Any self-respecting film critic would have to begin an article like this by reminding their audience that a teaser is very little to go on when discussing the potential success or failure of a film. Having said that, The Avengers: Age Of Ultron teaser just premiered yesterday, Oct. 22, and it has already enthralled and captivated many geek culture forums and websites across the web. The film’s trailer is such a buzz that it can’t be ignored. It’s an excellent addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but just what about it peaks our interest?
The film picks up a while after where The Avengers left us. The in-between time was underscored by films Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America’s own sequel The Winter Soldier, so we’ve gotten a moderate look at what the old boys have been up to since their first bid together.
Now, of course, Age Of Ultron is nothing new as far as news goes. Director Joss Whedon was given the green light back in 2012 just after the success of his first film with a phenomenal cast. But seeing it and hearing about it are two radically different concepts that can alter our point of view. Before we could talk about Age Of Ultron speculatively because it could go either way, but now that we have something concrete, it’s even more exciting.
Back to the film: SHIELD has been completely dissolved or destroyed (at any rate, they’re gone) with the exception of Nick Fury. The Avengers need some time away from crime fighting, especially perhaps the Cap who, in the last MCU film, The Winter Soldier, battled it out with his former cohort Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier. With a reveal like that for him, a steady vacation is certainly warranted.
In the midst of this, however, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) decides to jump-start a dormant peacekeeping program with Ultron; a self-aware, self-teaching artificial intelligence. As the title would suggest, this plan backfires. Horribly. And Ultron decides that human beings are the main enemy, resolving to eradicate them from existence.
Stark makes a harrowing remark about how “…this is the end of the path I started us on.” Suggesting that this may be the beginning of the end for The Avengers, at least in this iteration as the team currently stands. As we know, however, Downey is set to reclaim his role as Iron Man in Cap 3 opposite Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, so we’re just going to have to wait and see how that culminates into a possible third Avengers movie down the road.
The plot takes some crucial elements from the comic to really sustain the story based on what we know about the premise, and that’s going to count towards points in the film adaption later. Of course, at Examiner, we always try to point out that when it comes to mediums of text and film, keeping them separate is the best course. In the case of graphic novels and comics, however, there’s a greater emphasis on visuals, and story when it comes to adapting the film. You can disappoint people more easily if you don’t try to follow some semblance of influence from the hard copy even though what you’re bringing to the screen is a different interpretation, obviously.
What’s more, we get just a glimpse at the Maximoff twins, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch just at the end of the teaser, and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) is looking oddly like Lou Ferrigno when not onscreen as the Hulk (long hair, disheveled, etc.).
A few elements in the visuals of the teaser lend credence to the idea that this is going to be a much darker take than was the first Avengers film. The Winter Soldier and The Dark World equally contributed to the furthering of that idea. Moreover, Iron Man 3 is arguably what got us here in the first place; acting as a catalyst that helped introduce us to a much more dramatic prose.. Here we see citizens running for their lives, the menace that is Ultron (James Spader) as the main antagonist and the knowledge that we’ll be leading up to even darker and perhaps more emotionally deep MCU films, all of which add up to the same conclusion.
Overall, the trailer is one that is building up to be a phenomenal movie. As always, you get the high-octane Marvel action, but knowing these guys are tired, beaten down and aging only helps further the plot. The Avengers are no longer perfect heroes, if they ever were, and we’re going to see them have to reunite and tackle one of their greatest foes on the big screen. What’s more, with the MCU pretty much being, at the moment anyway, perpetual, we may even see very faithful passing of the torch to younger Avengers in the near future. As we grow, Age Of Ultron may end up a relic amid a sea of other movies with multiple interpretations of the characters that are not reboots of our favorite flicks, but rather continuations of the main plot.
Age Of Ultron is set to release May 1, 2015.