It would have been easy for Avengers: Age of Ultron – the sequel to Marvel’s franchise mega-hit Avengers Assemble – to rest on its laurels. Thankfully, Avengers 2.0 improves on its predecessor on many fronts even if it doesn’t fully recapture the magic of the 2012 endeavour.
Whereas it took a little while for Avengers Assemble to get going, the opposite is true for the sequel. We begin with a Bond-esque opening skirmish between our heroes and HYDRA cronies that ends with the recovery of Loki’s scepter and a party to remember. But when Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) attempt to use the power of the scepter to jumpstart a peacekeeping program, the inadvertent result is Ultron (James Spader), a highly intelligent robot hell-bent on human extinction. Making matters worse, Ultron joins forces with powerful Maximoff twins Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen).
There is a great disparity between the posters and the trailers for Avengers: Age of Ultron.
In the build-up to today’s big reveal Marvel had released a number of bland and lazy character posters featuring each of our principal heroes in a standard hero pose set against a boring backdrop filled with Ultron drones. There’s also a one-sheet with all the Avengers that’s spent far too many hours in Adobe Photoshop:
Thankfully the trailers for Avengers: Age of Ultron have been anything but bland and lazy, and the third and supposedly (but probably not) final clip that was unveiled earlier today is no different.
Much like Tony Stark, Marvel Studios have been tinkering with Iron Man for over five years now, striving to upgrade and improve upon the previous model. In some ways, the success rate of the franchise mirrors Stark’s own cinematic journey. The first Iron Man (2008) was an unexpected hit, delighting cinemagoers whilst sowing the seeds for Marvel’s ‘Phase One’. Iron Man 2 (2010) saw both protag and film succumb to expectation, whilst Avengers Assemble (2012) took the character’s popularity to new heights. Enter Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 (2013) – a fun, action-packed superhero yarn that’s arguably Marvel’s best solo instalment to date.
An epic new trailer for Iron Man 3 came online this afternoon, and I wrote a succinct breakdown of what was revealed for What Culture. Read (and watch) here.
Robert Downey Jr.’s much loved interpretation of Tony Stark aka Iron Man has won fans all over the world, and he will be back to reprise his role for a fourth time in the highly anticipated Iron Man 3 next year. Earlier this year, the lucky fans at comic-con got a first look at some new footage, and in the past few days we have been privy to stills and, in what has become the latest marketing tool for big films, teaser trailers of teaser trailers. Now, we have the first full trailer for the Iron Avenger’s next solo adventure. Directed this time around by Shane Black, Iron Man 3 will pit the hero against the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). With his back against the wall, Stark must rely on his smarts to protect those he cares about.
Watch the trailer for Iron Man 3 at CineVue here.
Since his birth in 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has been re-imagined several times in various forms of media. In recent times, the eccentric detective has been portrayed brilliantly by Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC’s hit TV series Sherlock. However, the definitive version of this generation may perhaps be Robert Downey Jr’s personification of the titular character in 2009’s Sherlock Holmes. That film ended tantalisingly too, with the introduction of Holmes’ greatest foe seemingly imminent. Director Guy Ritchie has teamed up with Downey once again for the follow up, A Game of Shadows. Does Holmes 2.0 improve on the ’09 hit?
Read the rest of this review on Yin & Yang here.