I’m reviewing two new trailers at the same time. This should tell you how little I have to say about both.
This week the first “big” trailer dropped for Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts, an attempt to bring the Beast Wars into the movieverse, and The Flash, an attempt to use Flashpoint to abandon a failed attempt by DC to rip off the MCU. Trailers are supposed to get us hyped for the actual movie, to get us ready to see it. That’s getting tougher and tougher as Hollywood appears to be trying to bury geek media, science fiction continues to get darker in tone and visually so the sun only exists as a metaphor before going back into the darkness, and directors continue to be outright hostile to the source material because they only want to use the easy marketing of the famous name to push their script and sometimes also their agenda, using the various cultural “shields” to deflect criticism of their bad stories or their terrible adaptations.
Now before anyone, and I’m getting tired of having to add this disclaimer because it should be a given, gets on my case about “well, you don’t know the movie’s going to be bad”, let me ask you what a trailer is for. Hint: I already told you in the previous paragraph. I’m not judging the movie, I’m judging what they think will make us want to see the movie. There’s only so much time in my day, I have movies and shows I have wanted to watch but never got the chance, plus all the comics and books to read and audio dramas to listen to. Additionally I write articles like this, make comics, and if at all possible organize the crap in my house all while trying to get back into video production. I also need to sleep, go to the bathroom, make contact with other human beings so I don’t write the same kind of echo chamber characters we get now, and all the other things people tend to do in a day. My time, and especially my decreasing budget, is limited so the trailer has to convince me to use up some of that valuable time to see these movies. Do they?
First let’s look at Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts:
Well, points for giving the robots enough differences in color and design that I can tell them apart. Acting seems solid enough, but at the same time I can’t praise a finished movie from the trailer alone either. Using a soundtrack instead of the silence with booming anti-ASMR noises is also a plus. Minus five points for no Rattrap with Bumblebee being worth five points, but we don’t know if he can talk or if they’re sticking him in the muscle car again so that could change. Also, we brought Peter Cullen back as Optimus Prime but as noted before Optimus Primal isn’t Garry Chalk, which is a mistake.
It seems okay, but with only one good live-action movie in this series, and even then Bumblebee was more praised for fixing the Transformers’ design than the story, which I thought was decent, okay is not going to be enough. Transformers fans have been hurt before so you still have some convincing to do.
Okay, The Flash, let’s see what you have.
Let’s get the one that isn’t the biggest complaint but it won’t get out of my way until I confront it. Kind of like Bruce and the Joker.
This is pretty much the point where I gave up on The Flash. Not the concept swiped from Flashpoint because that was…the…point, not the race-swapped Supergirl just because, not the fact that we never really see Supergirl struggle, including when fighting General Zod one on one, with no understanding why she’s even here when she wasn’t in any of the Snyder films and just here to replace Superman, not even when you remember the horrible things Ezra Miller has done. That all made me uninterested a long time ago, but if I actually heard positive things about the movie [fat chance] I might have considered watching it down the line maybe but probably not.
No, it’s what’s becoming referred to as “memberberries”, based on an episode of South Park, that turned me off. Someone grabbed the “let’s get nuts” bit from the movie and used it with zero matching context. He might as well yelled out “I am vengeance, I am the night”, and that wasn’t even his line. You know he’s going to say “I’m Batman” with that tone before the credits role. Heck, is it just me or does Keaton himself look like he’s hating saying that line knowing it’s just a random quote that people remember without using it in a way that makes sense? This isn’t Bruce Wayne confronting the Joker. This is just Bruce saying the thing. Toss in everything else and I just can’t bring myself to care.
Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts gets a shrug out of me but The Flash just makes my eyes roll. Neither of them are making use of their brightly-colored characters with their muted colors. Neither has a plot that works for me (wasn’t the Earth itself Unicron in the Bay movies, a bit of stupid Kurtzman and Orci brought with them to Transformers Prime?), neither is all that awe inspiring, but at least Rise Of The Beasts isn’t playing on nostalgia alone. It looks like they’re at least trying to make something good while The Flash is just trying my patience so James Gunn can make what he thinks is a smooth transition from the Snyder DCU to his and that fans will be on board with it and Warner Brothers can just continue making DC films without missing a beat in their continued attempt to keep up with the failing Marvel Cinematic Universe. So do they make me want to see the final movies? Not really, no.