One of the most exciting parts about the moviegoing experience is the trailers (or previews) before the movie starts. I use to hate being late for a movie and miss the trailers. I still hate it to some extent today.
The point of a trailer is to sell audiences on an upcoming movie. For the most part, trailers do a fine job doing so without spoiling the movie. However, every now and then will come a trailer that is willing sell itself to the point where it’ll mislead us. We see these kind of trailers from time to time only after watching the movie. Some aren’t too big of a deal, while others completely ruined the movie.
So with that in mind, here are 10 trailers that misled audiences to some extent…
Iron Man 3 – Ben Kingsley will Own as The Manadarin!
I can appreciate a good plot twist, as long as it works out and it doesn’t ruin the film. Here we have the teaser trailer for Iron Man 3, which teases one of Iron Man’s greatest enemies in The Mandarin played by Ben Kingsley, or so we thought.
As we learn halfway through the film, The Mandarin is an impostor named Trevor. Its a twist that nobody saw coming, and one I absolutely hated. I thought Kingsley was a great choice for the role, and could really bring something special to the film overall. Instead, his talent is wasted on a comical character with zero depth and still, no one knows who the real Mandarin is (no it wasn’t Guy Pearce).
The reception of the character twist was so bad Marvel had to dedicate a one shot titled All Hail the King, which may have stopped the bleeding, but left a nasty scar.
Executive Decision – Here Comes Steven Seagal to Save the Day!
People today might not love Steven Seagal, but back in the 90’s was definitely an audience for his films. In 1996 came a trailer for the film Executive Decision. The trailer heavily featured Seagal, and made audiences then believe he would headline this action thriller. As many of us know today, Seagal’s character was killed off relatively early in the film.
This is a fine example of brilliant marketing. The studio used the popularity of Steven Seagal then, to get people into seats. It benefited not just the studio, but also the fans as Executive Decision turned out to be an entertaining flick.
Annapolis – Top Gun Starring James Franco & Tyrese Gibson
You know, for a film that features a lot of boxing throughout the film, there’s a huge absence of it in this trailer. What we get instead is a Top Gun lookalike starring James Franco.
For the record I really like Annapolis, its a guilty pleasure film that I’ll watch whenever on TV. However, this trailer is very deceiving. While it does touch on Franco’s character and his struggles in trying to make it through the naval academy, its hardly touches on the sport of boxing, which ends up becoming the focal point of the film. This trailer also gives the impression that we’ll see some aerial dogfights happening, which we don’t. Still Annapolis can be an entertaining film if you’re a fan of Franco or Tyrese Gibson.
If anything, re-watching this trailer reminds me of how awesome it would be to see Tyrese as Jon Stewart’s Green Lantern.
Avengers: Age of Ultron – Ultron will Be the Darkest Villain Ever in the M.C.U.
The trailers for Avengers: Age of Ultron led us to believe this would be much darker than the first film. We also looked at Ultron in these trailers as this menacing evil that would push our heroes farther than ever. Unfortunately, both impressions from the trailers are farther than the truth.
Ultron ended up being more comedic than menacing with his often quips. It also doesn’t help when the trailer made us believe his final form would be near indestructible, yet he gets knocked down three separate times in the film. For me, the final battle for the Avengers seemed a bit too easy (Hulk still ripping through objects away from the group). The end result was still a fun entertaining action flick, and while Ultron failed to live up to expectations, he’s still one of Marvel’s better villains.
Birdman (or The Unexpected Virture of Ignorance) – Does Michael Keaton Have Superpowers?
Even my number one movie from 2014 makes this list. The only misleading part about the trailer for Birdman is how its made to look like Michael Keaton’s character has superpowers. In fact, people who’ve seen this movie still aren’t sure whether or not he has powers.
The truth is that its all in his mind, or is it? That open ending leaves it up for you all to decide, which I think makes for an interesting conversation.
Jarhead – A Heavy Action War Film Starring Jake Gyllenhaal
Many people (including myself) we’re looking forward to another modern action war film with Jarhead. What we got instead was a story focusing on your average grunt in the Marines, and how the perception of war might not always be what it seems.
The first trailer for Jarhead gives the impression that the film will be filled with gunfights and violence. The end result is far from that. In fact, I don’t even think Jake Gyllenhaal fires his sniper rifle once. So those of you expecting an action heavy film like I was at the time, will be surely disappointed. However, if you want honest insight into the life of war and what it’ll do to your mentality, then check out Jarhead.
Click – Just Another Adam Sandler Family Comedy That Looks Fun!
Before Adam Sandler really stunk up the comedy genre he gave us Click. The trailer tells the story of a man, who is struggling with balancing his career and his family, and is given a magical remote to control time. The trailer is filled with plenty of jokes and funny moments, but doesn’t touch on the dramatic moments that occur during the second half of the film.
Those who went into this movie expecting a fun family comedy were surely surprised when the film took a 180 turn. The film’s focus became about the consequences of skipping through life, and waking up one morning to realize your parents have moved on and your kids are all grown up and married. Click ended up being a pleasant surprise for me that offered both comedy and emotional moments and themes.
Fantastic Four (2015) – Half the Trailer Isn’t Even in the Movie?!
As much as I don’t want to talk about this epic failure, its very first trailer belongs on this list, therefore I must. Those of you who’ve seen Fantastic Four are probably wondering where was all this footage in the final cut? The answer is probably in Josh Trank’s original vision that we’ll probably never see.
I remember going back and watching this trailer after writing the review. Its almost like watching a completely different film. There’s no Ben Grimm playing Baseball, no Johnny Storm lighting on fire while kneeling, no Sue Storm teary eyed looking over her brother, and no Reed Richards looking over Doom asking “What is coming?”, which is the question we were all asking prior to the film’s release.
Kick-Ass – Looks Like a Fun Little Cute Action Adventure with Kids Being Superheroes!
To all the parents out there who took their kids to see this movie in theaters, I don’t blame you. The first trailer for Kick-Ass gave audiences the impression of a fun, entertaining, action flick. What’s not to love about a couple of inspired teens dressing up as superheroes, a little girl who looks like she can kick ass, and a guy dressed up like Batman? Little did general moviegoers know this would end up being a very violent and graphic superhero flick filled with blood spattering action, sexual content, nudity, and drugs. At least Nic Cage gave a great performance.
Godzilla – Bryan Cranston will Steal This Movie!
The first trailer for Godzilla features quite a bit of Bryan Cranston. Enough to make audiences believe he has a big part in the film from beginning to end. Unfortunately that’s not the case, as Cranston’s character bites the dust about 30% into the film. Its brilliant marketing once again when considering Cranston at the time just finished his run on the hit TV show Breaking Bad.
Be sure to let me know of any other trailers that you thought were misleading. Thanks for reading.