A trailer’s job is to get audiences excited for the movie based on two and a half minutes of clips. Pieced together, those clips should put across the story and reveal some of the most entertaining parts of the film, but sometimes, trailers do too good of a job.
If anything these trailers did a better job than any other trailer, as they managed to get Redditors so excited to see the movie. But whether it was through simply being disappointed or the trailer misselling the film, the users thought the movies were worse than the trailers.
Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2012)
Following up The Avengers with a just as entertaining sequel was an almost impossible task. The energy between the superheroes in the first film was like lightning in a bottle and Loki has become an iconic villain. But the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron promised all of that and more.
Jettj12 puts it best by explaining that the trailer led them to expect “a genuinely scary villain who was cold, calculative, emotionless, and homicidal.” But that isn’t what audiences got, as it was instead another army of faceless robots with low stakes, and the Redditor hilariously mentions that Ultron was nothing but “a robot with daddy issues.”
There was a standard trailer for Godzilla, which saw the typical destruction caused by the monster and gave the outline of the story. But before that, there was a teaser trailer that showed a task force doing a HALO jump. TheYOLOdoctor mentions that “the HALO Jump as the monolith music from 2001 is playing might as well be a short film, it’s so great.”
Not only did the music add to the tone, but the red colors and all the smoke made it look like they were jumping into the depths of hell. Unfortunately, that wasn’t very representative of the film itself, and the 2014 movie was largely criticized for lacking any action or sense of dread that it was built up to have.
Where The Wild Things Are (2009)
Director Spike Jonze has a great working relationship with the indie rock band Arcade Fire, as they scored his 2013 film Her. But that relationship began when their song “Wake Up” was used in Where The Wild Things Are. And while the movie isn’t bad by any means, Astrobagel explains that “the trailer was perfection.”
Trailers often have two songs, where there’s more upbeat or faster music in the second half of the trailer. But a whole two and a half minutes of “Wake Up” is borrowed for the 2009 movie’s trailer, and the song’s crescendo is expertly used midway through when things get exciting. It’s such a mesmerizing audio-visual experience.
Max Payne (2010)
Max Payne tells the story of the titular character attempting to get revenge on the people who murdered his family. However, being one of the video game movies that everyone forgot, there are some major differences. Bobbythecorky calls the movie “still the biggest disappointment to this day.”
Part of the disappointment may stem from the fact that it isn’t all that faithful to the source material, but the trailer made it look like it was. Not only that, but the trailer was visually stunning and it looked look a gothic painting come to life, but all of the film’s best shots were in the 2.5-minute clip.
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Before movie trailers were uploaded to dozens of different YouTube channels, the only way people could actually see them was in the movie theatre before the start of films. According to Rolling Stone, the Star Wars: The Phantom Menace trailer did wonders for Meet Joe Black and The Waterboy at the box office, as people paid to see those films just to watch the trailer for the Star Wars movie.
The trailer did not disappoint, and Schlorp mentions that when they first saw Darth Maul, they “thought that there was no way this movie was gonna suck. Well…we all saw how that turned out.” While there are some great action scenes in The Phantom Menace, and for as great of a character as Darth Maul is, the movie was unimaginably disappointing.
Only God Forgives (2013)
After the huge success of the crime thriller Drive, fans were excited to hear that director Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling were reteaming for another film. And when the trailer for Only God Forgives was released, it was revealed to be another violent, neon-drenched neo-noir.
Audiences couldn’t have been more excited to see what looked like a spiritual sequel to Drive. But Kodyak77 believed that the trailer “set the expectations too high,” and based on the reception of the 2013 movie, that seems to have been the case. Viewers were bitterly disappointed and confused by the movie’s lack of plot and action.
Terminator Salvation (2009)
Back in a time when the announcement of a new Terminator movie didn’t make fans sigh and roll their eyes, Terminator Salvation looked like a fresh take on the series. The trailer showed Academy Award-winning actor Christian Bale throwing himself into it, and it was set in the future during the actual war of the machines, instead of in the past.
A Reddit user with a strangely appropriate name, Aboycandream, remembers that they “thought this was going to be some next level s***.” But that was a far cry from the stale and lifeless end result, even if some fans think Terminator: Salvation is underrated.
The trailer hyped Watchmen up to be a superhero movie on such an epic scale that had never been seen before. Hamdinger125 claims they “watched the trailer over and over again. But the film was….OK.”
Though the 2009 movie is one of the longest superhero movies and is extremely ambitious, many would argue that pop songs playing over endless slow-motion shots isn’t all that epic. The movie is still well-liked, but the trailer made it seem like it was going to be on the same level as the likes of The Dark Knight.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
If there’s any trailer in the 2010s that was an event, it was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Everybody remembers where they were when they first saw it, and then talking about it every day afterward. The trailer is immaculately put together. From Finn looking rattled in the middle of the desert to BB-8 rolling along the floor, it showed that there’d be action and promised practical effects.
But after all that hype, Venusar200 was one of many who were disappointed by the actual movie. They explain that “the teasers were all action, and it gave no hint that JJ Abrams was attempting to add comedy to the mix.” They also complain that it’s essentially a remake of A New Hope, and while there are similarities between the two Star Wars movies, it’s still the least polarizing of all the Disney releases.
Gangster Squad (2013)
Based on the trailer, Gangster Squad seemed to have it all; huge shootouts between police and gangsters, all the glitz and glamor of 1940s Hollywood, and an ensemble cast of A-list actors. WutwUtM9 explains that they “wanted L.A. Confidential meets Inglourious Basterds. But it didn’t quite deliver.”
For as stylish as the 2013 movie looks, it wastes its talent, as none of the characters have any kind of development. On top of that, it seems as if director Ruben Fleischer didn’t know if he wanted to make a spoof movie or a gritty crime drama, and the result is an unpleasant mix of both.
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