Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wolverine vs. Star Trek - a lesson in trailers

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about this summer’s blockbusters, it’s never trust the trailers.

Take X-Men Origins: Wolverine, for example. From the trailers, it looked like it might share its tone and style with Brian Singer’s X-Men movies, properly balancing a thoughtful, well-written script with some exciting action scenes, all supported by a highly-talented cast. Instead, we got a really talented cast wasted on a script that felt like it was thrown together the weekend before shooting started – and which seemed like a waste of some good characters.

The biggest problem with Wolverine is that it really had a paint-by-numbers feel, introducing various scenes and characters from the comic without any real cohesion. Yes, it all tells one story, but it feels Frankenstein-ed together, and never delivers the impact it was supposed to. That even goes for the action scenes, which end up being a little too CGI-prefect to be really wow-ing.
But hey, it did an ass-ton at the box office, and the sequel (and spin-off) is already in the works, so what do I know?

Logan would like to discuss my criticism personally.

On the other hand...

We have the re-boot of Star Trek. Granted, I may have been a little too purist in my pre-judgment – who could possibly replace Shatner as Kirk? – but I was definitely trepidatious about this film. Yeah, it looked really flashy and hip, but that was never what Star Trek was about – even in that episode with the space hippies.

But thanks mainly to my geeky friends I did end up seeing it, and was happily proven wrong. Very wrong, as it turned out. Give J.J. Abrams (and the screenwriters) credit for keeping what worked with Trek (the personal interactions, the drama, the pseudo-science) and discarding the rest (Scott Bakula – I kid, I kid). Not only did it stay true to the spirit of Star Trek - albeit light on the political metaphor – but it made for a very involving and moving film. And thankfully did well enough that the sequel is in the works.

Spock shows us his happy face.

So the question arises, is the trailer really an inverse indicator of the film’s quality? Not always, of course. But looking at these two examples, maybe there’s hope for Terminator: Salvation after all.

"So, T-800, you ever listen to Huey Lewis?"

1 comment:

  1. to me, scott bakula will never be anything other than, dr. sam beckett. nothing more, nothing less.