They released them. You watched them. Now I talk about them. This is my discussion about the new Baywatch, Spider-Man: Homecoming and War of the Planet of the Apes trailers:
Remember how often the camera in Suicide Squad perved out on Margot Robbie’s body, particulalry her barely covered ass? Well, every single time that happened at my soldout screening of the film the bromeister next to me let out a lustful “Uhhhhh” or some other such barely verbal horny reaction. It’s the noise some guys or girls make when they see something which turns them on (and don’t have the courtesy to make a 90s joke like “break me off a piece off of that”), and this guy was clearly a fan of Robbie’s posterior, practically salivating at the sight of it.
That’s not the guy you want to sit next to in a movie theater, yet there I was, likely getting too clear a glimpse into this stranger’s turn-ons and turn-offs. It wasn’t enough to ruin my viewing experience (the film itself covered that), but it has stuck out in my mind as being one of the only times I’ve actually heard such open lusting in a movie theater.
Why in the world am I sharing that story now? It’s obvious: I’m pretty sure that random stranger’s reaction to Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad will pale in comparison to the noises some audience members will make while watching Baywatch in May. In heternormative terms, there’s shirtless Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron for the ladies, and jiggly Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra, Kelly Rohrbach and Charlotte McKinney for the guys. They might as well as call it “Cleavage: The Movie” or just “Boobs for a bunch of boobs.”
But what the hell else do you expect? It’s Baywatch, a movie version of a TV show which was more or less the 90s equivalent of a Carl’s Jr. commercial just stretched across 40 minutes. Many a show before Baywatch had gotten by purely on action scenes, hot, scandily clad women and cool dudes, but none had ever been as blatant about it. Chandler Bing certainly loved it.
What this film adaptation so clearly wants to be is 21 Jump Street, in terms of getting to revive a stale property but doing so in a hip, self-aware way. Thus, this trailer has gags about people noticing how odd it is that a woman appears to be running in slow-motion, and the plot set-up even includes language about needing to revive the Baywatch brand. However, I think we’ve lost any hope for this being as good as 21 or 22 Jump Street the moment the trailer says “from the director of Horrible Bosses.”
Right. So, expect a run-of-the-mill comedy with a decent gag or two, and the good fortune to have Dwayne Johnson’s charisma carrying his co-stars. Plus, there shall be slow-motion running. Oh, yes. There shall. It’s Baywatch. That’s the law.
I knew Michael Keaton was playing the villain, yet I somehow didn’t truly believe it until watching this trailer. Like, there’s no way this actually happened. Michael Keaton didn’t just play Birdman, a movie which aims itself at the superhero film genre and the corresponding cult of celebrity like a nuclear missile, and then go on to play Vulture in Homecoming. The Batman of my youth isn’t really the Spider-Man villain of my nephew’s youth. That’s just too insane to be real, right?
Real it is, though, as Keaton is unmistakably in the trailer, saying and doing bad guy things. I guess the Tim Burton Batman has now realized a line from the Christopher Nolan Batman, by not dying a hero he’s lived long enough to see himself become the villain, albeit in a different franchise and as a different character.
But I digress. Keaton is but a minor part of this trailer. The rest is devoted to establishing both the John Hughes inspired Spider-Man movie we’ve been promised as well as the Avengers cross-over Spider-Man movie we’ve been promised, meaning we must watch Peter be awkward in school just as we must watch him be awkward with Tony Stark. I love it. It’s still bizarre that Keaton is playing the villain, and that this is the second Spider-Man revival in the last 5 years. However, the Spider-Man of this trailer is clearly more the version of Spider-Man from the comics and DisneyXD animated series Ultimate Spider-Man that I’m familiar with, even if his friends and love interests have been race-switched (and why shouldn’t they? It’s 20-freakin’-16!). The closing shot of Spider-Man swinging through the air alongside Iron Man is the type of imagery which is so common in other mediums but has been forbidden in movies for so long due to contract rights that it seems extra joyous to finally see it happen.
Small gripe: Why only the one shot of Aunt May? I suppose we’ll just have to wait a little longer to see if Homecoming puts Tony and May into another scene together after their beloved first encounter in Civil War.
War of the Planet of the Apes
First the dawn. Then the rise. Now the war.
Fine. Whatever. It’s been fun, and this next chapter looks good, particularly with Woody Harrelson as the villain. However, I’m more than a little annoyed that this Planet of the Apes revival has actually turned into a three-film prequel. Seriously, how are they not up to the planet being, well, the planet of the apes yet?
Baywatch opens May 26th, Spider-Man on July 7th and War of the Planet of the Apes on July 14th.