I've been pretty skeptical while writing about trailers for the second Kingsman movie — I know the film's a satire, but its trailers always make the film seem to strike such a strange balance between buying into spy tropes and actually critiquing them. But I ended up watching the original Kingsman for the first time the other week, and suddenly I see why that is: that's exactly what the film is like, and it somehow pulls it off.
Kingsman (the original, at least) is primarily interested in being a fun spy movie. But the way it goes about that is by winking and nodding at all the recognizable beats and tropes it's going through. That let's it get away with doing all kinds of things that would normally feel tired — it knows what we want out of a spy movie, admits it's doing them, and then takes them just ever-so-slightly over the top, having fun with spy movie standbys more so than it's undermining or critiquing them.
I've seen that the second one's reviews haven't been quite up to the ordinal's, so maybe I was still right to be wary. But if you haven't seen the first, there's definitely more spy movie fun to be had than you might expect.
Check out nine trailers from this week below.
Pacific Rim Uprising
A first look at the sequel to Pacific Rim came out on Friday, and there are just a whole lot of robots and a whole lot of monsters in there. John Boyega takes over as the lead this time, and this trailer is pretty much centered around his voiceover. What I respect here is that the movie isn’t trying to be any more or any less than it is: it’s just a giant, stylized brawl of computer-generated robots and kaiju, and it’s gonna have fun with it. The film comes out March 23rd.
Roman J. Israel, Esq.
The writer and director behind Nightcrawler is back with what looks like another haunting story of greed and twisted ethics. His latest has Denzel Washington starring as an idealistic lawyer who ends up in a bad place after he betrays a client. It looks like the film will tap into the same kind of tense, scary vibe that Nightcrawler managed so incredibly well. It comes out in November.
Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams
With a new Blade Runner in theaters, this is a fitting week to get a first trailer for Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. It's an anthology series from Amazon à la Black Mirror that's basically just one big excuse to make some cool sci-fi short films. It's hard to say if it'll be any good, since anthologies can be hit and miss from episode to episode, but there are some big stars on board to lend a hand. The show comes out sometime next year.
Crooked House looks like a surprisingly big, blown-up production of a murder mystery that takes place primarily in a single house. The film is based on Agatha Christie’s novel of the same name and has a big cast with some big actors, including Gillian Anderson, Christina Hendricks, and Glenn Close. The movie goes on demand on November 21st and then heads to theaters a month later.
Keanu Reeves plays a semi-evil, semi-lovestruck breakthrough genius / neuroscientist in Replicas. I could go into a lot of bewildered detail here, but instead I’ll just share with you the line that closes out this trailer: "I didn't defy every natural law there is just to lose you again." The movie comes out sometime next year.
This starts out looking like a tasteless high school comedy and then takes a sharp turn into a ridiculous, over-the-top B-movie horror / comedy thing. I'm not saying it won’t be tasteless too, but it seems like the movie could be a fun romp that's well aware of the genre conventions it's playing with. The movie comes out October 13th.
Decades after being played by Al Pacino, Frank Serpico himself is in front of the camera to talk about his work exposing corruption in the NYPD in the early ’70s. It doesn't seem like Frank Serpico will be breaking any new ground — but the film seems to be interested in discussing what happened decades ago in the context of modern police violence and abuse of power. It comes out November 1st.
BPM is France's nomination for the foreign language Oscar this year. The film is about gay men and activists trying to bring attention to the AIDS epidemic in the early ’90s. It took home second prize at this year's Cannes and has received almost exclusively great reviews so far. The film comes to the US starting October 20th.
Half of the duo behind Crank is half of the duo behind Happy!, an exceptionally frenetic new Syfy series about a disgruntled ex-cop / current hit man who starts having an annoying blue fairy (-like thing) follow him around, Navi style. It's an adaptation of Grant Morrison's graphic novel, and it looks... I don't really know what to say — kind of awful, kind of insane, and maybe occasionally brilliant. It starts December 6th.