We finally got a look at the full-length Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer when it was leaked yesterday, and response from fans seems to be, well, polarized to say the least. Once the initial excitement calmed down, the onslaught of pretentious and pedantic nitpicking began in full force. This comes as no surprise, as the internet seems to hate everything and the most vocal posters are the ones that only have negative things to say. But before we get to that, let’s take a second to analyze and discuss exactly what was shown that has everybody up in arms.
Warning, and I hate even having to state this about a trailer for a movie still six months away, but SPOILERS BELOW.
The trailer opens with a sweeping shot of a city in smoking ruins, with civilians running from some unseen threat and screaming and yelling. We see Ultron’s hand dripping with molten metal, followed by Captain America and Hawkeye walking down a street littered with destroyed cars. Cue to a scene inside the Quinjet, where all our heroes save Hawkeye and Iron Man stand around looking distressed with a worn out Bruce Banner holding himself on the floor. In the next scene we finally get a look at what is probably an early version of the titular villain, stumbling out of a lab and crushing the destroyed Iron Patriot armour. There are some quick cuts to action scenes in various exotic locales, including a scene where 20 or so Ultrons are seen flying out of the ocean and scaling a cliff. Next we get some brief dialogue between Tony, Black Widow and Fury. After a quick shot of newcomer Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch on her knees screaming, we get to see the Hulkbuster Iron Man armour and the angry green giant himself duking it out on the streets of Africa. More generic action shots until the end, where we’re shown what is most likely the final form of Ultron standing over the broken remnants of Cap’s shield and what appears to be Thor’s hand.
Now, on to speculation and theory, and what fans in both camps are saying about the movie’s potential plot.
We can safely assume from the various shots of city-wide destruction, screaming civilians and plenty of smoke that at some point Ultron and his army of clones go on a rampage throughout the world wreaking havoc and breaking things. This alone has some fans worried the sequel will be a retread of the original, with our heroes battling hordes of similar looking baddies in an urban landscape, and just when you thought they were finished, they band together and defeat the big boss (Ultron).
Well, duh. If you were expecting something more shocking and cerebral from a team based comic book movie you’re probably asking for too much.
On the other hand, at least they’re getting out of New York for a while, with scenes taking place in what appears to be Russia, Tibet, and Africa. Complaints aside, New York is basically THE setting for almost every giant event in Marvel lore, so at the very least we’ll have some variety in locales for the inevitable action packed battle scenes.
There are other major plot hints that are dropped in the trailer, many of which focus on Bruce Banner and his giant green counterpart. We see a few shots of Banner looking sickly, worn out, and at one point, on the run in a snowy forest. Take this into consideration when dissecting the scene where Iron Man and Hulk are going toe to toe in an African street. From this we can extrapolate that Banner probably loses control of his alter ego at some point and it’s Iron Man’s job to put him down. We’ve definitely been in this territory before, as anyone familiar enough with the character knows, this kind of thing happens a lot. However, there is conjecture suggesting this could be a lead up to a possible Planet Hulk spinoff, a popular arc in the comics where the heroes of Earth realize it would be far easier to just shove Banner into a rocket and blast him far off into deep space where the Hulk can become someone else’s problem. This idea seems an excellent way to link up Marvel’s cosmic pantheon with the Earth based protagonists and set up a climactic battle with Thanos, the top dog and ultimate bad guy of the Marvel Universe.
Another scene that has some fans frothing at the mouth is the hand of Ultron dripping with molten metal, assumed by most to be Vibranium, a super strong and energy absorbing metal found only in the small African nation of Wakanda.
Yes, that Wakanda, the home territory of Black Panther, a super popular and fan-favourite character likely to be the first black superhero to get his own movie in the MCU. Another clue that leads us to this conclusion is the shot of Captain America’s iconic shield lying in pieces on the ground, which is also made of Vibranium. This element is super rare in the Marvel Universe, so between Ultron and the shield there is a good chance we might just get a Black Panther cameo.
What seems to have been the root cause of the disappointment and low expectations fans are feeling is how generic, predictable and formulaic the trailer makes the movie seem. As far as we know, the movie will basically follow this plotline: Tony makes Ultron, this backfires and he becomes independent and evil. This leads to the team fracturing, made evident by the shot of Thor holding Tony by the neck. Everyone goes their own separate ways and Banner goes off the rails. Tony builds the Hulkbuster armour to fight Hulk, after this he reverts to being Banner who is now in control of the Hulk and joins back up with the team. All the while Ultron has been upgrading himself and eventually starts making clones and destroying cities throughout the world. Everybody realizes they’re stronger as a team, so they kiss and make up and band together to fight Ultron. The movie ends with everything back to normal, or is it? Post-credits scene hints at something bigger and we all freak out waiting for the next instalment.
Chances are pretty good this is exactly how the movie is going to pan out, which is why so many fans seem so underwhelmed by the potential plot. I ask again though, what the hell were they expecting? This is EXACTLY what the Avengers do, and trying to change that dynamic just isn’t kosher to a team based superhero movie. One way or the other the movie is going to destroy box office records and make Disney another billion or two. Not to mention the movie is still six months away, and a lot can change between here and then.
I’ll be there day one anyways, and I guarantee 90% of the people complaining about the trailer will be there too. Really though, we should still be incredibly grateful we live in an era where we actually GET movies like this. It’s the Avengers, on the big screen, fighting Ultron. Shut up and enjoy the fun.
P.S. For those interested, the official and legal link from Marvel is now available on Youtube.