Welcome back to day 2 of the New Year Trailer Extravaganza! In case you missed it, be sure to check out yesterday’s first entry with my trailer review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Today we move into an equally epic film of an entirely different genre. The internet lit up at the announcement that Ridley Scott was returning to the amazing franchise that he started, going back to the beginning and explaining the backstory of his groundbreaking film, Alien. Then the story broke in early January that this film might not be a prequel to the Alien series – that it might be entirely it’s own story. While that put off some fans, I think in the long run it will be much better for the film, allowing it to expand out in it’s own ways.
Anyway, without further ado please enjoy the first trailer for the sci-fi thriller, Prometheus.
I really enjoyed how Apple.com/trailers did the exclusive release of this trailer, giving teasers for it each day leading up to its revealing. Building hype for a marketing campaign is a brilliant move and I really enjoyed that. As is abundantly clear in this trailer, this is the return of the modern master of the thriller and the editors made sure we knew that.
The trailer is really strong for the first three quarters, but then has an oddly tacked on part at the end. The break is at 0:52 and I want to get into both parts separately, because I am not sure how well it works in conjunction. So, first I will analyze the first part of the trailer (up to the title screen), then turn to look at that short little section, and finally I will end on a critique of the trailer as a whole unit.
I LOVE the first part of the trailer. Most importantly, I absolutely love the stylistic choice to have the title grow over top of the movie footage! No joke, I watched the trailer the first time and got fixated on the developing title graphics, and then went back and watched it again for the footage behind it. That is exactly what you want your audience doing when they watch your trailer: enjoying what they see and wanted to go back and see more. That was an absolutely amazing marketing choice!
The whole thing reminds me of the tight, claustrophobic style of Ridley Scott’s original Alien. Seriously, compare the trailer you just watched to this 1979 teaser for that film and tell me they aren’t completely similar in pacing, build-up and style. You can see that Scott wants to make clear that this film is really trying to get back to what the franchise is at heart (no matter how connected it actually is to the trilogy). And that is exactly what the intensely minimalistic music and the hauntingly vague footage does, building up to a chilling, silent title screen that just begs for the scream to break it. While the action looks very similar to the more modern AVP style, Prometheus very clearly will be a scary as the original Alien always was.
Now, if the trailer had ended there, I would have called this a great homage to Ridley Scott’s start and a beautiful enticement to what I am sure will be a terrifying film. However it keeps going…which is very odd. However, let’s look at this odd addition and see if we understand it a bit better.
Starting at 0:52, we enter the second phase of the trailer. This part particularly surprised me mostly because of its placement as an awkward 4th act, which doesn’t fit the flow of the trailer. Another reason it seems odd is that it showcases the film like something that Ridley Scott did NOT direct – Aliens. The huge landscapes and intense action sequence, though brief, seems more like James Cameron’s more action/adventure sequel than what the rest of the trailer sells it as. Yes, there is a bit of that in the footage before, but by far this last 10 second punch-to-the-face just doesn’t fit in with the whole. However, I will give the marketing team props for coming up with a very nice tagline though – “They went looking for our beginning. What they found could be our End.” SICK!
Overall I would call this a good trailer. The majority of it really sells a hauntingly terrifying film that I know I will be looking forward to all year. However, the editors really just messed up a great thing by trying to tack on that extra little bit at the end. While I still think it cool in its own right, I wish they had saved that for trailer #2 because that is the difference between this trailer being spectacular and being just good. Still, I totally plan on catching this flick in theaters as soon as it comes out in June, so a hearty good job to the marketing team for this trailer.
Overall Rating: 4//5
Well, there you go! I am really curious whether you were as bothered by that last ten seconds as I was. Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Also, let me know what you thought of the similarities between this trailer and the 1979 one for Alien. I thought it was absolutely amazing and a great homage to Scott’s previous masterpiece.
Anyway, thanks for stopping by again for the second part of the New Year Trailer Extravaganza. In case you missed it, make sure you check out yesterday’s review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Also, please come on back by tomorrow (same Bat-time, same Bat-channel) for the third installment of my week long trailer review-fest. Tomorrow, I will be tackling another big trailer – one that might not have been anticipated and hyped as the previous two, but one that is just as…explosive. So, please join me tomorrow here on Art of the Trailer for my review for the first trailer for The Dictator.