Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hammer time: More on 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' trailer

Why is the Scarlet Witch screaming while on her knees? What has made Captain America so worried as he kicks down a door at an apparently run-down castle?

And what in the name of Marvel Studios happened to Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner (better known as the Hulk) that he falls to the sandy ground and makes him cower on the floor of what appears to be an Avengers quinjet?

The Avengers are known as the Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but the bat-s*** crazy and extremely menacing Ultron (James Spader) has put such a hurting on the team that they are significantly less so. In fact, the Avengers seemed to have taken a severe beating and Cap's shield is broken by the end of the footage in the teaser trailer.

This is the kind of grim and angst-ridden footage revealed for "The Avengers: Age of Ultron."

I could have sworn this is the sequel to the ultra-fun "Avengers."

Is a humiliating defeat in store
for the Avengers in "Age of Ultron"?
I adore director Joss Whedon's first film so much it's my cinematic equivalent of comfort food.

When I saw the "Age of Ultron" trailer the first time online, I wondered such things as: Where's the snarky and full-of-life Tony Stark? What happened to my favorite superhero team that's ready to assemble and kick some tail? Where's the fun I've had watching the first "Avengers" movie?

Most of all, where did all this angst come from?

So I can't tell you how relieved I was to watch the fun-filled casual scene with the off-duty Avengers before the same trailer was revealed at the end of "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD"!

Also, seeing Iron Man decked out in his Hulkbuster armor about to take on the Big Green Guy looks wild of course!

Having seen the trailer online and then watching the scene with the Avengers who were sitting around a living room in casual clothes with a few drinks was the equivalent of wiping my brow and giving a "shewwww"-like sigh.

Official promotional art for "The Avengers: Age of Ultron"
The living room scene takes place in what was Stark Tower, which I assume is now Avengers Tower. 

The team is having a few laughs — maybe after a victorious battle?! — when Robert Downey Jr.'s Stark tries to pick up Thor's hammer.

Stark asks Thor: "If I lift it, do I get to rule Asgard?"

Thor: "Yes, of course," which prompts the snarky Stark-like response: "I will be fair, but firm."

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes (Don Cheadle) have no luck picking up Thor's hammer.
After an unsuccessful two-handed tug, Stark tells the Avengers he'll be back — only to return with his Iron Man gauntlet. In the next clip, Lt. Jim Rhodes (Don Cheadle) has put on his War Machine gauntlet and both he and Stark attempt to get the hammer to move off the living room table.

"I'm just representing," responds Rhodes while obviously exerting himself as well.

Actor Chris Hemsworth as Thor smiles as he sees his teammates struggle with the hammer. He only seems slightly worried when Chris Evans' Steve Rogers grabs the handle of Mjolnir. Rogers has the Super Soldier Serum going through his blood, but he too fails to move the hammer.

And then a half-built Ultron — much to the shock of the Avengers — comes staggering out, dragging a mangled robot (or is that the remains of an Iron Man armor?).

Ultron has dark prophecy of what he can do: "You want to protect the world, but you don't want it to change. You're all puppets, tangled in strings... strings!"

Like I said, "Age of Ultron" appears to be dark — quite dark.

I know better than to judge a film I haven't seen on the assumptions I've made from watching the first trailer. The first footage the public sees of any film is supposed to give juuuuust enough information to give you a vague idea of what kind of movie it will be.

The best teasers do just that — tease with you what's in store. Just one view isn't enough; the clips pull you in so much you must watch the trailer again. Again and again. …

When it comes to "Age of Ultron," I can only hope there's plenty of fun to balance out the dark and gritty footage in this trailer. Grade: B-

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