It’s so easy to miss a AAA trailer these days, even with all the endless marketing build-up around teasers, pre-trailers (“in one day,” etc) and other forms of cinematic hype. A good trailer is an art form, one that is able to convey a movie’s plot, tone and style all while resisting that ever-present urge to score it to a slowed-down pop song. So here’s the Trailer Park, where we’re parking all the trailers you may have skipped, missed or want to revisit from the past week. Appreciate them. Nitpick them. Figure out if the movies they’re selling are actually going to be any good. That’s all part of the fun, after all.
This week, we’ve got a much bigger look at Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and first looks at Cry Macho, Kate and Copshop.
Director: Andy Serkis
Release Date: September 12, 2021
Another Carnage trailer, and another flurry of jokes from the surprisingly affable symbiote known as Venom. Sony dropped an extended look at upcoming sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage, continuing some of the trends seen in the film’s first trailer, which struck a surprisingly comedic tone. That tone seems to be intact here, with buddy cop-style banter between Eddie Brock and Venom counterpointing the obvious body horror elements inherent to Carnage, a rival symbiote with a particularly brutal streak, as the name would no doubt suggest. Woody Harrelson is playing a real loony here as Cletus Kasady, but most of the strangest lines are actually reserved for Venom himself, whether it’s “We should be out there snacking on bad guys,” or “Oh shit! That is a red one!” in reference to witnessing carnage in action. There is a rather gleeful sense of boundlessness on display, as if the film is being crafted squarely for the rank-and-file multiplex consumer rather than stopping for even a moment to consider something like a critical reaction to such silly dialog. Like the previous Venom this film may feel like something of a relic from an earlier era of superhero cinema on release, not in the least because it lacks a connection to the overarching Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is still home to Spider-Man. Still, there are clearly some new characters being added here as well, such as the sonically powered Shriek—an obvious antagonist for the symbiotes, which tend to be weak against intense sounds of certain frequencies. Can Let There Be Carnage match the last film’s insane $850 million at the global box office? Or has the interest in this character finally worn off?—Jim Vorel
Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Release Date: September 10, 2021
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: An elite assassin, betrayed by their employers, sets out on a bloody path of revenge. John Wick, right? Wait no, it’s Gunpowder Milkshake. Wait, actually it’s Netflix’s other upcoming John Wick clone, the much less flamboyantly titled Kate. Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead as yet another spurned assassin out for revenge, Kate also appears to have a twist of Jason Statham’s Crank for good measure, as our protagonist must race against her own body to find the person who betrayed her before it’s too late. We have to say, given the trailer, Winstead apparently finds time for a lot of costume changes in that 24 hours as she searches for her own killer. The young girl character also seems oddly okay with the fact that Winstead apparently killed her mother or father, but perhaps she’s not aware of that particular piece of information. Style-wise, it’s hard not to be reminded of Wick and Gunpowder Milkshake, which starred Karen Gillam as an assassin reconnecting with her assassin mother, but given the presence of Winstead here this also feels like something of a backdoor sequel/prequel to Birds of Prey and her Huntress character. The film is directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, a visual effects artist whose only previous directorial credit was 2016’s The Huntsman: Winter’s War. We would wager that this is Nicolas-Troyan’s attempt to break back into more steady directing work, on a smaller budget (and with lower expectations) than that would-be blockbuster sequel.—Jim Vorel
Director: Joe Carnahan
Release Date: September 17, 2021
B-movie madness reigns supreme in the first weird, wacky trailer for Copshop. Starring Gerard Butler, Frank Grillo and Alexis Louder (The Tomorrow War), the action thriller is helmed by Joe Carnahan, of Smokin’ Aces, The A-Team and The Grey fame. The official synopsis for Copshop is as follows: “Screaming through the Nevada desert in a bullet-ridden Crown Vic, wily con artist Teddy Murretto (Frank Grillo) hatches a desperate plan to hide out from lethal hitman Bob Viddick (Gerard Butler): He sucker-punches rookie officer Valerie Young (Alexis Louder) to get himself arrested and locked up in a small-town police station. But jail can’t protect Murretto for long. Viddick schemes his own way into detention, biding his time in a nearby cell until he can complete his mission. When the arrival of a competing assassin (Toby Huss) ignites all-out mayhem, mounting threats force Viddick to get creative if he wants to finish the job and escape the explosive situation.” While not actually a shop for cops, “copshop” is a slang term to refer to a police station; in this case, the battleground between four disparate, and unpredictable, individuals. Carnahan is credited as co-writer alongside Kurt McLeod—a financial adviser from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada who writes scripts as a hobby—from an original story by McLeod and Mark Williams (Ozark).—Brianna Zigler
Director: Clint Eastwood
Release Date: September 17, 2021
After numerous attempts to adapt N. Richard Nash’s 1975 novel of the same name since the 1970s, Clint Eastwood’s vision of Cry Macho is finally here. The first trailer for Eastwood’s newest directed film, following 2019’s Richard Jewell, has been released by Warner Bros. Starring Eastwood in the lead role, the film’s official synopsis follows Mike Milo (Eastwood), “a one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder who, in 1979, takes a job from an ex-boss to bring the man’s young son home from Mexico.” “Forced to take the backroads on their way to Texas, the unlikely pair faces an unexpectedly challenging journey, during which the world-weary horseman finds unexpected connections and his own sense of redemption.” Actor Eduardo Minett (who plays the young son) makes his feature film debut, starring alongside Natalia Traven and Dwight Yoakam. The screenplay was adapted by Nick Schenk (Gran Torino), with cinematography from Ben Davis (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), and edited by David and Joel Cox, the latter of whom has collaborated with Eastwood on the majority of his films. The score was composed by Moana composer Mark Mancina.—Brianna Zigler