Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ben Affleck's Argo gets a trailer that goes one act too long.

I haven't read the true story that this film is based on (if you want to, here's the WIRED story).  But the general idea seems like just the sort of great story that lends itself to a fun movie.  And the film is filled to the gills with terrific character actors (John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Victor Garber, Kyle Chandler, Tate Donovan, Phillip, Adrienne Barbeau, and my personal favorite, Zeljko Ivanek, etc).  And while I'm among those who didn't care for The Town, I'm a big fan of Affleck's Gone Baby Gone so he's still batting a solid 0.500 so far.  My only carp is with the trailer itself.  It's a 150-second spot that clearly divided into three acts.  The first 45-seconds or so explains the time, setting, and political crisis that kicks the story into gear, while the middle 45-seconds goes into the actual scheme that made this story worth telling.  Instead of ending at the 90-second mark, with the story fully explained and the stakes completely established, Warner Bros. felt the need to tack on an additional 45-seconds of montage footage, set to 'Dream On' that serves no purpose other than to reestablish the seriousness of the situation and spoil various bits of character and plot that likely goes down in the second or third acts.  The film looks fine, and kudos to Warner Bros for letting this clearly adult-skewing drama go out with an R-rating.  But the trailer is 2/3 terrific and 1/3 pure needless spoilers. If you feel like watching purely out of curiosity, I suggest you stop right at the 90-second mark.  Okay, your turn to share.

Scott Mendelson

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