Age of Ultron Trailer: My Reaction
—by Nathan on October 23, 2014—
So our first Age of Ultron trailer was released last night, and I've gotta admit that it's the greatest movie trailer I've ever seen. It sets up a lot of hype, shows a lot of cool things, and leaves us with a lot of questions. I know a bunch of people have dissected this slice of Marvel-awesomeness into a thousand, little pieces already, but every fan should have his/her chance to get his/her thoughts on what is the trailer for what will be the coolest Marvel movie yet. Yes, I can tell all of that from a trailer. It's a reach, perhaps, but maybe you have to see the trailer (if you haven't already). Maybe you'll agree with me then. If you don't, come back and read the rest of this blog. It's okay. I'll wait. Once you finish up with that, I'm giving my five takeaways from the Age of Ultron trailer.
Let me get this out of the way. This is a sort of a big part of what I'm thinking, so I want to lay it down first. The common theory so far is that Serkis--given his scruffy-looking character in the trailer--is going to play Ulysses Klaw, an enemy of Black Panther's in the comics. Black Panther lives in Wakanda, also home to a super-strong metal called Vibranium, which absorbs impacts really well, hence making it pretty tough. So what's Ultron going to do to replace that Avengers-branded body he shows up in at the start of the trailer? He needs something stronger, and Klaw gives that to him in the form of Vibrainium. This is going to make Ultron himself super-tough, especially if he's thinking of doing the same to his robot army. Hopefully, they won't be exactly the same. One Ultron will be tough enough; we won't need a lot of the same guy. Also important to note is that Cap's shield is constructed of Vibrainium, and we see that lying broken later on in the trailer. Cap's shield can withstand blows from Mjolnir, Thor's hammer, so maybe the only thing that can break it is something made of the same substance. Like Ultron. So Klaw helps Ultron create for himself a super-strong body, in exchange for what? I don't know, but Klaw in the comics ends up with a sonic blaster in place of a hand. Somehow, Serkis could end up with that and come back for the Black Panter movie! Which...would be...awesome. Maybe Ultron betrays him (he would). Maybe Ultron pushes him into a volcano...oh, nope. That's Gollum. Wrong movie.
This should be pretty huge. Somehow, the Avengers become divided. Thor seems pretty upset at Tony for creating Ultron, but Ultron does bear that Avengers insignia. So do the other Avengers know about the Ultron project? Are they mad because it failed, or maybe they don't even know at all...either way, people get upset at each other. And that culminates in a showdown between the Hulk and Iron Man. In scenes with Banner, Ruffalo carries with him this unhinged look. Something happens to drive him crazy? Maybe he's also responsible for the Ultron project and can't stand the guilt. Whatever occurs, he ends up battling Hulkbuster Iron Man mano-a-mano in what looks to be quite the awesome fight. Ultron wants to tear the Avengers apart both physically and mentally. Whatever Stark made him for, he wants no part in it. He wants to be free of Stark (and perhaps all of the Avengers), and he wants to bring his own image upon the world. And it looks like he might just succeed, with an army of Ultron robots and with shots of fallen heroes (Cap's broken shield, Thor's hand beside). The Avengers are going to do a lot of fighting, whether each other or their enemies, and they fall in the end.
THE TWINS: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (along with Vision, but he's not shown in the trailer) are a couple new heroes being inserted into the movie, but they don't seem to start out that way. Baron von Strucker had them in a Hydra facility at the end of The Winter Soldier, so Ultron could free them and indoctrinate them. That doesn't seem to last for long, though, as we see Quicksilver save Cap from an Ultron minion. Scarlet Witch looks to be the bigger problem, though. She's pretty unstable in the comics, and her screaming at nothing in particular is kinda freaky in the trailer. So we could be dealing with two crazy characters, Banner and Scarlet Witch, and that could lead to unexpected consequences for the team. From villain to hero to dangerous. Sounds like a sinister slide. They're both "miracles," not mutants, so they're both given their powers. So are both a little "imperfect," as it were? Does Ultron, in all his genius, offer to balance them both? Ultron could be quite a persuasive villain. There are also shots of Cap back in the 40s and some ballerinas (Widow, perhaps?) Ultron makes offers, and if you say no, he kicks the snot out of you? Maybe. We'll see.
At one point in the trailer, Thor drops his hammer, and he and some of his Avengers teammates stare at something. What? Dunno. They could be looking out of fear, horror, surprise...there could by any number of things that they could be looking at. But the one thing I think we can all safely assume: It's not trivial. It's not like "Oh, man, they ran out of Thor action figures!" or something like that. Marvel seems to like to destroy things. Buildings. Robots. Hellicarriers (LOTS of hellicarries). Something could've been destroyed. The scene looks like part of some building Iron Man is standing on top of and where Cap breaks a door down, presumbably a building you can see Ultron robots climbing out of the water beneath. So maybe they're freaked out that they've got a whole swarm of robots coming at them, but it has to be a little more than that to make a stinking Norse god drop his stinking hammer. Dude's stood up to Frost Giants, Dark Elves, and other-dimensional aliens. Either Ultron's really shaken the Avengers' confidence, or maybe it's a bit more than an army (however, the thought to go up against an entire army of things that could withstand your hammer would make anyone turn around and run away, so I can't hold anything against Thor if that's why).
THE WORLD TURNS
I said that Ultron could be persuasive, and I really hope he is. So I think the big thing he's gonna do first is to turn people against the Avengers. We see riots, we see people shouting. Ultron says the Avengers just want to save the world, not see it change. Stark says the dream he's been working towards is dead. The idea behind Ultron, it seems, is that he's a product of Stark's to create a robotic peacekeeping force. Oh, the irony of a peacekeeping robot turning a violent world against the Avengers all so he can be free of the purpose he was intended for. In the comics, Ultron's brainwaves are based off of Hank Pym. That might not be the case in the movie, but I want to know if Ultron's AI is based off something. He has charisma (for a bloody robot), he has desire, he has determination and arrogance. Like Stark? He embodies human qualities, and that will serve to make him dangerous. It could be what helps him get people on his side, despite the fact that he's clearly a megalomanical robot. And just when people think they've found hope...he turns on them. There are no strings to hold him, he says. No morals, no authority. Ultron's playing God, he's the puppeteer. And he'll cut those strings as he sees fit.
Those are my thoughts. I don't think I'd ever be able to unravel everything from the trailers, and that's a good thing (though I called SHIELD falling in The Winter Soldier...I didn't get Hydra, but I got the SHIELD thing). Yes, it's just one trailer, but it looks absolutely incredible. May can't come fast enough.