It’s been nearly three weeks since the Age of Ultron trailer was leaked to the public. I was on vacation at the time, so, while I did get to watch first the grainy leak footage (and then the HD damage-control release from Marvel) in my condo while jumping up and down with excitement, I haven’t had a chance to write about it yet. I’m here to remedy that right now.
This movie is definitely going to be darker fare than Guardians of the Galaxy—that’s clear from the start. (It’s all about the trailer music, I guess, since both movies still featured a planet-threatening megalomaniacal villain.) From what I know so far, Ultron is an AI created by Tony Stark to do the Avengers’ job for them, and, as happens far too often in this sort of story, Ultron decides that what’s best for humanity is to be ruled by him.
I’m excited for this movie for a number of reasons, but first and foremost because I was so deeply disappointed by Guardians. If you’ll recall, one of my biggest complaints was its lack of connection to the larger Marvel universe, and so I’m looking forward to returning to Earth and getting some progression in the universe as a whole this installment. It also looks like the stakes are going to be higher than ever, with secret-keeping and team infighting—both verbal and Hulk-vs.-Hulkbuster-armor-in-the-streets physical—taking up a major chunk of the trailer. I’m interested to see both how this will further both the Avengers’ storyline and the larger Infinity Stones plot, if it even touches on the latter at all.
I’m curious about how they’re going to fit their second wind of superheroes into this movie. We’ve been promised a little bit more characterization for people like Hawkeye and the Hulk, but we’re also getting Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and given that they were Hydra captives the last time we saw them, we’re going to need at least a little bit of screentime explaining their escape/defection. Vision’s supposed to be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe with this film too, although we still haven’t seen him in anything but a long distance shot on a poster. And speculation that Andy Serkis is playing a Black Panther villain leads me to also wonder if Chadwick Boseman will be making his MCU debut as T’Challa in Age of Ultron as well. That’s a lot of people to juggle effectively while still telling a compelling story.
Some of the solo shots, as well as the short flash of ballerinas, lead me to wonder if we will finally get some Black Widow backstory in this movie. I can only hope so. We got plenty of solid Natasha-as-a-person characterization in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but we still don’t know much about her history. Surely they can spare a few minutes amongst all those other heroes to give the team’s lynchpin a little fleshing-out.
Phase 2 has been a bit of a bumpy ride for the MCU, with many of its films (excluding CA:TWS) resonating with some audience members while
others completely missed the mark. Guardians and Iron Man 3 are equally polarizing among my friends, and while Thor 2 was better-received, it also had some deeply ableist and sexist problems. I hope that Age of Ultron caps off this installment of the MCU with some quality storytelling. Either way, I can’t wait till next summer to find out.