Movie trailers. Love them or hate them, they exist, and they are paratexts necessary to understanding how hype and expectation affects box office draw and the cultural capital of a product.
This week sees the release of a couple new ad spots for franchises we have already seen footage from: Wonder Woman, and The Fate of the Furious. And it also sees the front page IMDb attention of the trailer for Edgar Wright’s new action comedy (?) Baby Driver (a misleading title, to be honest).
The trailer for Baby Driver makes the film feel like Wright’s least comedic film to date. The trailer does pause for a breather on a bit about a Mike Myers vs. Michael Myers mask mix-up. And the international trailer opens on a scene involving the title character’s musical quirk that has humor in it. But for the most part the trailer is showcasing a straight crime thriller with some comic relief elements tossed in secondarily.
The film is reminiscent of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, if in premise alone. And the trailer does put forth what looks like the same type of film with a very different energy. It will be interesting to see how the two films compare and whether or not Baby Driver can live outside the shadow of Drive, as the films feel like essentially the same plot set in two tonally different universes.
The new Wonder Woman spot, dubbed the “origin trailer,” does indeed give us a look into the title character’s home world as we haven’t yet seen. Accompanied by some gorgeous landscape shots, we see Diana (Gal Gadot) being trained by Robin Wright’s General Antiope.
The second half of the trailer, with the emergence of Chris Pine’s character Steve Trevor, complements the orange hues of the Amazonian island with the bleaker grays and blues of London. We even get Diana’s first reaction to the city, in that she says it is “hideous.” This makes for a nice bit of comic relief given the stark color temperature contrast between the two locations.
The comic relief that we get at the end of the trailer, though, doesn’t feel as smooth or successful.
Perhaps the only thing more obnoxious than a Fast & Furious movie is a Fast & Furious movie trailer. This third (or second, depending on where you’re watching the video) trailer for April’s The Fate of the Furious, is equally insane as the others. It also ruins the mystery of Dom Toretto’s (Vin Diesel) status as a possible traitor, as he clearly shows that he has “no choice” but to “turn his back on family.”
But why am I bothering with plot details? The Rock changes the trajectory of a moving torpedo with one hand while hanging out of a tank in this movie.
The Fate of the Furious looks as ridiculous and nonsensical as anyone would expect and/or want out of a Fast & Furious film. Charlize Theron can control as many cars as she wants at once, and she uses them to fall off out of buildings like characters from M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening.
Is The Fate of the Furious going to jump the proverbial shark (most likely in a Lambo)? Probably. But, then again, they’ve been getting consistently more campy and earning more money with each new iteration, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I eat those words come April.
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)