1:48pm PT by Sarah Gidick, Aaron Couch
A Marvel Novice Tries to Explain the 'Avengers' Trailer
Avengers: Infinity War marks an unprecedented level of event filmmaking, a project that ties together 10 years of storytelling.
But what if you aren't one of the fans who has lined up opening night for the 18 previous Marvel Studios films? Sarah Gidick, a social media editor and style writer at The Hollywood Reporter, is one such movie-goer. She has seen Fox's X-Men films and Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies — but when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she's almost a blank slate. She's seen just three of the films — Thor (2011), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and last month's Black Panther.
What does a movie-goer who hasn't been breathlessly following this 10-year saga make of last week's Avengers: Infinity War trailer? Is it at all appealing? Does it even make sense? Gidick jotted down some notes and joined Heat Vision editor Aaron Couch for a powwow following the trailer's release.
Sarah Gidick: Unsure who is speaking, but she seems to be the smartest out of the group. If she used to be friends with this ominous man, then she will be invaluable. Was she in a relationship with him because it sounds like it. That one “bad guy” we’ve all dated.
Aaron Couch: That's Gamora (Zoe Saldana), the adopted daughter of Thanos (Josh Brolin) — who is the big villain of the piece. And yes, he is very bad. He used to punish Gamora's adoptive sister Nebula (Karen Gillan) by replacing her limbs with robot body parts. You've seen Guardians of the Galaxy — do you remember the green woman and the purple man? Both were in that movie.
Gidick: I remember Gamora! She has such poise, like a ballerina. For me, the purple man was quite unmemorable. I had to google him. Just another angry bad guy ...
Couch: You aren't alone. Even Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi has made fun of the fact that the guy (until now) never really stood up from his chair.
Gidick: The patina is beautiful on the facade of this home. I love the window!
Couch: That's where Doctor Strange lives.
Gidick: I wish Doctor Strange looked like James Bond.
Gidick: “Tell me his name again.” There’s no way Robert Downey Jr. will be helpful.
Couch: What's your general sense of Tony Stark, as someone who hasn't seen him in a movie yet? I think he could be very helpful in this situation.
Gidick: So, I tried to watch Iron Man. I love Gwyneth Paltrow, and I would be a terrible fan if I hadn't seen all her movies. His attitude was such a turnoff. Here, he looks like a superhero that's had work done. Are superheros allowed to age?
Gidick: Still unsure why Spider-Man is a child. He seems pretty young, but it’s interesting to know he was more open about his identity. There’s no way the other children didn’t see him exit the bus, put on a mask and jump off of a bridge.
Couch: Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man was supposed to be 18 in the 2002 film, but now we have an actor who actually is closer to the age of a high school kid. That's something that made Spider-Man: Homecoming so refreshing — and true to the early years of the Stan Lee and Steve Ditko comics.
Gidick: Chris Evans (Capitan America, I know) has horrible hair. Not digging the shade of auburn. I think a military-style haircut would be better for this scenario. Don’t get annoyed with me, but the spaceship reminds me of Star Wars.
Couch: Would it surprise you to know that the internet is really obsessed with his beard and general look in Infinity War?
Gidick: Extremely surprised. Why cover up that jawline with a beard?
Gidick: Cue the Bad Hair Club meeting. Between Chris Pratt’s lightning bolt sideburns and Downey’s three-way goatee, I hope men don’t think these looks are attractive. You never know. Poor Spider-Man looks like a Pomeranian.
Couch: This is a critique I haven't heard leveled at a superhero movie before. Usually people are more concerned with the costumes. Personally, the hair seems fine? But you are also the style expert, so I am going to defer to you.
Gidick: The hair is so out of control. This could be an ad for a Dyson hairdryer. The whittled-in waist on Stark's costume seems a bit off. Chris Pratt would look cooler in a Elvis-style white T-shirt with rolled-up sleeves, but I'm not the expert here.
Gidick: Thor! I’m like the raccoon… heart-eye emojis.
Gidick: Am I in Tatooine?
Gidick: The tiny hand is freaking me out. These two are obviously up to no good. The purple capes look very Roman — is there something to that?
Couch: That's Gamora as a child — it's flashback time. Thanos basically wants to be God, so your instincts are right in terms of the Roman thing — if not God, he wants to be ruler of the galaxy.
Gidick: Gamora is the star.
Gidick: Did they take Thor’s eye out? Not good for the franchise… don’t mess up the face.
Couch: Yes, in Thor: Ragnarok — the general consensus is this is great for the franchise. He looks pretty badass.
Gidick: Well, maybe he can visit Doctor Strange and get that fixed?
Gidick: This is very cool. Everyone is getting ready to go. The Black Panther is GOAT.
Couch: Everyone loves Black Panther, even people like yourself who don't really care about these movies. What was it about that property in particular that spoke to you as someone who isn't a big Marvel Cinematic Universe fan?
Gidick: When the Black Panther and the White Wolf greet one another, as seen in the trailer, it felt authentic and cool. Overall, it was about time. The social impact of having an active South African language used in a blockbuster Hollywood film, combined with Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o, is immeasurable. It's an incredibly smart film. Plus, any film that makes a 6-year-old kid cry with happiness, makes me cry too. The emotion was palpable in the theater.
Gidick: I hope Elizabeth Olsen gets a lot of screen time in this; she’s a great actress. This looks like a wig, and I'm beginning to think the hairstylist has a thing for redheads. Mark Townsend, Olsen's hairstylist, told THR that "she has the greatest hair on Earth."
Gidick: Something strange is happening to Dr. Strange (I had to) by Voldemort’s second cousin. Shh.
Couch: He does look like Voldemort, but in this case he's a member of the Black Order called Ebony Maw. Basically he's part of a group of four bad guys who does Thanos' bidding.
Gidick: Again, this beard. Capitan America needs to be clean and smooth.
Gidick: Spiderman is sassy.
Couch: So ... are you going to see it?
Gidick: Overall, I need to sit in the back of the theater for this. It seems exhausting. I hope that women have a really strong role in this and Thor gets his eye fixed. If Tom Hardy makes a cameo at the end, I'm switching to the dark side.
Couch: Sorry, Sarah. Tom Hardy is in a different universe.
Avengers: Infinity War opens April 27.