Grizzled old beefcakes, backpacking teenagers and trigger-happy monkeys all got the trailer treatment this week.
Two underwhelming trailers for a pair of new dramas landed this week, and it’s difficult to put a finger on either. First of all, there’s courtroom drama The Judge, with Robert Downey Jr acting the only way he now knows how – as Tony Stark – and Robert Duvall playing his estranged, bitter father. There’s also the trailer for About Alex, which on the one hand seems to pack a subtle emotional punch, but on the other hand comes across as pleasant but somewhat laborious. Are these films drama or dramedy? Indie or mainstream? There’s not much that inspires in these, but it’s possible the drama’s just so low-key that the films are trailer-proof.
As the Expendables 3 trailer drops, another few hundred pounds of grumpy muscle have evidently been added to the Expendables team, in the form of a crotchety Mel Gibson, a curmudgeonly Harrison Ford, an irascible Antonio Banderas, a world-weary Wesley Snipes and a grizzly Kelsey Grammer. You really can’t go wrong with these films: no one’s making a claim of high art, and the trailer showcases this threequel’s mad stunts, including Kellan Lutz Evel Knieveling up 15 storeys on a motorcycle, and an explosive locomotive prison breakout involving Snipes, which may or may not be a reconstruction of how the actor left jail for real. This looks to be mindlessly giddy fun, featuring enormous He-Men wielding huge guns and Jason Statham getting a rare chance to play the smartest man in the room.
Forget for a moment the fact that it’s four grown men approaching their 30s continuing to pretend to be teenagers, and that the E4 show began six years ago, making you really, really old, because the new Inbetweeners 2 trailer will make you feel depressed enough. For the sitcom’s second big screen outing, the characters have evidently been reduced to caricatures, with Will set to ‘nerd’, Neil set to ‘idiot’ and Jay set comfortably to ‘borderline sexual predator’. With the boys having left college, there was room for change and character development; sadly, the trailer doesn’t promise much of that. Where are the jokes, the three-dimensional characters, the spot-on observations on British teendom? Back in the original TV series, presumably.
Another week, another bromance; the trailer for Let’s Be Cops gains points, though, for going Red Band and being more anarchic and oddly likeable than the premise would suggest, even if the jokes are lowbrow and predictable. Starring two people you barely know, but who look to be having a good time in the spotlight regardless, it’s their chemistry – and the promise of Rob Riggle – that sells it. Will the film itself be any good? Probably not, but at least we know Andy Garcia’s still getting work.
The trailer for Dear White People is something of an uncomfortable watch, mainly because it feels like it’s blaming you personally for stereotyping minorities, when really all you wanted to do was watch a movie trailer. Maybe the film isn’t as abrasive as the promo makes it out to be, even if the trailer does feature characters blasting your face with diatribes on race and why the monsters in Gremlins symbolise African-Americans. But then Screen Robot Filmcaster Dominic Mill already saw the film at Sundance, and described it as “risque race commentary for pompous, vanilla-minded morons”. In case anyone’s keeping score, that’s a negative review.
And now for trailer of the week. A thousand monkeys working at a thousand typewriters couldn’t cook up something as exciting or downright chilling as the final trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, where the gun-wielding monkeys talk human and the moping emo humans sit around shitting themselves at the prospect of all-out primate warfare. Gary Oldman appears to be in histrionic mode, shouting “They’re ANIMALS” like he thinks he’s still in Leon, but the real actorly draw for this sequel is Andy Serkis, whose expressive mo-capping has all but ensured he may never be allowed to play a human again. On top of that, you get monkeys on horseback, monkeys jumping off things and monkeys firing duel machine guns like it’s a PG Tips advert gone horribly wrong. This could be blockbuster of the year.
Read more: Last week in trailers
Featured image: 20th Century Fox