Thursday, January 15, 2015

'Avengers' angst and in-fighting: Breaking down the newest 'Age of Ultron' trailer

"Everyone creates the thing they fear. …" — Ultron

Has the "Age of Ultron" brought on an Age of Angst for the cinematic Avengers?

Maybe Tony Stark's self doubt is contagious; certainly, Ultron's statement of self-destruction has become prophetic.

Captain America looks like he's carrying the weight of the world in the opening seconds of the newest trailer. And then Ultron manhandles the Star-Spangled Avenger. Is that why Cap looks so defeated?

GIF courtesy of
Bruce Banner is in disbelief that Ultron has become autonomous. (Which is fairly ironic since the scientist's anger is at the heart of his uncontrollable and equally unpredictable rage-monster.) And could this lead to the possibly epic Iron Man-Hulk battle, which is the highlight of the last part of the trailer?

Why does the Hulk have red eyes?
Notice the demonic red eyes the Hulk has.

The Big Green Guy appears to be under someone's control. Could it be that Ultron has enlisted Scarlet Witch to use her magical hex powers to control the Hulk? Is it possible Ultron's plan is to turn The Avengers' most powerful members (Hulk, Thor and Iron Man) against each other?

The Hulk's battle with Iron Man (Stark in his Hulkbuster armor) isn't the only in-fighting going on.

Did you notice Scarlet Witch throwing a hex bolt to the side?
Scarlet Witch (played by Elizabeth Olsen) prepares to throw a hex bolt to the side.
Do she and her brother Quicksilver fight against The Avengers initially in "Age of Ultron"?
That clip and/or screen shot (as seen above) has been in previous trailers, but we hadn't seen where she was sending it. The way this footage is edited, it appears Iron Man is on the receiving end of it and is smashed into a wall.

Iron Man takes the blunt of blast. (GIF courtesy of
But look closer: The Scarlet Witch footage takes place during the daytime and at nearly the end of the trailer, Ultron fires a red bolt at someone during a dark interior setting. Since Iron Man is hit with a red bolt similar in size to what Ultron fires (see the photo at the top of this review), I suspect it's Ultron — not Scarlet Witch — who fires the shot at the Armored Avenger. (See the GIF footage to the right.)

To make matters worse, Stark has pissed off Thor, who tells him he doesn't know what he's unleashed. In short, the God of Thunder seems to blame Stark for creating Ultron.

This is the concept art for The Vision
in "Avengers: Age of Ultron."
Nobody obviously is happy that Ultron comes from the mind of Stark. In this case, this Frankenstein-monster creation (Ultron) hasn't just turned on its creator; that same creator's allies seemingly have turned on the creator, Stark.

This footage confirms the worst kept secret in "Age of Ultron" — that Ultron has found a way to control the Iron Man-like drones Stark had created to help The Avengers. (As I've said in a previous op-ed, I was extremely disappointed ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY revealed this spoiler-ish material several months ago when the magazine shared its on-set visit.)

 In the comic books, Ultron takes his Frankenstein monster legacy one step further by creating the android Vision to destroy The Avengers. But Ultron turns on his creator. Expect something similar to happen in "Age of Ultron."

Could The Vision be the most successful or fiercely independent of Ultron's army of drones? Or could the artificial intelligence of Iron Man's Jarvis (voiced by Paul Bettany) become independent, leading to Vision's creation? (This scenario would allow for less of a strange coincidence that Bettany is voicing Jarvis and plays Vision.)

Or maybe does Stark create Vision, who is based on Ultron's drones, as a way to defeat Ultron and redeem himself? Is Vision Ultron's own Frankenstein-like traitor — one that doesn't agree with his master's destructive, power-hungry nihilism?

What's up with footage of this underground pool shown
in two "Avengers: Age of Ultron" trailers?
But there are more questions. Why has Thor been hit with what appears to be his own lightning? Is this the work of the Scarlet Witch? It seems logical she and Quicksilver fight The Avengers before uniting with the Earth's Mightiest Heroes to defeat Ultron.

Most interestingly, what's up with the shapely black woman undressing on the beach of an underground pool?

Some fan sites have theorized she's from or in Wakanda, the African homeland of Black Panther. If that's the case, that means King T'Challa likely has a cameo in "Age of Ultron," which leads to Black Panther's first full-on appearance in "Captain America: Civil War." More importantly, if that location is Wakanda, that would be where the vibranium of Ultron's armor and Captain America's shield originated.

Did you notice the tender look the Hulk gives Black Widow? Is she the emotional ointment that calms Banner's rage-monster? Will we learn more about Black Widow's pre-SHIELD history? Is that her being tortured or experimented on in the flashback where the redhead (or is she a brunette?) is pushed down a gloved hand that was just grabbing some nasty looking devices off a surgical table? Or is that woman Scarlet Witch?

Let's assume all my theorized in-fighting is accurate. Wouldn't that lead more credibility to the "Civil War" promised in the third "Captain America" film? Are are there other reasons for Cap and Iron Man to be fighting each other?

Whatever the answers are to all these questions, I expect most of "Age of Ultron" to be as dark and grim as each of these other trailers have been. With additions to and more variations of the same footage we've seen earlier, this trailer promises angst, in-fighting, traitors and hurt feelings. Grade: A-

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