With the summer movie season just about a month away, we’ve got some big trailers dropping and, no, I don’t mean Pain & Gain big.
The Best Stuff
1. You’re Next: You’re Next wins big by going the traditional slasher/home-invasion route while also subverting expectations to the max -- and the film’s brand new trailer wins big by exploiting just that. Courtesy of an impeccable beat and those unforgettable animal masks, this promo pulls you in by putting an intriguingly fresh spin on a scenario we can’t get enough of. Even better, it leaves much to be discovered in the full feature. Trust us, we've seen it.
2. White House Down: One of the best parts about a disaster movie is wondering how you’d fare in such a situation, and by going the news-footage route this first trailer for White House Down lets you sneak a peek at that sensation nice and early. But still, the piece isn’t just some shtick -- after a chilling boost from the reveal of a powerful quote, we jump into more traditional footage where the choice to go nearly sans dialogue and with minimalist music maintains that enchanting sense of dread.
3. Riddick: Short, sweet and not all that much story, but for a movie with a two-film history, the fact that this little snippet of Riddick can intrigue a newcomer is commendable. We’ve only got a small selection of imagery, but it's all unnerving enough to strike a chord just before Vin Diesel himself hits us with a punch line that sticks.
The Worst Stuff
1. The Wolverine: Hugh Jackman is nice to look at as are the noticeably well-composed shots, but this first trailer for The Wolverine is so overloaded with backstory, plot details and dialogue, it never manages to gain any momentum. Whereas the reveal of someone possessing the power to make Logan mortal should pack a punch, it comes at the tail end of a dull and lengthy speech, turning it into something that’s heard, not felt. In turn, the same is true of what should be the most compelling portion of the trailer – the epic action montage.
2. Pain & Gain: Lucky for Pain & Gain it’s based on a true story, because after one-too-many unfunny promos that’s the only reason it’s maintaining any interest. The addition of the Ken Jeong scene in the new red-band trailer is particularly devastating, as not only is his gag distasteful, but it puts Mark Wahlberg’s character in a negative light and also spoils the sense of narrative, leaving you wondering what the so-called inspirational speech has to do with a robbery scheme. No need to move a plot forward with every gag, but if it’s a joke for the sake of having another joke, it at least better be funny. NSFW!
3. World War Z: Kudos to anyone who knows nothing about World War Z and figures out it's about a zombie apocalypse based on this trailer alone. While it does make for a fresh take, refocusing this promo from Brad Pitt, family man, to the effort to cure the infection without adequate details about what exactly is happening, it’s tough to care. Perhaps more importantly, it's tough to believe it. However, there’s also no relegating this trailer to “The Worst Stuff” without highlighting that it concludes with what looks to be a downright incredible midair disaster.
What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?