I don’t exactly remember when December became the official month for summer movie trailers, but holy sh*t. This week has seen a cavalcade of online trailer debuts. Christ, did I just use the word “debut” for trailers? Eat it up, Hollywood marketing execs. You keep holding that football and I’ll run right at it. I know you love to move it and watch me fall on my ass, but maybe – just maybe – it’ll be different this time.
Let’s start this off on a high note.
A part of me really wants to pick apart the absurdity of Pacific Rim’s premise (are…there no guns in the future?), but the rest of me wants to give that part a wedgie and take his lunch money. I’m sure many will scoff at the idea of doling out nine bucks to watch Guillermo Del Toro smash his Godzilla and Power Rangers Megazord toys together. To me it looks like an enjoyably brainless night at the movies. Frankly, we don’t get enough old-school monster flicks these days, much less ones with such an impressive sense of scale (Mike Bay, you done been called out). As a bonus, it stars Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman (yay, SOA!), Idris Elba, and Charlie Day (his robot better be called Night Man). Also, one of the robots looks like a Big Daddy.
Man of Steel
Once again, Zack Snyder makes one hell of a trailer, but how the full-length movie turns out is anyone’s guess. On one side you’ve got Snyder, who makes pretty movies, but lacks nuance, and on the other you’ve got the guiding hand of Chris Nolan, who rescued Batman from Schumacher’s ne0n-filled dungeon. Hopefully, he can help do the same with Superman, after 2006’s non-starter Superman Returns (which I liked, but will admit was kinda bland). Also, although it feels very cinematic, it’s disappointing to see such morose introspection from a guy who has laser-vision and can punch bad guys into the sun.
The Lone Ranger
Oof. Here’s where things get rough. I’m usually last to agree with the PC-obsessed No Fun Police but, man…Johnny Depp’s Tonto feels reaaally racist. Between the war paint, the headdress, and the speech pattern that’s straight out of the Neverland Indians, the whole thing has kind of a “Uh…not cool, bro” feel to it. The rest of the movie just looks dull, although Gore Verbinski also knows how to shoot, if nothing else, a very pretty movie. Some of the action beats are hilarious. In what universe does a 19th-century train derailment play out like that? Also: “How can we put a new twist on Bullet Time?” “I dunno…someone throws the bullet?” <coke party>
If it feels like that trailer had a bit of a twist ending, then you might be prepared for what marketing wisely left out of the trailer: This is an M. Night Shyamalan movie. It’s no surprise, because at this juncture in his career (Yikes) he is no longer the selling point of his movies. Despite my damaged faith in M. Night (I still think he knows how to direct an intense scene), and my exhaustion with the over-exposed Smith family, I would say this movie has promise. It doesn’t look like every other sci-fi movie out there, and I give it credit for that. I will also say this: any bullshit twist endings – like, say, this is really Earth in the past – and I will track Night down and punch him myself.
Lastly, we have Oblivion, which sadly is not about buying overpriced horse armor (Hashtag 2006Jokes!). Quite frankly I’m not sure what the hell is going on here. Earth was ravaged by a war with…something, and we left it behind. But not without Tom Cruise and his conveniently hot partner to maintain…security drones? Then he gets kidnapped by Morgan Freeman who then does…what? And then there’s the woman from his mysterious past… Frankly, this is the ideal trailer. It gives a general sense of setting and tone, but leaves a lot of questions for the movie itself to answer (I couldn’t tell who the bad guy was; is it his partner, or Freeman?). Color me intrigued. I like Cruise, and never understood the backlash against him (he enthusiastically loved his hot young wife? What a f*ckin’ wierdo!). I’ll definitely give this one a shot, especially since it comes out before the big Summer Movie rush.