It’s been quite a quiet week for trailers this week… unless your name is Tom Hardy. So here’s a bunch of trailers for films (and one TV show) that you’ve probably never heard of… and a bunch of Tom Hardy.
Has Vin Diesel ever been in a fantasy movie before? There’s the pretty fantastical Chronicles of Riddick and Guardians of the Galaxy , of course, but has he ever been in a full-on mystical fantasy? I can’t think of any – but that’s about to change.
What I love about this trailer is that, no matter how many flaming swords and magic butterflies and tree-golems it shows, it still manages to feel like a Vin Diesel movie. He’s strutting through doors in chunky coats, he’s riding around in cool cars, and towards the end he even appears to have some kind of crew. It looks like a Fast and Furious film, guest-starring the Mandarin, and I absolutely love it.
None of which means it’ll be any good, though. There’s some great imagery, like the indoor snow and that enormous tree (which I assume contains either Hexxus or Vaatu ), and Michael Caine is there to add a touch of class – but there’s no denying that the villain seems both underwhelming and made of ham.
In the end, there’s not enough here to really judge it either way. Vin Diesel’s generally great, and I really hope The Last Witch Hunter works, but for now we’ll have to wait and see.
It seems like there have already been about a thousand trailers for this year’s return to the Mad Max franchise – each one slightly more crazy and explosive than the last. But this week’s new, allegedly “final” trailer feels very different to the rest.
All the previews so far have been variations on a theme, featuring classical music with rapid cuts of vehicles and carnage and fire-nadoes and Nicholas Hoult having a lovely day. This new one has all that as well, but the tone is a lot more sombre and it features an extended opening and several new scenes. Some of it even takes place at night! These extra bits aren’t as fun, but they probably give a better idea what the film is actually like than the disparate images we’ve seen so far.
What they show appears to be a chase movie, with Max and a small band of survivors pursued by three whole war-parties of gimp-suited, spike-encrusted maniacs. It’s not much of a plot, but it’s a great frame to hang the action on. The grimy aesthetic of these films hasn’t aged a bit, and still looks as striking as it ever did. Tom Hardy looks great as the world-weary Max (I love his half-arsed thumbs-up), and the vehicular mayhem looks absolutely incredible – the sadder tone of this trailer can’t change how exciting it looks.
But my favourite part is Charlize Theron. She looks badass, and her robot arm looks like it was cobbled together from old junk and car parts. In other words, she looks just like Mad Max should.
I have never read (or even heard of) Susanna Clarke’s novel Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell , so I had no idea what to expect from the BBC’s new television adaptation. All the synopses that came with the trailer said that it deals with the story of two magicians in 19th-century England and, as a result, I was expecting a story of tricksters and performers in the vein of The Prestige . And, to begin with, the trailer looks like it may be going that way. Then, suddenly, there’s magical horses made from sand and flocks of crows bursting out of mirrors.
There’s not a great deal of story here. Things go bad when Mr. Strange wants to apprentice for Mr. Norrell, but that’s about all we know. Yet there’s enough intrigue mixed in with the strange, haunting images (dancing ghosts?) that I’m already itching to know what’s going on. I’m glad that, although this could all seem quite gloomy and dark, it still manages to keep things light and even kind of funny with its excellent choice of music.
As a fan of the Temeraire novels – another fantasy series set during the Napoleonic wars – I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what this series offers. I wish there was a release date on this thing!
Not content to just appear once this week, here’s Tom Hardy again. Twice.
In Legend , he’s playing Ronnie and Reggie – both halves of notorious ’60s gangsters, the Kray Twins. And, judging from this trailer, he’s doing so extremely well. There are parts where he looks absolutely terrifying (walking away from that house, for one) but also times he looks incredibly suave and charming – which I suppose sums up the duality of organised crime.
The actual action on display here is shared between shots of the brothers sitting or walking, and moments of brutal violence. It’s all beautifully shot (especially the night-time parts), the period costumes and sets give it fantastic atmosphere, and it all feels very tense and dramatic. There’s just something perversely appealing about seeing this kind of story play out in English pubs and cheap London flats.
But none of that is why Legend is our Trailer of the Week. Instead it’s because of the amazing way Hardy channels the two and makes them distinct from each other. I mean, the glasses and cigars obviously help, but the way the brothers carry themselves feels subtly different. Yet they both seem equally scary and dangerous – it’s shaping up to be a great double-performance.
…painfully generic title, though.