Not long now, folks! The movie event of the year is a mere few weeks away, as the Avengers ready themselves to burst back onto our cinema screens in the epic blockbuster sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The movie will see the titular heroes as an established team, following their assemblage in 2012's The Avengers. They'll be battling a new threat in the form of the villainous robot, Ultron - initially a project designed by Tony Stark AKA Iron Man as a means to protect the world.
There are so many confirmed things fans can't wait to see in Age of Ultron and so many unconfirmed things they're hoping to see. It's likely that the movie will deliver, and will be one of the most successful of all time in any genre. Still, it must avoid certain things to prevent it from failing to achieve the kind of financial and critical success that's expected of it.
Comic book movies are some of the most harshly criticised in Hollywood and fans of the genre are some of the hardest to please in the world, so there are several bullets to be dodged by this critical installment in the franchise. The following are the ten biggest things that the fans really don't want to see.
10 An Over-Reliance On Humour
Make no mistake about it, humour is an essential part of any Marvel movie. Not only is it now expected by fans in any given Marvel Studios offering, it's also quite often wonderfully executed by the likes of Robert Downey, Jr. who have proven to be brilliant in delivering comic one-liners.
However, there comes a point when it needs to be toned down. Humour is great, but humour for the sake of humour feels forced, and in a movie like Avengers: Age of Ultron - a movie in which the lives of every human being on the planet are at risk and the plot has the potential to be fantastic regardless of constant laughs - it may start to feel out of places if it becomes an overused tool.
Fans will certainly be hoping that the movie is funny in parts, but they'll also be hoping that it doesn't solely rely on humour in order to entertain.
9 Limited Expansion
Marvel Studios movies have prided themselves on utilising Easter eggs, cameos, references and fun inclusions as a means to expand the universe in which they take place. For instance, Nick Fury's appearance in the first Iron Man movie back in 2008 foreshadowed the assembling of the Avengers, the world map highlighting Wakanda back in 2010's Iron Man 2 foreshadowed the coming of Black Panther and the name-dropping of Stephen Strange by Jasper Sitwell in Captain America: The Winter Soldier foreshadowed the coming of Doctor Strange.
Given that Avengers: Age of Ultron is going to be, by far, the biggest movie event in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, fans will be expecting huge expansion seeds to be planted and they will be very disappointed if that doesn't occur.
The likes of Civil War, the Infinity Wars and Spider-Man should all be at least hinted at, while new clues about characters, stories and concepts that have yet to be mentioned in the same breath as the Marvel Cinematic Universe should also be included.
8 An Underwhelming Mid/Post-Credits Scene
The movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have become synonymous with mid and post-credits reveals.
After the aforementioned appearance of Nick Fury in Iron Man's post-credits scene back in 2008, every subsequent movie has included at least one bonus scene either in the middle of the credits or after the credits have rolled.
These have included key scenes that have hinted at expansion; like Thanos appearing in the mid-credits of the Avengers movie, Baron Strucker discussing the Maximoff twins in the mid-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor's hammer being found in the post-credits scene of Iron Man 2. They have also included scenes that were rather pointless; like the Avengers eating shawarma in the post-credits scene of their titular movie, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner talking in the post-credits scene of Iron Man 3 and a bizarre Howard the Duck in the post-credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy.
Audiences intentionally wait until after the credits in the cinema now and they will be expecting the biggest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date to deliver some epic mid and post-credits scenes.
7 A Weak MacGuffin
The entire Marvel Cinematic Universe to date has been building towards the grand finale of Phase 3; Avengers: Infinity Wars. The Mad Titan, Thanos, will emerge with the completed Infinity Gauntlet granting him godlike power and the combined efforts of the likes of the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy will be required to pose a threat to him.
The items that will combine to complete the Infinity Gauntlet - the Infinity Stones MacGuffins - have been slowly introduced since the Tesseract first appeared at the end of the first Thor movie and, since then, audiences have seen the Aether, the Orb and whatever the artIfact in Loki's staff is called.
Rather disappointingly, they've all been pretty much the same so far - displaying energy blasts of a moderate power level (with the Tesseract also displaying portal generation and Loki's staff controlling minds).
This is a far cry from the individual powers of the stones (or gems, as they're known) in the comic books - all of which are beastly. If, as rumoured, the Soul Stone appears in Avengers: Age of Ultron, it would be nice to show that it possesses some major power, rather than leaving fans disappointed and underwhelmed.
6 Ultron Being Weak
Like the aforementioned MacGuffins in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far, the villains have been very disappointing and weak. The likes of the Chitauri, Malekith and Aldrich Killian never really looked like posing a threat to the heroes they were facing and the likes of Abomination, Red Skull and Iron Monger seemed to be on a par with their heroic opponents.
