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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Superbowl Trailers -- Jurassic World and Mission: Impossible

My week off is winding down, so let's do something else I've been putting off...blogging about some of the new trailers released during the Super Bowl, almost a week ago.

I've been lamenting recently that I don't blog about trailers as much as I used to.  It's so much easier to throw up on a link on my social media pages rather than sit down and try to come up with an insightful critique.  One complaint I did get about those blog posts in the past was I spent too much time talking about the film itself rather than offering my opinions.  So I figure I won't waste the energy blogging about a trailer unless I have a really strong opinion about it.

Case in point:  Jurassic World:  Fallen Kingdom.  I wanted to blog about the first trailer when it came out in December, but never got around to it.  Why?  Because it looked so much like all the Jurassic Park we've seen before.  "Oh noes!  We're trapped on an island with dinosaurs!  How will we escape?"  Looks like the big twist this time is now they're trying to escape a volcano, too.    Yay.    When are they finally going to pull the trigger and give us the "dinosaurs loose on the mainland" film they've been threatening ever since Spielberg tacked on the "T-Rex loose in San Diego" third act to The Lost World?

Which is why I'm still one of the few defenders of Jurassic World.  Say what you will, but finally having a fully operational theme park full of people when the poop hits the fan...that was one of the most simple and obvious twists to the premise you could do.  It finally gave us something new.

And which is why the Super Bowl spot for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom finally piqued my interest.

That opening scene?  Of some freaky mutant dino in a kid's bedroom?  That's got my attention.  The unveiling scene at the end, with "Welcome to the future?"  I want to know what's being unveiled.  Probably the freaky mutant dino.  My interest has gone from "meh" to "mild."

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom hits theatres June 22.

Back in college, I had this one teacher who sat me down one day I told me that I was a strong 7.  See, my college, Augustana, graded you on a 9 point scale.  0 is a total failure, 9 is top of the class.  After seeing this teacher for help, he got off on a tangent and started sharing his observations of me.  He said, "I see you putting in the work, Mark.  You work harder than pretty much anyone in class.  You put in so much effort, but your net results are only worthy of a 7.  I mean, I want to give you an 8 or 9, because of all the work you do, but these results are only worth a 7.  But it's a strong 7."

That's my impression of the Mission: Impossible franchise.  It's a strong 7.  I see Tom Cruise, putting in the work, going through his Jackie Chan-esque "watch me do all these dangerous stunts by myself" midlife crisis.  I've always loved the superspy genre, so I really, really, really want to love the Mission: Impossible franchise.  But, like my teacher looked at me that day, I look at Tom Cruise with a mild disappointment that his best efforts didn't earn more than a 7. 

It's also funny in that we're starting to get this backlash against Tom Cruise doing these kinds of films.  When the last one, Rogue Nation, came out, someone pointed out that Cruise is now as old as Jon Voight was when Voight played Cruise's boss in the first Mission: Impossible.  And back then, Voight's character was portrayed as on the cusp of retirement.  Last year, in The Mummy, there was much eye-rolling when Russel Crowe's Dr. Jekyl described Tom Cruise as a "young man," when Cruise is actually two years older than Crowe.  So, yeah.  There's this push that Cruise should, quite literally, start acting his age.

Anyway, we got our first trailer for the next in the franchise, Mission: Impossible -- Fallout.

So, yeah.  It's looking to be more of the same.  I do like the line about how maybe Cruise's character of Ethan Hunt may be getting annoyed at his situations.  The formula in all these films is that a mission goes sideways, Hunt is framed, and he has to go rogue to clear his name and/or uncover the conspiracy.  After five films, I'm sure he'd start going, "You still don't believe me when I say I was framed?" 

I saw Rogue Nation in the theatre because I had a free weekend and just felt going out and doing something.  I'll probably be in the same boat with Fallout when it comes out July 27. 

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