Anyone can tell you if a trailer "looks good" or not. But Drew Magary, who spent over a decade working in advertising, is here to tell you whether or not a trailer WORKS. This week's trailer? "The Grey".
With over $200 million in combined box office receipts, actor Liam Neeson is now the undisputed king of the January movie season. And you Liam JanFans out there are in for another action-packed treat in January 2012: THE GREY. No, it's not a biopic of "Dirty Dancing" star Jennifer Grey. Liam was too tall for that role. Instead it's an action-packed thriller about... uh... well, let's try and sort that out by watching the trailer and answering a few simple questions.
Does Liam sound like he means business in this movie? Oh hell yes, he does. You get that gravelly baritone doing the voice-over right off the bat. He's so quiet, so deliberate. You just know he's poised to EXPLODE WITH WHITE HOT IRISH FURY.
Did someone close to Liam die or disappear? Oh hell yes, they do. In this one, Liam appears to have lost either a wife or a girlfriend. They have flashback scenes with him holding hands and frolicking in bed with a long-lost love. If it was his daughter or something, than this would be some kind of screwed up Mike White film. Bet on it being the wifey.
Does Liam portray a seemingly normal man forced to resort to extreme measures? OH HELL YES. You can't have a January Liam Neeson movie without that. You can tell he's been driven to desperation because he's got stubble in the movie. That's always your cue that our hero has turned savage. HE IS STUBBLY AND READY TO KILL.
Are there wolves? Damn straight there are.
Was that a bear I saw flashing by? I think so! You get Liam versus bears and Liam versus wolves! By the end, Liam shall rule over all woodland creatures with an iron fist.
Is the film as grey as advertised? Is it ever! There's lots and lots of snow and clouds, and that makes for quite a grey viewing experience. You can't call your movie "The Grey" and give it any other color palette.
Are those mini booze bottle brass knuckles? I think so! WANT.
Do we know what this movie is about? Er... no. There's a cool plane crash, and it appears that Liam is lost in the remote wilderness with a group of other people, and that he'll likely have to fight off wolves and perhaps his fellow survivors to make it home to the woman he loves. That's my best guess. It looks like "Cast Away," only with snow and butt-kicking. The trailer gives you enough to let you know this is not a huge departure from Neeson January thrillers of yore.
Does this trailer work? YES. Just barely. When you saw the trailer for "Taken", you knew precisely what was going on. Someone was, you know, TAKEN. But a murky idea of the plot didn't stop "Unknown" from becoming profitable, and it won't stop this Neeson vehicle from raking in a tidy little sum at the box office. Liam can out-growl a bear any day of the week.