The trailer for Brad Bird’s The Incredibles 2 dropped a few hours ago and oddly enough the best joke of the trailer happens in the last few seconds with Frozone (Sam Jackson) and his heretofore invisible wife (not because–as far as anyone knows–any superpower than she’s just never appeared in the same room as Frozone yet).
You’d think an action comedy/drama featuring Sam Jackson and Ryan Reynolds would be a slam dunk, then you’ll catch the trailer for Patrick Hughes‘ The Hitman’s Bodyguard and come to realize that maybe that’s not always so.
I was hoping that at any moment it word turn into a more erudite version of Waltet Hill’s 48 Hrs.
It doesn’t, though that could be because the trailer isn’t very effective. It consists of Reynolds and Jackson playing characters we’ve seen them do before, though typically better.
While it’s good news that M. Night Shyamalan is finally getting around to producing a sequel to his Bruce Willis/Sam Jackson-led Unbreakable, three problems in particular come to mind.
1. The original Unbreakable came out 17 years ago.
The point being that a lot of people aren’t going to get fired up for a sequel to a movie that came out before they were born. This is why Bruce Willis and Sam Jackson must reprise their roles. The two leads returning will help to bridge not only the gap in people’s minds, but the very real gap between the original and the sequel.
Could the movie work without Willis and Jackson? Maybe, though why take the chance? After all, many believe that one reason in particular Independence Day: Resurgence tanked (which is perhaps too strong a word for a movie that earned almost $390 million worldwide) was because Will Smith did not return to the role that catapulted him to A-list stardom.
2. Will we be seeing the ‘Blumhouse’ Shyamalan, or the ‘Lady In The Water’ Shyamalan?
I could have written the ‘AfterEarth’ Shyamalan, though the meaning would have been the same, namely I’m talking about the period of time when Shyamalan was seemingly driven more by ego than creativity, and it showed in vanity projects like Lady In The Water, AfterEarth and The Last Airbender.
While the ‘Blumhouse Shyamalan, ’ where the resurgence of his career began with movies like The Visit and Split.
Lean, relatively small-budgeted features (pretty much the only type of movies Blumhouse Pictures makes), managed to reign in Shyamalan’s excesses though I suspect he won’t have a Jason Blum to keep an eye on things for an Unbreakable 2.
Though considering we’re talking about Bruce Willis and Sam Jackson, I suspect that neither will come cheap.
3. How will Unbreakable 2 differentiate itself from all the other superhero movies?
When Unbreakable came out the idea of superhero films was relatively uncommon, which is why the original could work as a superhero film despite being relatively action-free. Such an approach would likely not work today, so how can Shyamalan create a drastically different-looking superhero story, while not drifting too far afield of what made the original so engrossing and worthy of revisiting is a question worth pondering.
If Shyamalan can address these three points, it by no means guarantees that Unbreakable 2 will be a success, though what it does mean is that it will likely find a receptive audience, one way or another.
Then there’s the almighty Sam Jackson (who will probably end up devoured by something before the credits roll) who never fails to bring his A-game.
In fact, I have no idea if the familiarity of what we see in the trailer is necessarily a good or bad thing (as I said, I like it but others might not see the point since it doesn’t necessarily seem to be bringing anything new).
By the way, Tom Hiddleston barely makes an appearance. I know we’re dealing with a large ensemble cast, but he’s one of the headliners.
The Cell isn’t the first feature that John Cusack and Sam Jackson appeared in that’s based on a Steven King novel or short story.
That honor would have to go to 1408, which came out in 2007; though unlike their last effort–which revolved around a haunted hotel room, which is more in the vein of The Shining–the currency The Cell deals in is of a much more modern variety.
And that’s the ubiquitous cell phone. Seemingly everyone has one, though imagine if they somehow drove people mad (and that’s before you factor in the way cellular providers screw over subscribers that has nothing to do with insanity), though what’s worse is that the newly certifiable are acting as if they’re part of some sort of hive mind.
It sounds like an interesting twist on the zombie thriller, classed up by Cusack and Jackson.
“Not Nearly As Bad As It Could’ve–Or Even Should’ve–Been. Satire!”
Harvey Keitel, Luke Wilson, Sam Buscemi, Nick Nolte, John Turturro…I don’t know how Adam Sandler did it, but his Netflix movie, The Ridiculous 6, has an insane amount of cameos by some really good actors (at this point I wouldn’t be shocked if Sam Jackson or Quentin Tarantino–who’s a mediocre actor but a renown director–showed up).
And speaking of The Ridiculous 6, it’s got some pretty funny moments. It’s no Blazing Saddles–it’s greatest problem in that department is that it doesn’t know when to rein it in–but it’s not terrible either. In fact, there are more laugh-out loud moments that I anticipated finding in an Adam Sander movie.
And as far as being offensive to Native Americans, they’re pretty broad caricatures–a trait shared with everyone else in the movie–Native American or not, but they’re also treated more dignity than just about any other group in the movie (which is admittedly not saying a lot).
The “Robocop” reboot trailers are getting better. This latest one feels more focused than the last, and while it still doesn’t appear as insane as Paul Verhoeven‘s original, it now at least looks like it might be worth a ticket.
I just realized that Joel Kinnaman is playing Murphy/Robocop, I recall him from “The Killing,” which is an awesome bit of television. He also does one of the best American accents that I have heard from a foreign speaker (his father is American and his mother is Swedish and while Kinnaman holds dual citizenship, he was born in Sweden).
Samuel Jackson is, of course, Samuel Jackson, which is to say larger than life, though if the trailers any indicator, he’s being underused. I also can’t tell if he’s the head of OCP (Omni Consumer Products) or just a spokesman. Though, if Jackson is running OCP, it stands to reason that Michael Keaton is playing the role that was originated by Miguel Ferrer.