Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Watch/Discuss: The Dark Knight Rises panders to the 'I want it now!' crowd, gets one more (generic) trailer.

This smells desperate, folks.  With just a month to go, Warner Bros. drops a third full-length trailer for The Dark Knight Rises. This bothers me on two levels, neither of which are related to the film itself (the film is what it is and we'll know soon enough).  First, the near-daily stream of television spots, some of which are quite spoiler-y, followed by a release of a third trailer, reeks of desperation.  Not about the film per-se, but about the apparent need to stay relevant on the film blogs (which in theory translates into mainstream interest by playing the 'show them everything 30-120 seconds at a time' game that has been the status-quo this year for tentpoles.  Next I assume Warner Bros. will start releasing clips to boot.  Point being, they don't need to play in the mud with everyone else.  The Dark Knight Rises would have been a mega-smash if they didn't realize anything other than a teaser and a one-sheet.  To see the marketing department unwilling to follow their own pitch-perfect template from The Dark Knight is not a little dispiriting, akin to Michael Jackson's later albums not breaking new ground but rather aping the younger musicians who followed in his footsteps in a bid to stay relevant.  This new trailer represents a lack of faith and I'm disappointed.   My second gripe is with the trailer itself.

It's an inexplicably generic sell to boot, trading the powerful myth-making of the last trailer for action, Action, ACTION!!!  While there are a number of interesting individual moments, the whole thing plays like a 'greatest-hits' montage from all the prior teasers, trailers, and television spots edited together for a conventional sell.  With just a couple shots of Anne Hathaway and almost as few shots of Batman himself, the trailer merely seems filled with pretty much every major action beat that isn't a genuine spoiler.  Cars!  Guns!  Explosions!  Fuck the Expendables!  Obviously studios can sell a movie however they want it, and I suppose the artier trailer turned off some audiences back in May.  But while the first three previews, warts and all, felt supervised and/or approved by Chris Nolan and company, this new trailer feels like it was edited together by a fan sitting on his desktop cobbling together all of the prior trailers and TV spots.  Yes, I know there is some new footage, but the vast majority of the trailer feels like a greatest-hits montage of the prior material set to somewhat generic hard-action music.  This isn't about the film so much in how its being sold.  The desperation I speak of is in regards to the idea that moviegoers will apparently lose interest in an upcoming tent pole if there isn't new audio/visual material being released online every other day until the release date.  The Dark Knight Rises could have stood above the muck, but instead it chose to crawl through the dirt like a just another summer tentpole.  Anyway, The Dark Knight Rises opens on July 20th.  We're all going to be there anyway, right?

Scott Mendelson               


cary said...

I'm not sure if this can be legitimately called official trailer. Just a tie-in promotional clip for Nokia. There will be a couple of more for Chrysler and Mountain Dew.
But I agree that this is a generic collection of action scenes. Don't understand the enthusiastic reactions to this. Haven't we already seen most of these scenes?

corysims said...

This is the age when live in, when it comes to marketing the tentpoles. You're correct. A teaser and then theatrical trailer, with two posters would've sold this film, no matter what.

This is one of the reason most films don't make money. The marketing budget on these films have just gotten out of control. It's ridiculous.

I will say that they haven't gone as far as what Marvel/Disney did, with marketing the Avengers...yet.

k0rrupt said...

What i find interesting is not the spiel of "oh it's another trailer!" but that you watched, posted and commented on it.

Everyone seems to think that every trailer/piece of marketing that comes out is for them, that specific audience and no-one else. Perhaps Warner Bros/Nokia/whatever sponsor didn't need to cut another trailer, or there didnt need to be a trailer at MTV. You've already made the decision to go and watch the film so why watch another trailer? The marketing did his job for you, do we need more posts on the film?


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