Half the fun of trailers for sequels is getting to see the gang back together again, and while that effect is there, the first trailer for Insidious: Chapter 2 falls short of confirming that a second go-around is necessary. Hopefully the next trailer will reveal a narrative nugget that suggests it’s a worthy sequel, but for now, the Best Stuff belongs to three other contenders.
The Best Stuff
1. Runner, Runner
If you get passed the 36-second mark, the first trailer for Runner, Runner works. Initially it does feels like Justin Timberlake trying to channel his inner Jesse Eisenberg/Mark Zuckerberg, but once the video gets beyond the college campus-set moneymaking scheme, there’s more than enough momentum and pizazz to suggest the film could be a powerful thriller, albeit a little bit formulaic.
2. The To Do List
With This Is the End flooding the promo market, it’s about time a raunchy female-driven comedy snagged some of the spotlight. The new red-band trailer is an ideal promo in that if you dig it, you’re going to love the full feature. Both are absolutely oozing with '90s nostalgia, outrageous-yet-grounded humor, and charming characters -- all of which unite to make The To Do List have the appeal of an R-rated Clueless. Warning: trailer is NSFW.
3. Short Term 12
If the actual film packs even half as much heart as this trailer, Short Term 12 is in excellent shape. I’ve got a tendency to pick on promos that fail to tell a clear narrative, but in Short Term 12’s case, its trailer makes up for it by going even bigger and creating a fully realized world instead. Another standout feature of this one is the quotes. They’re not just selling tools -- they’re thoughtful opinions that come from true enthusiasm and you can feel it.
The Worst Stuff
1. Man of Steel
Something seems a little odd about a company-sponsored trailer, but at least it means we get more footage. And that’s essentially all this new trailer for Man of Steel is – a string of footage. There’s some semblance of a narrative that comes from the ordering of the clips, but rather than tease the film and build intrigue, the piece feels more like the abridged version of the full feature.
Liam Hemsworth is a pleasure to look at, but if you want us to like him as a main character, you might be better off not introducing him as someone who can’t remember who he sleeps with. However, even after putting him in a better light by showing off his dedication to his father, the material is still too predictable for the trailer to build much suspense or emotion.
The first trailer for the Ethan Hawke-starrer Getaway opens with a nice punch to the gut, but from that point on it feels like something we’ve seen one too many times before. Yes, it’s important not to spoil a storyline through a promo, but in this case that seems to have stripped this representation of Getaway of anything that might make it stand out.
What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?