Trailers aim to generate excitement. That is their sole purpose. A simple modus operandi that is the beating heart of these two-minute marvels.
The shorter, less complicated, sidekick of the feature film. The Robin to Bruce Wayne’s Batman. The Dr Banner inside The Hulk. Glossed over and talked through, the previews – as our American cousins refer to them – really are the unsung hero of the cinema-going experience, drumming up excitement and buzz for films that all to often fail to live up to expectations.
In recognition of the sterling work done by these hardworking hunks of celluloid, I’ve picked the ten best trailers that appeared in our cinemas and on our computer screens over the last year. As always this list is by no means definitive and is simply the opinion of a man who has spent far too much time in large dark rooms full of strangers.
And so, in some semblance of order…
10. Only God Forgives
The film itself may have been as confused and pretentious as a Hoxton House party, but the trailer for Only God Forgives was as cool as a polar bears’ toenails. A visceral trawl through red-drenched Bangkok soaked in neon and synth, this warm-up act made promises the main event couldn’t keep.
Why It Works:
The trailer keeps it simple, setting up and then following a man on a quest for revenge in the underbelly of the Thai capital. Action drives the narrative forward, whilst voiceovers provide the meaning and motive behind the onscreen exploits. Gosling broods throughout making his character from Drive look positively chatty, but carries with him a very real sense of menace. A black clad Thai cop is the object of Ryan’s vengeful desire, and the trailer ends at the beginning of a showdown between these two titans of cool. Plus, Cliff Martinez’s score is, as usual, utterly fantastic.
Two minutes of machetes, murder, mad mums and white t-shirts; if only the film was as good, and as short, as this.
This article was first posted on December 11, 2013