Don't Watch This Trailer: 'Mission: Impossible - Fallout'
Welcome to the inaugural John Serba At Large feature Don’t Watch This Trailer, a semi-irregular reminder that movie marketing materials and strategies are annoying, and possibly evil. To prove this, I’ll be sharing said movie marketing materials and discussing the strategies. You might think I’d be playing directly into the studios’ hands by prominently sharing their junk, and putting the movie titles in headlines, but the joke’s on them - by criticizing that junk, I’m actually turning their own guns against them, so to speak, in an act of subversive anti-establishmentarianism. That that, you giant faceless conglomerations!
Before I get to Tom Cruise Leaping Out of an Effing Airplane, for those of you new to my Purity of Experience philosophy, let it be know that I view movie trailers as spoilers in advertising form. You watch them at your own risk: they often feature a comedy’s best jokes or an action movie’s best stunts. Some of them show decontextualized footage culled from deep in a film’s final act, which allows us to pre-contextualize said footage about halfway through, thus taking us out of the movie: “When is that thing I saw in the trailer going to happen?”
(This happened in “The Avengers” (2012), the trailer for which showed the Hulk spectacularly saving Iron Man, a moment that should be the film’s big emotional climax, but is tainted because we already saw it. This is how our experience becomes less pure.)
Of course, an argument can be made that an occasional tease of something you’re earnestly anticipating can enhance your enjoyment of the movie. And I’ll even concede that point to a degree. But I’m not here to be logical. I’m here to make jokes and hate things.
So, on to Tom Cruise Leaping Off an Effing Building. The new trailer for “Mission: Impossible - Fallout” debuted today at approximately 3 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, which means Paramount is marketing it heavily in Europe. I’m convinced the subtitle “Fallout” describes what happens to Tom Cruise in relation to whatever vehicle or structure he’s in. I’m also convinced that “Fallout” will be easier to define than whatever “Ghost Protocol” was.
This trailer is ultimately pointless, because we already should be excited enough to see the movie, considering how entertaining the previous five franchise entries were. Christopher McQuarrie returns behind the camera, having proven himself a skilled director of Tom Cruise action sequences via the previous “M:I” film, “Rogue Nation,” and the underrated “Jack Reacher.” I’m very much looking forward to seeing “Mission: Impossible - Fallout,” even in spite of an annoying pet peeve of mine, the movie title that is a word or phrase followed by a colon followed by another word or phrase followed by a dash followed by a third word or phrase. Movie title punctuation is officially out of control, like any helicopter Tom Cruise ever pilots in a movie.
In fact, watching the trailer potentially could make us less enthused by satiating our desire to watch Tom Cruise Perform His Own Goddamn Stunts. I’ll bet you three-eighths of an Infinity Stone the properly contextualized stunts will be far more thrilling. So why not wait until the movie opens on July 27 to feel that satisfaction? And here, I share the trailer to test your resolve. Do not click “play.” Go read my review of the new Charlize Theron movie instead. Do not watch this trailer.
Movie poster courtesy Paramount Pictures