Have Trailers Ruined the Way We Watch TV and Movies?

by Matthew J.R. Kohler

In the last ten years, movie trailers seem to draw more buzz than the movies themselves. All of the anticipation builds over a period of several months before the release date of the next big picture. However, people often feel let down by what they see in the finished film.  This problem originates from the trailers.  The purpose of a trailer is to show the basic plot and feel of the film. They let the audience know what they are getting into.  The other purpose of trailers is to convince the audience that the film is worth their money and time.  It used to be that trailers were strictly straight forward. There was even a narrator who gave the basic information about the movie.

Mortal Kombat is a perfect example of a good trailer.  It shows what the movie truly is—an entertaining action movie with minimal plot.  But is that bad?  No.  In fact, it gives us the proper expectations of what the movie is going to be, instead of something that it is not.  When I watch the film, I see exactly what the trailer showed.

The trailer for season 2 of Mortal Kombat: Legacy made the season seem as though it was not only an action show, but also a drama.  Fans of the series who watched this trailer might have gotten their hopes up after seeing this because they assumed the trailer showed the reasons why they should watch the new season.  (Spoiler: it’s not a drama).

Mortal Kombat (1995) begins and ends entertainingly.  From the fast pacing of the story, to Act II only being fight scenes, the movie kept the same feel of the trailer.

Mortal Kombat Legacy season 2 is a completely different scenario.  In the trailer, the viewer is led to believe that the season will dive into the back stories of all of the kombatants.  Instead, you just find out that everyone is out for revenge (boring!).  In Season 1 of the show, Kevin Tacheron attempted new things with characters who had already existed for twenty years.  I remember when Season 1 was over, Season 2 was announced.  That was one of the last times I was excited to see a movie, or show. (We’ll talk about the biggest letdown later).  When the trailer was released, I knew that something was up. It didn’t even feel like the Mortal Kombat universe.  To me, it looked like the filmmakers were trying to hide something.  Lo and behold, I was right.  The eighty-minute season 2 felt like forty hours.  The second season was completely different from the first, which means that it was devoid of great action.

The Mortal Kombat movie trailer just tells you, “I hope you like action, scenery, and awesome techno beats, because that is what it we have.”  The movie trailer for Mortal Kombat is a buffet of entertainment, and that is what I want from a trailer.

Tomorrow, I will continue the story on trailers.  The next article will be on not showing everything in a trailer.  Remember to follow us and like us at Red Fist Productions!

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