You know how I know yesterday's trailer for The Avengers didn't really set the world on fire? Because I was away from my computer when it went online, and by the time I got back two hours later, nobody on my twitter feed was talking about it. Yes, of course, everyone watched the trailer-- it's the first look at a blockbuster that's been taking shape since the first Iron Man in 2007, and any glimpse at Captain America and Tony Stark picking on each other is worth a look. But once it had been seen, it seemed to fade away instantly, making no more impact than the official images and set photos that we'd been seeing for months. If you barely knew that there was an Avengers movie coming, sure, maybe this was exciting; if you've been following it for months like we have? You might have already forgotten it happened.
It's hard to put a finger on why a trailer doesn't grab you, and of course this has very, very little bearing on what the final movie might be like. But here are 5 guesses as to why The Avengers trailer fizzled a little for me and, I'm guessing, a lot of the rest of you out there.
It showed us almost nothing new. Sure, there was the tantalizing glimpse at a potential fight scene between Captain America and Thor, and a brief glimpse at the Hulked-out Bruce Banner, who really didn't look all that different from the concept art. But the rest of the trailer felt like snippets from the other movies combined with a few promo stills we've already seen, right down to a shot that's just this promo shot of Black Widow in live action. Didn't they have anything surprising to tease us with?
It didn't show enough character dynamics. And all the dynamics it did show seemed to consist of Tony Stark picking on everyone else. Far be it from me to complain about more Robert Downey Jr., but the trailer made it seem like this will be Tony Stark and friends fighting evil, when I thought the whole point of the Thor and Captain America movies was to invest us in those characters too. When do we get to see Steve Rogers get a little clever?
It didn't show enough characters, period. Who kicked Cobie Smulders out of the trailer entirely? Was that the back of Agent Coulson's head we saw in one shot, or is he also totally absent? And did they remove Jeremy Renner's vocal cords, or are we supposed to now know that Hawkeye is the strong silent type? Yes, in a trailer you don't have time to get to everyone. But this teaser especially seemed to be emphasizing the idea of a lot of characters coming together, and it seemed strange to ignore some of them outright.
The music was awful. Minor quibble, but an important one. When a trailer is set to unlistenable modern rock, it always seems to be straining to appeal to a young male audience while irritating the hell out of everybody else. Don't they know that young men are going to see this movie no matter what anyway, and they can relax a little?
It just didn't make The Avengers seem as special as it is. Thus far the marketing for this movie has been all about little teases, from the logos that popped up around Comic Con to the carefully selected images released. But the trailer that came out just seemed… plain. There's a visceral thrill to see Cap and Thor and Iron Man all in the same room, but if you're not already attached to those characters, it didn't give you much of a reason to start now. This movie could very well be the premier effort of the modern superhero genre-- at least for Marvel superheroes-- but this trailer just felt like more of the same.
Again, none of this means that The Avengers won't be any good when it comes out next year, and I fully expect to take all of this back when the next full trailer hits, or even when director Joss Whedon does a single hilarious interview that restores all faith. But come on, I can't be the only one frustrated by this. Vote in the poll below and let me know in the comments if you also think the first look at The Avengers could have done a lot better.