October 31, 2014

Avengers Age of Ultron Trailer Initial Thoughts

I know I haven't put up a review since last month, and I'm sorry about that. I'm planning to just power through this semester of classes and then hopefully I'll be able to crank out a few reviews in December and January. But I'd thought I'd pass the time by reflecting on the by now nearly two-week old trailer for the upcoming Age of Ultron film, because hell, if I didn't talk about this, well that would be the equivalent of being an astrophysicist and not talking about the discovery of new life on Mars or something.

Anyway, this trailer is pretty good, though quite honestly, not a whole lot in here surprised me. And really, it's a teaser trailer; it's supposed to get you interested and engaged and show off the action, and this one does so very well. We've got the Hulkbuster armor, Cap's broken shield, Thor dropping his hammer- in fact if this film actually is about the heroes losing hope and representing that by having their weapons taken away or smashed or whatever, that will be awesome, because we've never seen that before really in this franchise. And hell, this can even extend to Tony's Iron Man armor being used to make the villain, so I'm hoping that that's the tone that this film decides to go with.

As I've said in the past, my relationship with the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been kinda rocky; I'm not head-over-heals in love with it like a lot of Marvel people; my feelings towards this are often teetering between mixed and positive. But this trailer really makes me curious about what they're going to do with this. Like Iron Man 3 and Winter Soldier, this one feels like it's taking elements from the comics but also doing its own thing instead of constantly referencing itself and the comics just to get a reaction out of the fans- the tone of this one is darker, the stakes feel more personal, and the villain Ultron seems like a far better antagonist than Loki.

And I'm reminded of what Joss Whedon said about this whole project at the very beginning. He said that their aim with this film was "not to go bigger, but deeper", and I'm getting hints of that with what is shown here. It seems like the Avengers are actually at odds with each other instead of having witty banter battles like in the first one; there seems like there could be an actual moral or ethical debate going on about Ultron, about who he is, about why Tony has done, etc. I don't know, this trailer made this movie feel so much more substantive than most Marvel films have in past, and I really hope it is, because Joss Whedon is such a capable writer and the sequel is really where you can explore stuff and shake things up, and I have a feeling that we're going to be seeing a lot of that come next year.

And no, I"m not going to go into all the comic-specific easter-eggs that are sprinkled throughout the trailer, because I'm not familiar enough with the comics to do so, and quite frankly, speculating about setup for future films or characters is of little interest to me; I'll let the film make a case for why these characters and set pieces and objects are in here.

So yeah, I'm excited for the film, I'm hoping that it'll have a deeper character-driven narrative than its predecessor, and I have a feeling that it is just based on what we've been presented with here. So what did all of you people think? You probably had a much stronger reaction to it than I did, so let me know what it was in the comments below!

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