The Super Bowl may be one of the most-watched sporting events in the world, but it’s also a big event on the calendar of film fans. Every year a number of films and television shows reveal trailers during the big game, and with each spot costing roughly $5 million, these are presumably the projects that studios are placing the most faith in this summer. We’ve had a look at each of the trailers, and decided the best and the worst based on both the quality of the trailer, and the likelihood of the finished product being any good.
The upcoming movie based on the long-running 90s television series is fast approaching, but we’re not optimistic that it’s going to be worth your time or money. This thirty-second sneak peek recycles much of the same content that we’ve seen in previous promotional material, and wasn’t particularly funny the first time round. The film is looking to replicate the style of the successful Jump Street movies, but lacks the behind-the-camera talent to do so effectively.
Directed by Seth Gordon (known for Identity Thief and Horrible Bosses), and scripted by Mark Swift and Damian Shannon (responsible for 2009’s dreadful Friday the 13th reboot), the pedigree behind this project frankly doesn’t seem up to par. Additionally, Baywatch seems very much like a series that simply didn’t need to be revisited; as audiences grow increasingly tired of reboots, one has to wonder just how many people will be queuing up to see this movie when it hits theatres in May.
11. Transformers: The Last Knight
The yawn-inducing Transformers series returns for its fifth instalment, with Michael Bay at the helm once again. This feature spotlights the return of Mark Wahlberg, who joined the series with its fourth entry, as well as the notable addition of Anthony Hopkins. The spot attempts to forge a serious identity through the use of eerie music, and by promoting the idea that Optimus Prime and Bumblebee fighting is something which we should be concerned about. The fact of the matter is though, that we’re really not.
The characters in this series are forgettable, and the Transformers themselves are designed in such a way that they’re often hard to distinguish between. This latest film looks to be of about the same level of quality as the others, that is to say not very good, meaning only those who have enjoyed previous entries ironically are likely to get a kick out of The Last Knight.
10. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
It’s been six years since we last saw Captain Jack Sparrow, but at long last the loveable scoundrel is returning to our screens this summer. It is hoped that the mammoth budget feature (reportedly carrying a price tag of $320 million excluding advertising), is to be the start of Johnny Depp’s comeback. The actor has been involved in a string of flops over the last few years, including most recently 2016’s Alice Through the Looking Glass.
We’re not entirely convinced that this will be the movie which breaks the trend however, as the Pirates franchise has been dormant for so long now that its financial viability is far from guaranteed. The previous entry in the series, 2011’s On Stranger Tides, was disappointing at best and some would go as far to say that the first film is the only particularly good one. Javier Bardem’s creepy-looking villain and the return of Orlando Bloom go some way to piquing our interest, but we’re still approaching this one with caution.
9. Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell has a lot to prove. The film faced an uphill battle when it cast Scarlett Johansson as an originally Japanese character, and subsequent trailers for the movie have only gone so far to quash fears that this adaptation won’t do justice to its source material. Our last few peeks at the upcoming feature have seemed reminiscent of something by the Wachowskis, a flattering comparison would be The Matrix but we’re worried it will be closer to 2015’s Jupiter Ascending.
Still, hope is not all lost. While her decision to take the role may have been a tad culturally insensitive, Scarlett Johansson is a talented actress who has proven herself as an action star during her time as the MCU’s Black Widow. Speaking of which, the success (or failure) of this film, may well play a big part in the progression of the character’s much-demanded solo spin-off movie. Director Rupert Sanders, who debuted with 2012’s Snow White and the Hunstman, wouldn’t have been our first choice but could perhaps surprise us with his second attempt at a major motion picture.
8. The Fate of the Furious
The Fast and Furious franchise storms forward at the pace of one of its over-powered cars, with an eighth instalment hitting cinema screens this summer. This latest entry sees Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto turning on his team-mates, tiresomely referred to here as his family, after seemingly being seduced by series newcomer Charlize Theron.
Madness, as always, ensues with the trademark ridiculous stunts the series has made a name for making a return. Wrecking balls, submarines and a hearty serving of cheesy dialogue make Fate of the Furious at the very least tonally consistent with the other films, with new director F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) seemingly finding his groove with relative ease. This latest entry is unlikely to reinvent the wheel (no pun intended), but should provide fans of the series with more of the high-octane thrills they desire.
7. A Cure For Wellness
After leaving the Pirates of the Caribbean series behind, director Gore Verbinski hit a rather colossal rough patch with 2013’s financial disaster, The Lone Ranger. But, despite that misstep Verbinski has re-teamed with Lone Ranger scribe Justin Haythe for the psychological horror, A Cure For Wellness. The Super Bowl spot for this feature comes in the form of a fake medicine commercial, which takes a rather creepy turn for the worse about half-way through.
