Two Disney owned Franchises launched trailers recently. You might have seen / heard of them. But just in case you were on another planet: we have the details. Yes we are a bit late in doing so. No, we won’t apologise (social media and every film site in creation covers everything within seconds of a trailer release!) but we will give our view, albeit belatedly so.
First up: THOR: RAGNAROK. This is a great trailer by any standards. What it does particularly well is capture a balance between novelty and familiarity. This is very much a Marvel product: bright, shiny, fantastic, fun, with shared universe dynamic between characters we love.
At its heart, we get Thor in new territory though, as well. He is robbed of his hammer, he faces a new foe and even gets a haircut! So there are stakes and there is some dramatic tension and darkness, without simply being ‘dark’ for its own sake. Mythology of the previous two films is expanded here and we look to spend only very brief periods on Earth or with the ‘magic is science’ motif, going full on fantasy here. Throw in THE best cast imaginable (Cate Blanchett! Jeff Golblum! Idris Elba!) and it’s fair to say that THOR: RAGNAROK will be a treat and a massive hit when it is released later this year.
Second: STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (aka ‘episode 8’). Whilst it is great to FINALLY get this teaser released, there is an element of ‘why did they even bother’? Because even a teaser should give something away and frankly, this gives absolutely nothing. It is half hearted, half arsed, half baked. If your BIG selling point is Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) back in action, rather than reduced to a last minute cameo like in the previous film (Force Awakens) then why not SHOW him actually light up a sabre or something?
There is no ‘Chewie, we’re home’ equivalent moment here and a general absence of warmth, charisma or FUN. Also a reminder of quite what a selling point it was to have Harrison Ford back as Han Solo last time round: his intended successor (Poe Dameron, played by an otherwise excellent actor : Oscar Isaac) is seen running down a corridor form an explosion. Wow. What fun.
And the other newbie: Finn (John Boyega) is seen in cryo-sleep? Action, adventure, excitement: a Jedi craves not these things..but we, as viewers, do. And so far? This is very prequelish, no? Repeating beats of the old trilogy; just without the sheer charisma, joy and spark of old times? But hey it is JUST a teaser. Early days. I suspect the film itself will be EXCELLENT, given the calibre of talent involved in its making. Plus, we adore Daisy Ridley so would watch her..watching paint dry..with Luke Sywalker (nb that is NOT a spoiler for the Jedi training tasks..but you never know!). We will of course review said film on its release..