Five awesome things about the new 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' trailer:
“I'm going to show you something beautiful …”
If you’re not already a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (as the motley crew of films released in the past six years has come to be known), you should really get on the bandwagon.
Earlier this week, the trailer for the next chapter in this intricately woven and masterfully planned series was leaked onto the internet a full week before it was to premier during next Tuesday’s episode of the equally brilliant “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” on ABC.
Seeing the reaction to the leaked trailer, Marvel/Disney wisely put the approved version on their official Youtube channel, and in a day’s time it’s amassed over 25 million views from fans eager for a glimpse at the next installment in this multi-billion dollar franchise.
Being a rabid fanboy myself, I watched it a total of no fewer than 10 times in a row. And with each viewing, I found something else to get all foamy at the mouth over.
Here are my top five choices for the most incredible, spine-chilling, goose-bump-inducing moments in the trailer, from the bottom on up:
Number Five: Dr. Banner curled up and shivering like a fiend
At the 30 second mark, there is an incredibly provocative close-up of Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo, the best Banner since Bill Bixby put his mark on the character), huddled on the floor of the Avengers Quinjet, shivering and looking – dare we say it? – a little green. Ruffalo has been able to finally make a sympathetic character out of the volatile Hulk, and that’s no easy task. Official images from Marvel show off the “Hulkbuster” armor from the comic series, so most of us suspected a showdown between Tony Stark/Iron Man at some point … speaking of which –
Number Four: A Hulk/Iron Man Showdown:
Aw yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Right around the 1:40 mark, we see the Hulk giving Hulkbuster Iron Man a face full of car, and following it up with a body slam that sends them both hurling down what looks like a New York City street – again. It’s another moment many people felt was inevitable, a clash of egos between the two brilliant scientists that finally comes to blows. It looks to be a relatively long and complicated battle/set piece, even just from the few quick shots in the trailer. And we’re just fine with that.
Number Three: Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch – at last, at last:
Two of the best and most interesting Avengers are finally getting to come together on the big screen (despite Quicksilver’s debut by Evan Peters in last year’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past”), and it looks pitch perfect. Wanda Maximoff, portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen – yes, the younger sister of Mary Kate and Ashley – has a powerful moment at the 1:20 mark where she falls screaming to her knees amid the rubble of a collapsed building. And while Aaron Taylor-Johnson looks great as the mutant (are we allowed to say that here?) Pietro Maximoff, he isn’t given much to do in this trailer. Still, we have high hopes for the mark the “Kick Ass” star will put on the role.
Number Two: “No Strings on Me”
Early on at the :32 second mark, Ultron in a voiceover tells the Avengers that humans are just “puppets, tangled in strings.” As the rest of the trailer unfolds, a plaintive child’s version of “I’ve Got No Strings” from Disney’s “Pinocchio,” plays over the scenes of death and destruction (including Captain America’s shattered shield – oh god no, not Cap!), ending with Ultron stepping into view and proclaiming, “No strings on me.” It’s an eerie moment that grabs the spine, and also an interesting payoff of the Disney/Marvel merger – in the hands of another company, such a thing might have been too cost-restrictive to pull off. But here, in the mouth of the Avengers’ greatest adversary, it pays off in spades. Which brings us to the top of the list …
Number One: Ultron/James Spader
As usual, I somewhat doubted the casting choice of James Spader as the voice of Ultron. I was like, “James Spader? That dude from ‘Stargate?’” And, as usual, I am eating my words. Spader is utterly perfect, giving the sentient robot a gravity that has long been hinted at but never properly explored. He’s not just evil – he’s young, brash and unsure what to make of the world, granted sentience and then left to make its own decisions without guidance. It’s a Frankenstein tale all over again, with the monster coming back to its master for a final reckoning, and Spader is at the top of his menacing game. His words are a low growl, not robotic and monotonous – in fact the exact opposite. And his final intonation of “no stings on me” is like a sucker punch to the gut in a darkened room. Whoever thought up the Pinocchio allegory is a genius. Oh, who are we kidding, we know it was Joss Whedon, and we already knew was a genius.
Honorable Mention: A little more ScarJo/Black Widow, pls, kthxbai
We love what Scarlet Johansson has done with Natasha Romanov/Black Widow. She’s smart, sexy, determined and has never been reduced to the role that so many strong female characters are relegated to – a foil for a man’s motivation. There is a shot at the 1:36 mark of ballerinas lining up in a pose that could possibly suggest a little of Natasha’s backstory might be explored, but other than that, she has a single line in the trailer – “nothing lasts forever” – said to Tony Stark/Robert Downy Jr., as he surveys what looks like a mangled Iron Man suit. We know she plays a larger role in the overall film, but a little more of her in the trailer wouldn’t hurt. In all honesty, I don’t know what they would trim to allow for it – it’s great as it is.