What fans want to see is a villain whose threat is so devastating that they are genuinely on the edge of their seats worrying about their favourite character's safety for the whole movie.
In Ultron, fans want to see an indestructible vibranium robot who can move his consciousness between mechanical bodies at will, lead a powerful robotic army with real authority, control technology and poses a threat to every single Avenger and indeed the entire planet. They do not want to be underwhelmed by a villain again, and seeing him doing very little in terms of displays of power would be extremely disappointing to them.
5 The Avengers Falling Out Too Quickly
It's pretty much set in stone that Avengers: Age of Ultron will plant the seeds for Captain America: Civil War - and that's fair enough. Civil War will be an epic cinematic event that will pit the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe against each other, as their views on the Superhuman Registration Act conflict with those of their former allies.
However, given that the Avengers have only been together for a fraction of a single movie to date, nobody really wants to see them falling out too early what will be only their second movie.
The trailers have certainly hinted towards there being unrest in the Avengers camp - thanks largely, one would imagine, to Tony Stark's inadvertent creation of Ultron and the influence of the Scarlet Witch - but the Avengers need to be on side with each other to combat the threat of the villainous robot and fans want to see chemistry and relationship development between the members of the superhero team.
Hopefully, the real fall-out won't occur until the very end of the movie or, even better, in either a mid or post-credits scene.
4 A "Cop-Out" Death
So far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios have lacked the balls required to kill a major character off. The likes of Thor, Phil Coulson, Nick Fury and Loki have all appeared to perish, only to re-emerge resurrected one way or another.
Now, make no mistake about it, nobody wants their favourite character to die, but it's all becoming a bit too safe and the movies in the franchise lack the "edge of your seat" aspect films possess as a result of knowing that the main character is truly in grave danger.
Consequently, a major character needs to be killed off. It's harsh, but true. Avengers: Age of Ultron is indeed expected to kill off a major character - but the fact is that it will probably be one that nobody has built a rapport with yet. Quicksilver, for example, is tipped to perish at the hands of the titular villainous robot, but it would make much more of a statement and much more of an impact if someone like Hulk was to perish.
Here's hoping Marvel Studios have the guts to prove everyone wrong in that regard.
3 An Underwhelming Vision
Arguably, the most hotly anticipated character in Avengers: Age of Ultron is Paul Bettany's Vision. The android is being talked about more than the likes of Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and even Ultron himself - thanks largely to the fact that he has yet to be fully revealed in the trailers (a quick shot of his eyes opening is all fans have seen so far).
With that in mind, it would be a huge disappointment to find that the character is a shadow of his comic book self. Fans want to see him display a vast array of esoteric powers and abilities, like intangibility, energy blasts, technopathy, mass control and genius intelligence. If it turns out that he is nothing more than a sentient Iron Man armour with intangibility, it will be very disappointing.
Vision - who it is believed will be a creation of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - is tipped to be the film's key hero when it comes to defeating Ultron. Here's hoping he uses some impressive abilities in order to do so.
2 Underdevelopment Of New Characters
Ensemble movies like this one have a tendency to neglect the character development of certain individuals. Take the first Avengers movie as an example - Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye and Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, who have no solo movies between them, saw very little in terms of character development.
Black Widow had previously appeared in Iron Man 2, so fans already knew a little bit about her, but Hawkeye had only made a cameo in Thor - and his part in the Avengers movie was mostly as a mindless goon under Loki's enthralment. Their pasts were briefly mentioned, but they didn't get nearly as much spotlight as the likes of Iron Man and Captain America.
This time around, there are even more characters in the cast - several of which will be making their first Marvel Cinematic Universe appearances. The likes of Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch and Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Quicksilver will be swiftly getting thrown into the mix - and fans will be hoping to learn a little more about them than they did about Hawkeye in the first Avengers offering.
1 Ridiculous Cramming
In spite of what was said in the previous points - particularly the one directly before this entry about character development - what fans really don't want to see in Avengers: Age of Ultron is a desperate attempt to cram as much into it as possible.
The cast is absolutely huge. In addition to the six original Avengers, there will be three new ones in Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Vision, old faces like Sam Wilson, Nick Fury, James Rhodes, Maria Hill, Heimdall, Peggy Carter and Erik Selvig, as well as villains like Ultron, Baron Strucker, Ulysses Klaue and Thanos, with several actors set to appear in a number of additional minor confirmed and unconfirmed roles.
With expansion on the menu and Marvel Studios renowned for throwing in references and sub-plots in abundance, the movie has the potential to result in information overload. Granted, its 150 minute length will allow for an awful lot of things to happen, but fans will be hoping they don't end up walking out of theatres unable to comprehend half of what they just saw.
What else do you hope this movie doesn't include? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
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