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Trailer Tracker: Dredd, Taken 2, Alex Cross and More

Pissed off judges, America’s crush having relationship problems with the Dick-in-a-box guy, Oskar Schindler going on another European rampage, Kevin James falling down a bunch and Tyler Perry not in women’s clothes — these are all here for your viewing pleasure this week in Trailer Tracker.

Karl Urban tackles the difficulty of working three jobs as judge, jury and executioner in Dredd, while Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg prove that just because you’re both adorable, doesn’t mean you should be so together, in Celeste and Jesse Forever. Then, it’s time for family feud, where the category is Easily Kidnap-able. If you answered Liam Neeson’s family in Taken 2, your correct!  Meanwhile, Tyler Perry and Matthew Fox contend for the title of “most baffling casting'”in the trailer for Alex Cross. Finally, Kevin James gets to work out all his pent-up rage and frustration from The Zookeeper bombing by knocking heads in Here Comes the Boom.

Dredd

You have to admire the marketing team behind Dredd, since most studios think the best way to sell a B-movie is to pretend it’s A material. You’ll find no such pretensions in this trailer, which offers more than a passing resemblance to The Raid‘s plot, people shooting guns, Karl Urban grimacing, more people shooting guns, and a deliciously indulgent amount of slow-mo.

Replacing Sly Stone under the helmet of futuristic lawman Judge Dredd, Karl Urban and his rookie partner (played by Olivia Thirlby) have to take down Cersei Lannister — er — a ruthless crime boss (Lena Headey) who controls the spread of a new, time-altering drug from atop a goon-riddled skyscraper. Again, you almost need to applaud the Crank-esque efficiency of having the scary future drug give you a legitimate story reason for things to go slow-mo, and then just go ahead and call the chemical SLO-MO. 

And hey, Urban gets to say “I’m the law,” so we should all probably go watch that Onion video again since now it’s relevant again. 

Celeste and Jesse Forever 

It’s kinda amazing that an actress as universally liked as Rashida Jones had to write her own movie just to get a starring role. Sharing a co-author credit on Celeste and Jesse Forever, Jones headlines as one half of the title couple, opposite recent SNL-escapee Andy Samberg, with the pair playing divorced lovers who don’t think legal separation means you have to stop hanging out together all the time. 

Although it was met with a modestly positive reception from the Sundance crowd, indie rom-coms can be a nice stepping stone on the way to bigger things, and given how recognizable its two leads already are, Celeste and Jesse Forever may prove irresistible once it finds a wide release. 

Taken 2

Ever wonder if anyone mourns the random goons that get unceremoniously offed in action movies? Taken 2 answers that question with a definitive “yes,” as ex-CIA operative Bryan Mills sees his enemy list jump up in membership exponentially following the rescue of his daughter from an Armenian human-trafficking ring in the original film. Led by that homeless guy from Batman Begins who looks like The Most Interesting Man in the World, the new generation of baddies are out to exact revenge on Bryan’s wife and daughter, who decide to come visit him in Istanbul, because that’s where people go on vacation, right?

Neeson is practically laconic compared to the bravado of the cellphone-threats he gave in the trailer for Taken, probably because we already know he has a particular set of skills when it comes to disposing of pesky kidnappers. “You’ll just have to die,” he tells the vengeful hobo patriarch. It’s blunt and effective, both of which seem to be the Taken series’ specialty. 

Alex Cross

Tyler Perry IS Alex Cross, who the new trailer for Alex Cross warns us not to cross, something that the MMA-fighter played by Matthew Fox does when crossing the line of human decency by going on a torture spree. With an FBI profiler and a ripped serial killer at cross purposes, only one question will cross the viewer’s mind: what does Alex Cross do when someone crosses Alex Cross?! 

He gets — upset. So yeah, think of it like Silence of the Lambs, except that the murderer at large has raided Batman’s supply closet of all his highly situationally-specific gadgets, like office plumbing swimwear, and an RPGT (Rocket Propelled Grenade Thatcauseshilariouslycheaplookingexplosions). And seriously, how dumb must a police department be to let a newspaper run photos and names of their best rapist-catchers? 

Perry is essentially taking over Morgan Freeman’s role in Se7en, while also literally taking over the role Freeman played in Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider, two other adaptations of the perpetually airport-bookstore-inhabiting “Alex Cross” series. Here’s hoping for a sequel crossover featuring The Bourne Legacy‘s new star Aaron Cross, with a soundtrack by Kriss Kross and an endorsement from Jesus sometime after the film’s October release.  

Here Comes the Boom

And if you prefer MMA fighters who don’t look like walking, talking pieces of steak gristle, you can check out Kevin James’ new UFC movie, which is apparently a thing. Finding that last year’s rousing teacher-turned-fighter sports epic Warrior didn’t have enough prat falls and fat guy jokes, this latest flick belched from the maw of Happy Madison productions has the appearance of an actual film, with tell tale signs including a story, a cast and perhaps even a moral to said story. Because hey, Kevin James may be getting physically abused by fighters and America’s love of seeing him fall down, but at least this time it’s for the children. 

 

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