Back in 2014 at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood, California, Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige announced the “Phase 3 “ slate of films coming to theaters over the, at the time, next four years. Back then, I remember being amazed with the vision and confidence that Marvel had in and for their films. At the time, Avengers 2 hadn’t even hit theaters and here we were seeing the announcement for Avengers 3 and 4 (plus several other films). We had no idea what to expect, and anyone that said they weren’t excited was a boldfaced liar. Everyone was hyped for the unlimited potential in these films. I had my fandom in Marvel cemented for me with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which, to this day, is still Marvel’s best film. So when I saw that they were actually going for broke and adapting the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, I was beside myself with glee and excitement with what could be.
Well, now it’s almost four years later and I feel infused with an almost overwhelming feeling of okay-ness after seeing this trailer, and this really bothers me…It bothers me that the new Avengers trailer is just leaving me with a very “meh” feeling. I know that some of you might read this post and think that I’m just being a DC fan or a Marvel hater, and that’s your right. I don’t wasn’t to change anyone’s opinion. But the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War just dropped this morning, and it just seems like a very underwhelming “event” film is coming.
I understand that, at the end of the day, this is basically just a teaser trailer, and there will probably be, maybe, three more trailers before the film is released in May of 2018,and until that day comes, it’s up to be to put my expectations in check. But I have to tell you right now that I believe that Marvel has dropped the ball with their handling of Phase 3. I understand that I am not in the business of making films, and as such, I really shouldn’t comment on how Marvel Studios. But, are we really excited for Avengers: Infinity War because we are all genuinely excited for the film, or is it just because Marvel Studios has been telling us for four years now that we should be excited?
The trailer for Infinity War starts out surprisingly strong with a voice over that harkens back to the very first teaser trailer for the first teaser trailer for the Avengers, back in 2011. Instead of Nick Fury giving his mission statement about the Avengers, you have the cast of the Avengers themselves dishing out their monologue.
Unfortunately, the rest of the trailer is pretty standard fair for superhero trailers nowadays (yes, I’m including Justice League in their). It’s two minutes of people looking up in the sky with an expression of “oh shit” written across their faces. A couple people get punched, a few more scream and there is a LOT of running towards the camera.
However there were a few interesting points that need to be mentioned. Visions getting his infinity stone/power source ripped from his head, virtually anything that Thanos (Josh Brolin) says, and any scene with Chris “I finally get to keep my beard” Evans. The treatment of Thanos is something that is very interesting to me because, if there is one consistent complaint about Marvel Studios films is the treatment, or lack thereof, if their villains. Thanos comes on the scene, looking like the best part of any World of Warcraft trailer, and gives a genuinely powerful and unnerving line of dialogue.
“Fun isn’t something one considers when balancing the universe. But this does put a smile on my face.”
I don’t know anything about Thanos’ character arc in this film. I don’t know what he’s been through in the lead up to this film (none of us do, and we probably never will), but that single line of dialogue makes this trailer worth watching. But is it worth watching? Well, by time you read this post, you’ve already watched it about a dozen times, so I don’t have to answer that for you.
This trailer just raises all the wrong questions for me.
- Is Thor going to inexplicably stop acting like the goofy moron that he was in Thor: Ragnarok?
- Are people going to just accept that the CGI army is nothing more than that because there’s a Marvel logo on it?
- Are they going to take the time to explain hanging plot threads in this film (Banner/Widow relationship, Starks hatred of Bucky, or Thor and Black Panther’s plot-dependent overpowered status’), or are they just going to cast it aside like they did, again, in Thor: Ragnarok?
- How will Robert Downey Jr. (not Iron Man) save the day?
This trailer was incredibly underwhelming and guilty of a lot of the same faults that is, by now, standard with most other Marvel Studios trailers. In my opinion, we have been hearing about this film for so long now that we can’t help but be underwhelmed. We have heard that this film is going to be arriving soon for three years now. We have all built up expectations in our minds and, at this point, I have to wonder if feeling underwhelmed by this trailer is entirely my fault. Sure, for months now, I have been say that all I want from this film is for it to be good. And while that still stands as my only real expectation of Infinity War, I feel like regardless of quality, fans are going to want this film to be a success so much that they’re going to see it over and over again, just so it can hit that billion dollar opening weekend to legitimize their fandom.
Honestly, think of Phase 3 and tell me that it hasn’t been run-of-the-mil. Captain America: Civil War, while entertaining, was a logistical nightmare that couldn’t have happened in the time frame the film established. Doctor Strange was an incredibly entertaining, comedic remake of Iron Man. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a very, very good film…that completely ignored the fact that Yondu (everyone’s favorite Mary Poppins cosplayer) was going to eat the hero the first Guardians film. Spider-Man: Homecoming was nothing more than two hours of pretentious showboating on Marvel’s part by showing how they can do right by a sullied character. And finally, Thor: Ragnarok, the film that held up the big middle finger to not only the previous two Thor films and two Avengers appearances (plus Doctor Strange), but to all the filmmakers that busted their butts to make a silly character who lives on a rainbow bridge into a compelling character that learns the value of selflessness. Now with that track record, do you really think that Marvel is going to give us anything less than a comedy revolving around a mad titan on a quest to trick out his glove? To do any different would be disrespectful to four of the last five films in the series; and twelve of the last seventeen films in the whole of the “MCU”. The jury’s still out on what Black Panther will be.
But, the MCU doesn’t care about being respectful. They care about having butts in seats. I can’t argue with that. If I were in charge of a multi-billion dollar franchise, I would do anything in my power to make it look like I cared about fan opinions while adhering to the formula of making a “good” film; or at least, a “good” Marvel film, which nowadays, is just an “okay” film.
You know what really sucks about me feeling underwhelmed about this trailer, the worst part is, is that if anyone actually reads this, you’re all going to consider me a hater and I just have to accept that. I am glad that people are happy with this trailer. If seeing this made all of your fanboy dreams of seeing Thanos punching out Iron Man come true, than more power to you. I am so happy that you’re happy.
But I am exhausted.
And the worst part about being exhausted by Marvel Studios apparent invulnerability to the same mistakes that everyone makes is that you’re just a troll for not falling for popular opinion. I know that this is just a teaser trailer, and I know that I’m going to see this film, but I just feel let down. I feel like in my quest to have no expectations, my expectations got too high. But worst of all, we were told to have nothing but high expectations, and that we’re to blame when they aren’t met, and holy shit, that is depressing.