‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ not only has a ridiculously long name, but also has Trailer Issues.
When I went to see X-Men: First Class (excellent film – great characterisation, spirit of the comics if not the letter of the canon), I saw this trailer:
And I thought ‘meh’. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good action movie. I like a good explosion and an ape hanging from a helicopter is pretty cool. But why do I care about this movie? The main guy is a jerk scientist and everyone knows how it ends!
Tonight, I went to see Captain America (good movie – fair characterisation, big explosions, bit too much to cram into one film) and I saw this trailer:
And it drew me in. This is a real story about one man and his chimp, a story about a relationship that is humanising to both characters. I care about the science guy and I care about the chimp.
It now becomes a “best friends divided” story. There is now a stake in the action and the uprising, because what happens at the confrontation? What happens when these two face each other at the bitter end?
Now I want to know what happens. Now I want to see this film.
In the end, you can take your big effects, your CGI and your pre-sold franchise, but if you don’t have a story, if you don’t have character, I don’t think you have a movie worth watching.