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Trailer Round-Up – 11 March, 2017

"Atomic Blonde, The Fate of the Furious, Rough Night, Geostorm, The Assignment"

Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde, based on the Oni Press graphic novel by writer Antony Johnston and illustrator Sam Hart, offers a breakneck action-thriller that follows MI6’s most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors.The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.

Considering this is coming from John Wick co-director David Leitch, comparisons with the Keanu Reeves hitman franchise are inevitable – and welcome since this looks just as stylish and engaging. If Atomic Blonde does for superspies what John Wick did for assassins, I’m certainly on board and having Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, Toby Jones and John Goodman in the cast seals the deal. The trailer is a bit on the long side and I question the decision of opening with a minute-long, context-less action scene – there’s plenty of action to go around and the trailer does a better job of communicating its premise later on.

The Fate of the Furious

Directed by F. Gary Gray, The Fate of the Furious is the eighth installment in the long-running Fast and the Furious franchise. Cast members Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky and Kurt Russell return and are joined by newcomers Charlize Theron, Scott Eastwood and Helen Mirren. In The Fate of The Furious, the globetrotting team suffers a devastating betrayal. Can their family survive?

Mixed feelings. The ever-escalating ridiculousness of the franchise is always appreciated (The Rock steers a torpedo with his hands while gliding on ice!), but the trailers for these movies insists on always showing us pretty much everything. Plot beats, character conflicts, all the cool moments – after seeing both three-minute-long trailers, I definitely feel like I know more about the movie than I would have liked to. Then again, it certainly builds up a lot of hype and I’m now more sold than ever on watching this dumb, DUMB movie.

Rough Night

Rough Night follows a bachelorette party weekend at a Miami beach house gone wrong when a male stripper ends up dead. Longtime friends played by Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Kate McKinnon and Zoë Kravitz have to put their heads together in order to cover up the accident.

I can’t decide if revealing the fact that this is a dark comedy about a dead stripper halfway through the trailer works in its favor or not. If you don’t know what the movie is about going into it, the reveal would be very unexpected, which could either be good or off-putting. To be honest, that’s a question that seems apt for the movie itself – how much time will it spend with the women partying before the stripper dies? At any rate, this isn’t a particularly funny trailer, but as I’ve said before, trailer edits can really mess up comedies. It’s an interesting premise and a good cast, and while it might not be the best first impression, it certainly is an impression.

Geostorm

After an unprecedented series of natural disasters threatened the planet, the world’s leaders came together to create an intricate network of satellites to control the global climate and keep everyone safe. But now, something has gone wrong—the system built to protect the Earth is attacking it, and it’s a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything…and everyone along with it.

This is an incredibly generic trailer for what looks to be an incredibly generic disaster movie. A slowed down, “creepy” version of a popular song, cities being destroyed by overwhelming amounts of CGI, people turning dramatically or staring ominously – we’ve seen it all before and apart from a few kind of creative moments, Geostorm doesn’t stand out in any way.

The Assignment

In The Assignment, directed by Walter Hill, hitman Frank Kitchen (Michelle Rodriguez) is given a lethal assignment, but after being double-crossed, he discovers he’s not the man he thought he was—he’s been surgically altered and now has the body of a woman. Seeking vengeance, Frank heads for a showdown with the person (Sigourney Weaver) who transformed him, a brilliant surgeon with a chilling agenda of her own.

Obviously, the central premise is pretty controversial and the transgender community have been outspoken in their criticism of the plot of The Assignment. It’s clear that this is intended as an exploitative B-movie, so the blunt manner in which it handles gender reassignment is not surprising – the question is does it actually work. Exploitation is not a blanket excuse to do whatever you want and the trailer for The Assignment doesn’t exactly make it look all that interesting or entertaining. We also are told Sigourney Weaver’s motivation for doing this twice for some reason.

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