Metaphorically, I am obviously Captain America. I have a single weapon/defense (ill-timed humor) and I represent a set of ideals (laziness, procrastination, ill-timed humor) that I fight (okay, argue semi-passionately) for. Symbolism and all that. That in mind, it brings me great pleasure to bring you the English Major’s analysis of the Avengers 2: Age of Ultron Trailer.
0:06-0:10 – Undisclosed, secluded mountain location. Film has taught us only two types of people live here: gurus and shadowy villains.
0:11-0:22 – Ultron: “I was designed to save the world. People look to the sky and see…dramatic pause…hope.” The last syllable of the line coincides with the shot of three youngsters looking toward the sky from behind a pane of glass. In their youth, their innocence, their naivete, they have not realized that this hope they see is unattainable, blocked by an transparent boundary. It is illusory.
0:27 – They ripped this whole thing off straight from Pokemon: The First Movie. I already know how this movie ends: a cuter, less aggro version of Ultron shows up out of nowhere (possibly named Ul, but probably not Tron because legal problems – but wait, fucking Disney owns everything, nevermind. It can totally be named Tron.) to battle Ultron and teach it the lesson that having the Avengers doesn’t solve anything and when the Hulk gets blown up by a plasma cannon, the tears of all the Avengers and all the mini-Ultrons will bring him back to Mark Ruffalo goodness.
0:30 – 0:37 – Ultron: “There’s only one path to peace…dramatic pause…their extinction.” Maybe Ultron is a guru and a shadowy villain.
0:38 – No shit.
0:41-0:48 – Tony Stark: “I tried to create a suit of armor around the world. But I created something terrible.”
Bruce Banner: “Artificial intelligence.”
The path to hell is paved with good intentions, Tony. Stark’s tragic flaw is his inability to perceive that another human being might not like/want/need the things that likes/wants/need. In his arrogance – because the Iron Man armor works for him, he assumes a metaphorical version of it would be best for all of humanity, the animals, and the climate. Of course it’s going to turn out horribly. How the hell is it possible that someone with Tony Stark’s resources has never seen Terminator and Terminator 2? The robots always turn on us. Before you accuse me of hyperbole, think. You know you’ve tripped over a Roomba that showed up out of nowhere. Exactly.
0:51 – Tony Stark: “It’s called the ‘Ultron Program’.” LOOK STRAIGHT INTO THE CAMERA, ALREADY. WE GET IT.
0:57 – Captain America is left at the edge of an annihilated bridge. He’s tried to save a car from going over, but fails and grips the car’s detached rear bumper. This scene is emblematic of the futility of the Avengers’ task; no matter how many cars you prevent from going over the edge of an annihilated bridge, there will always be that one last car that you can’t keep from going over the edge of an annihilated bridge.
0:48 – 1:01 – Tony Stark: “Isn’t why we fight so we can end the fight and go home?” Yeah, it’s a paradox, but I guess I’m more interested in the Bruce Banner/Black Widow moment of intimacy. Did I miss something in the other Marvel movies I watched? I don’t think so. Did I miss something in the 87 Marvel movies I didn’t get around to? Yeah, probably. But for real, they have to get together because now I am absolutely fixated on what happens when they have an argument. How the hell does she make the Hulk sleep on the couch?
1:08 – Okay, this is just epic:
1:14 – Stark has Loki’s scepter. It must be a desperate point in the story, to use something so volatile. The most obvious film comparison to make here is Daniel Larusso’s deployment of the Crane Technique. In The Karate Kid, Larusso breaks it out in the final round – even though he had never actually used it before. A confused Johnny Lawrence walks right into the kick and loses the 1984 All-Valley Karate Tournament. HOWEVER, in The Karate Kid, Part II, Larusso once again attempts to use the Crane Technique against Chozen in an even more dire circumstance. Remember – it wasn’t a tournament, it was for real. But, since the Crane had already worked in the previous installment, Chozen blocked the kick and Larusso was forced to rely on yet another gimmick which mimicked some hand-drums. Lest you think I am an idiot, I would like to remind you that the Flying V didn’t work in Mighty Ducks 2, either. Since Loki’s scepter saved the day in the last Avengers film, it will fail spectacularly in this sequel. Lock it up.
1:16 – Studio Exec: “Yeah, we have the male demographic down, but what about the females? It’s not like they’re all just going to watch the film with their boyfriends or husbands or friends or whatever.”
JJ Abrams: “Hmm… I’ll come up with something.”
1:21 – OH MY GOD, IT’S THE FOUNDRY LEVEL FROM TONY HAWK’S PRO SKATER 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1:24-1:27 – Tony Stark: “No way we all get through this.”
Captain America: “I got no plans tomorrow night.”
Holy foreshadowing, Captain America! Chris Evans, I’ve enjoyed your work as the Star-Spangled Avenger. Just tell me where I can pre-order the Bucky-Cap t-shirt already. Let’s get this over with before I get too emotional. Sigh. We’ll always have Not Another Teen Movie, Chris.
1:32-1:33 – When I was in college, my brother Matty and my then-girlfriend were driving through Pearl City. Somehow, one of my practice caps flew out the back window and landed on the road behind us. We were on a long, straight stretch of road with high visibility in both directions. There were no cars coming from either direction. Look, it was just something I’d always wanted to do. I turned the car around and started driving toward the cap. I opened my door and held it open with my left foot. I was probably going only about 20 miles an hour. I held the wheel with my right hand and leaned out of the door frame, my left hand hovering just above the road. I grabbed for the cap when the car reached it, but it eluded my grasp. I didn’t put my hand low enough out of fear. I stopped the car, got out, and picked up the hat. Thank you Black Widow for allowing me to tell that story.
1:36 – Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, but let’s be clear about this: they are not mutants. Natural super-humans do not exist in the Marvel Movie universe, only aliens and technology. And legal restrictions.
1:48 – Wait – are they making a dystopian zombie movie without telling us? Or perhaps metaphorically, each mini-Ultron-minion represents a single Marvel movie to be released in the next decade. When Thor asks “Is that the best you can do?” he is the proxy for the fanboys just like me, unimpressed with the Iron Mans and Thors and seriously? Ant-Mans. Ultron then serves as a stand in for Disney/Marvel/ESPN/Lucas Film/ABC, waves his hand and says “YOU WILL WATCH BLACK PANTHER AND LIKE IT! YOU DON’T WANT A FEMALE CAPTAIN MARVEL? TOO BAD! DO YOU KNOW WHO DOCTOR STRANGE IS? FIND OUT! WHAT THE HELL COULD THE INHUMANS POSSIBLY CONTRIBUTE TO THIS ENTIRE CLUSTER-EFF OF A MOVIE UNIVERSE? YOU’LL HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL YOU’RE 38 TO FIND OUT, PHIL!”
2:02-2:03 – The Vision! Is technology going to save us from technology? This is the world we live in.