By: Hawk Ripjaw –
I think I’ve expressed several times my interest in Illumination simply ceasing all operations, even though I don’t think I’ve actually hated any of their films. They just make movies that are consistently mediocre but manage to basically print money. Occasionally if you’re in the right “state of mind,” there are some funny things in these, but not that many. The visuals are consistently colorful and energetic, but that is not, never has, and never will be an excuse for lacking a compelling story. For that, it seems like the mind of Dr. Seuss might be the antidote to Illumination’s problem with compelling narratives. After watching the trailer, I don’t think that’s the case. The bright, poppy Illumination aesthetic doesn’t do the Grinch justice, and this Grinch seems oddly….not very Grinch-y? We also learned way back with Ron Howard’s bizarre Jim Carrey Grinch adaptation that a feature length movie shoehorning in a backstory for the Grinch just doesn’t work very well, and this version of that looks, if anything, worse.
I have a strong suspicion that I’m going to somehow end up watching this anyway.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web
Apparently the new official title for this movie is The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story. This is stupid. It’s extremely stupid. I imagine what happened is the distributor had a realization and then some focus testing, realizing that most people don’t understand that this is another Lisbeth Salander story. So they added the subtitle to make the connection. Here’s the problem: Anyone who cares about this franchise probably already knows that this is part of that franchise. Everyone else will say “oh, so it’s a sequel to that decent Daniel Craig movie from seven years ago? Where is Daniel Craig?” It’s useless because anyone that has to be told that this is a continuation probably won’t care.
Not that it matters anyway. Spider’s Web appears to ditch the cold, grim trappings of the David Fincher remake in favor of a loud, wild revenge action thriller. This is actually one of my favorite examples of recent memory of how two trailers differ. This original trailer looks decent, but appears to be a somewhat generic continuation of the Lisbeth Salander saga and possibly a decent mystery thriller. A strange woman dressed in red seems to have some prior connection with Salander. Also, she’s gone from being a simple hacker to an avenging angel of abused women. Looks fine.
But this second trailer, holeeee shiit boooooooi this looks WILD.
Double-crosses? Action-packed escapes involving a motorcycle across a frozen lake? A dude getting Tased in the balls? Swedish Dan Stevens? A VILLAIN WHO IS THE SISTER OF THE PROTAGONIST WHO WANTS TO VISIT A BIOTERROR APOCALYPSE ON THE WORLD AS REVENGE? Sounds like somebody got some James Bond in my brooding Swedish mystery thriller!
I don’t think this necessarily looks good, because it appears to drain a lot of what makes Salander such an interesting character in the first place. But, I do really enjoy Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead, Don’t Breathe) as a director, and at the very least, this should be a dumb, stylish action flick.
This was my most sought-after movie to review for November, so I’m expecting to enjoy it in one way or another. Will it be good? Ehhh, hopefully?
This looks awesome. Since Wolfenstein, wild WWII pulp action horror has been a consistently great source of fiction. It has seen a resurgence mostly in video games, with the popular Call of Duty Nazi Zombies mode, as well as the excellent rebooted Wolfenstein series. Seriously, if you have not played Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, you are missing out on some surprisingly impactful storytelling. As far as movies, I can’t think of anything besides Frankenstein’s Army that goes full-bore into WWII-era alternative horror fiction quite like Overlord looks like it’s gunning for. It looks absolutely wild. Given the director’s activity on Reddit AMAs, and his insistence on specifically trying to make something “bonkers,” I am very excited to see just how crazy things get.
I also want to point out that this is the right way to make a trailer. The music sets a tone, and the quick flashes of what is actually going on are enough to tease without giving the whole fucking movie away like 90% of Hollywood movie trailers seem to tend to do (LOOKING AT YOU, TERMINATOR GENISYS). I don’t want to see more of what’s in the trailer; the trailer has made me curious to see what exactly is going to happen. That’s good trailer editing.
It’s troubling to me that despite this being by far what I am most excited for this weekend, it will probably be the last one I end up seeing. My professional masochism is reaching new heights, it seems.