Marvel vs. Transformers

The new trailer for The Avengers dropped today, giving a better idea of what to expect when the popular superheroes combine forces. Writer/director Joss Whedon is known for ensemble casts and prickly dialogue, so it’ll be interesting to see how he applies his sensibilities to the Marvel universe. But if this trailer is an accurate representation of what is to come, it looks like Whedon’s action sequences are hardly anything new.

I want to focus on what happens in the second half of the trailer.  Iron Man and his fellow Avengers combat giant robots in an urban setting. Buildings splinter in half, and characters speak in platitudes about the difficulty of their endeavor. In terms of editing/style, this sequence is similar to the trailers for both Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Battleship.

Both trailers, again, feature giant robot combat in an urban setting. Their soundtracks, a combination of an intense orchestra and distorted percussion, are similarly meant to heighten the excitement. The semblance between Transformers and The Avengers is even more striking since they both have a wide shot of machines (Optimus Prime and Iron Man, respectively) dodging skyscrapers.

Joss Whedon developed a cult following through the quality of his writing and character development, so this trailer does not exactly highlight his strengths. I hope The Avengers is a terrific comic book adaptation, complete with thrills and on-screen chemistry. I just find it hard to get excited about a trailer when its special effects are facsimiles of its competition.