet seen in the MCU. Really shapes up some big moments for the future of the franchise, some great moments, some gut wrenching, all together mashed into a brilliant story and progression to characters we all know and love.
The runtime does seem long beforehand, however, there is enough going on at every turn that you kind of forget how long you have been watching and that is a good thing. It's a 141 minute ride that doesn't feel as long as others that run this time.
Overall, I'd go as far as to say this is the best film in the MCU to date in my opinion, which I never thought I'd say due to my dying love for Avengers and Captain America The Winter Soldier. The film was an emotional ride from start to finish, filled with action, ass kicking, hilarious lines and character development second to none in the current MCU crop. If you are not currently into the whole superhero explosion we have had in recent years, I highly recommend starting with this or Captain America The Winter Soldier (REVIEW HERE) they perfectly personify the superhero world but also serve as "everyday" films if you will. Very happy to say Mr Joss Whedon goes out with a bang and certainly not a whimper, I'm already longing for the day he returns to the MCU in the future. I had extremely high expectations going into the film, came out with them shattered and then some, roll on Ant-Man!