We would love for this movie to be good. Dane DeHaan is a fantastic actor, and his starring role here has the potential to boost his profile significantly were this movie to be a success. Unfortunately, that is far from guaranteed; as already mentioned, the track record of both Verbinski and Haythe is spotty at best, and the film’s 146-minute run-time suggests it could suffer from the same bloated feeling as their 2013 western. That being said, Verbinski has had success in the horror genre before with 2002’s The Ring, and so it isn’t impossible that this could be a return to form.
Some have said that Life is derivative of the iconic Alien franchise, but given the lack of well-received entries in that series as of late, we’re frankly open to an alternative. This is a movie which shows a lot of potential, and this eerie teaser proves enough to get us excited for its rapidly-approaching release. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, who has featured in a number of interesting projects recently, as well as Mission Impossible‘s Rebecca Ferguson.
Ryan Reynolds also appears, reuniting with the writing duo Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick; the pair have fumbled with a few projects, but they are also responsible for the likes of Zombieland and – perhaps Reynolds’ career-defining feature – 2016’s Deadpool. Director Daniel Espinosa is yet to prove himself as capable, but when surrounded by all this talent we’re hoping he’ll be able to produce his best work yet.
The hype surrounding Logan, possibly Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine and the first to be R-Rated, is reaching extreme levels. This quick peek maintains the sombre tone established by the first trailer, swapping Johnny Cash’s ‘Hurt’ for the timeless ‘Amazing Grace’. A visceral forest fight featuring both Logan and the suspected X-23 has Marvel fans desperate for more, while a glimpse at a brutally beaten Stephen Merchant (playing mutant Caliban) is also very intriguing.
Coming from the same creative team which brought us 2013’s underwhelming The Wolverine, it is unclear whether Logan will actually deliver on the promise it shows here. However, in the spirit of optimism we’ve placed it high on this list, choosing to believe in its potential to be one of the best X-Men films yet.
4. The Handmaid’s Tale
Based on the classic novel from Margaret Atwood released in 1985, The Handmaid’s Tale takes place in a dystopian future in which women are forced into sexual servitude, as a totalitarian regime tries desperately to repopulate the dying human race. This seemingly unflinching adaptation is soon to air on the streaming service Hulu.
The Handmaid’s Tale makes it this high on our list for a number of reasons. For starters, a fantastic cast which includes Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss in the lead role, and supporting spots for the likes of Samira Wiley and Ann Dowd. Also, it cannot be ignored that vast numbers of women around the world continue to feel marginalized in society, a fact demonstrated most vividly by the huge marches which took place a little over two weeks ago. If executed correctly, this series could be a thrilling and timely social commentary as well as a stunning adaptation of a much-beloved novel.
3. John Wick 2
The first John Wick movie proved to be a surprisingly good action flick when it was released back in 2014, and we’re desperately hoping that this sequel will only improve on that foundation. Keanu Reeves returns in the title role, this time joined by his Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne. Where this Super Bowl spot really gains ground however, is in its delightful parody of the upcoming Fifty Shades Darker, a likely inferior movie choice for Valentine’s Day.
John Wick 2 is looking to adopt a similar stylistic flair to the first film, while upping the action sequences; if returning director Chad Stahelski can deliver a quality sequel here, then John Wick could begin establishing himself as a genuine icon among action fans – and early reviews suggest he may have done just that.
2. Stranger Things: Season 2
We here at Movies & Cool Stuff were among the many millions of people who found themselves engrossed by Netflix’s surprise hit-series Stranger Things. Therefore, a glimpse at the upcoming second season was always going to be on our radar and we’re happy to say that this tease doesn’t disappoint. In just twenty seconds of quick clips, the Duffer Brothers remind us just why we fell in love with this series last year.
The teaser offers glimpses at a number of much-beloved characters from season one, although Winona Ryder (who was Golden Globe nominated for her performance) is notably absent. The shot that has everyone talking can be seen at the end of the trailer, when a gargantuan silhouette in the distance suggests our heroes will be facing something tougher than a mere Demogorgon this Halloween…
1. Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2
This, of course, was the biggest TV spot of the night – and our personal favourite. The long-awaited sequel to 2014’s mega-successful Guardians of the Galaxy is now only a few months away, and this latest peak at Volume 2 suggests it will have been worth the wait. Offering an energetic roll call of the Guardians roster, both new and old, this short trailer embodies all the fun that made the first film such a thrill-ride.
The return of writer-director James Gunn gives us the confidence to say that this movie is likely to be another strong addition to the MCU catalogue. Plus, many plot elements have been kept so carefully under-wraps, that the Guardians may have some genuine surprises in store for us. Here’s hoping the film, our Super Bowl winner, doesn’t let us down!
What were your thoughts on 2017’s Super Bowl trailers?