Trailers these days are getting out of control with spoilers. But don't worry, we're here to sort out whether or not you should watch a certain trailer beforehand. We'll take a look at how accurate the marketing is to a film's tone and plot, as well as warn of any spoilers it might contain.
What I Knew Going In
Joseph Gordon-Levitt tries to look like Bruce Willis in a time-travel movie. I didn't realize Rian Johnson (who directed Gordon-Levitt in the small film Brick) was behind the camera for this one.
It is definitely a serious film, with plenty of complications and head-scratching opportunities that typically find their way into a science-fiction time-travel movie. Disaster could lurk, and that's what the trailer makes you feel as well. The trailer also screams "cool" which is made easier with the help of the blunderbuss (Gordon-Levitt's weapon). The music is the same in the trailer as in the film, which is always a bonus when helping establish tone.
Joe (Gordon-Levitt) is Joe (Willis). He's a hit man who takes care of "future" problems. The mafia sends back the people they need eliminate, and Joe is very good at eliminating, until he runs into himself. Young Joe runs into Sara (Emily Blunt) who may be connected to this whole thing. In the trailer one of the first terribly intriguing moments is when Young Joe says, "Your face looks backwards." We've had plenty of time-travel films, but not many have the same character actually hang out. I'm torn with the diner scene. We spend a lot of time in the trailer with it, and I also loved it in the film. It does present the fact that the young and old aren't getting along. The voice-over you hear from Gordon-Levitt explaining time travel is also in the movie. In fact, the explanation just plays like a shortened version of the beginning of the film. It's accurate, but it really is just the first half of the film that is explained in the trailer. The trailer doesn't focus on Old Joe's motivation, and the actions he believes he must carry out.
Here's the thing, I really liked this film. They leave out one key role in the trailer. Jeff Daniels plays a bigger role, as well as two other actors. Because I liked the movie, I'm glad they limited these aspects in the trailer. The trailer does highlight some really cool action sequences. Specially, I wish the scene with Young Joe on the ladder was eliminated from the trailer as well as an option hovering above Sara's hand.
The trailer establishes the use of time travel, and the beginning conflict in the film. If you are someone who is a little worried about a time-travel movie, and making sure you understand the logic involved, the trailer will help bridge that knowledge gap. But be warned, this is a film that also contains cool moments (like the diner scene) and some action sequences that you will enjoy more by going in fresh.