n October, fans eager for an early glimpse at Marvel's all-star superhero flick The Avengers happily embraced a brief preview clip teasing the summer blockbuster. Now, a "bigger and better" two-and-a-half minute trailer has them positively euphoric. (Watch the video below.) The new footage shows the comic-book dream team — Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, Mark Ruffalo's Incredible Hulk, Chris Evans' Captain America, Chris Hemsworth's Thor, and Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye — reluctantly joining forces, in-fighting, and finally uniting to crush the movie's Big Bad, an evil deity named Loki. As fans gear up for the film's May 4 release, here are six things they're buzzing about:
1. The trailer is a major improvement
Mercifully, there's a "little less talk, lot more action" in the new trailer, says Andy Neuenschwander at Yidio. Indeed, says Starpulse, the wealth of pulse-racing fight sequences "might be too awesome for the human mind." From Iron Man fighting Thor to the chilling shot of the assembled Avengers back-to-back and ready for battle, the new clip doesn't skimp on the big scenes. The film is under pressure to live up to "years of hype," says Jen Yamato at Movieline, and it looks like it might actually do so.
2. We finally see more of The Hulk
The first trailer predictably spotlighted Robert Downey Jr.'s wry breakout Iron Man character, says Borys Kit at The Hollywood Reporter, but this latest clip offers a big dose of Mark Ruffalo as the new Hulk, a pivotal, special-effects-reliant character who's been mostly under-wraps to date. The extent to which he's showcased in this trailer should soothe fans "who were nervous [about] how the third incarnation of the jade giant in a decade would come off." (After Edward Norton and Eric Bana, Ruffalo is the third actor to portray The Incredible Hulk since 2003.) This version "looks better every time we see him," agrees Katey Rich at Cinema Blend.
3. But we're still missing Hawkeye
This satisfying trailer gives each of the Avengers a close-up, says Yamato. Everyone but Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye, that is. Johansson's Black Widow has some nice dialogue moments, Evans' Captain America gets some stellar fight sequences, and Downey's Iron Man cracks wise. But save for a "neat falling-backwards-through-the-air-while-shooting-an-arrow moment," Renner and Hawkeye are still a mystery. Not too surprising, perhaps: Hawkeye is "the least known character of the bunch."
4. The trailer has that Joss Whedon touch
As he's proven with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and his other hit TV shows, "Joss Whedon is great with ensemble character stories," says Mark Hughes at Forbes, and it looks like the film's director/writer is "still on his game here." Agrees Ethan Sacks at New York's Daily News, Whedon's thumbprints "are all over the footage," especially in scenes where the superheroes bicker — or Thor and Captain America engage in full-fledged combat. Ruffalo's Hulk sums up the infighting perfectly: "We're not a team, we're a time-bomb."
5. This is nerd porn at its peak
"In Marvel Comics lore, it's often Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor who are most readily identified with the powerful superhero team," says Josh Wigler at MTV. In this new trailer, fans see the film's formidable trio together for the first time in the same space, and it's "a haunting shot." The clip's other "geekasm-worthy scene": Hulk effecting a mid-air rescue of an injured Iron Man, breaking their fall by slamming into a tall skyscraper, says Sacks.
6. The closing shot will have everyone hooked
Much of this new trailer seemed repetitive to me, says Rich — that same old New York battle scene! — until "the money shot" in the final seconds. Whatever it is, that giant alien ship racing towards the band of superheroes is "awesome," says Wigler. "We want our action figure immediately!"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Attack of the invasive species
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- Why Easter is so important to Christians
- Why would a young person today be religious?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
- Which states get screwed worst by the Electoral College?
Subscribe to the Week