Movie commercials offer us a great service; they not only show us which upcoming movies look good, but also which upcoming movies look like Hitler Turds (turds that waste no energy being anywhere except directly beneath your nose). In honor of this profound art, which I partake in from time to time, I give you TRAILER TRACKS, a weekly examination of upcoming movie commercials: what they say, what they don’t say, and what they say accidentally about the product being sold to you, the excited chump.
This Week’s Entry:
Prince of Persia
(Disney Pictures; Dir. Mike Newell)
This year’s summer movie season has a kind of Human Centipede thing going on with the movie-going public, and Prince of Persia looks to be turd #1 (Iron Man 2 being more of a preview fart). Even the Pixar film, the standard summer highlight, is a re-run. The only films I want to see are A-Team, which is kind of a joke excitement, and Inception, which is kind of a not really a summer movie excitement.
Actually, the movies might not turn out any worse than typical summer fare. It’s just that their awful trailers do nothing for me. I’ve seen two movies in the last month, and it seemed like both of them played the Prince of Persia trailer ten times. I started off just bored. Then I became irritated. Now I’m pissed and actively wish the film were corporeal so I could punch it then run away real fast and blame it on the fat kid. I’m so fucking sick of this trailer, the only way I could stand to watch it again was in Spanish.
The Set Up:
Jake Gyllnyyhhaall plays an Arabian guy named Aladdin. Judging by the title, I have to assume his father is a king. And since Aladdin looks like a street rat, I have to assume his royal family has fallen on hard times. If both those assumptions are correct, then I have to assume the plot will end with Aladdin’s reclamation of the throne. Note how boring this paragraph has been. Now imagine reading it for two and a half hours.
Like most contemporary cinematic heroes, Aladdin isn’t much of a hero without some kind of magic mumbo-jumbo to do all the heavy lifting for him. In this case, he gets his hands on a super knife. Here’s how the knife works according to the trailer:
In the handle there’s a little sand tornado going on. If you press a button on the knife, some of the sand tornado comes out and turns you into a computer. Back in Persian days, computers had the power to stop time. So…let’s say a computer snake is flying toward you. Go ahead and press your little knife button and let the sand pixelize you until you look like Final Fantasy VIII. Now press pause on your controller. You’ll find you can movie around and do what you want while the snake is frozen in mid air. Cut that bitch in half! Now un-pause the game. “Holy shit!” says the snake. “How did I get cut in half and dead?! You fucking CHEATER!” When the snake’s body disappears it will leave behind either replenishment sand, spirit points, or rupees. Wow, what an awesome knife!
Helping along Aladdin’s quest to use the knife as often as possible is that weird SubGod Lady from Clash of the Titans. She basically keeps the film’s exposition on track, falls in love, and anachronistically shaves her armpits. Additionally, the bad guys in this movie are those weird wooden guys from Clash of the Titans. They’re being led by Ben Kingsley, the actor responsible for the motion-capture performance of Clash of the Titans’ Kraken character. Also, when Aladdin first finds the knife it is dull and useless after eons of sitting around. In these brief moments, the knife is played by Clash of the Titans’ Sam Waterson. And I hear that if you stay after the end credits, there’s a 15 second scene where Alfred Molina’s character, Satipo, unearths one of Zeus’ lightning bolts in New Mexico.
I can see this going one of two ways. If movies have really gotten as bad as I think, then Aladdin will lose the knife, figure out a way to regain the knife, then use the knife to save the day, which would truly make the stupid knife the movie’s main character. If the movie wants to actually feature any semblance of a heroic arc, Aladdin will lose the knife, figure out a way to regain the knife, then break the knife because the warrior within him is a badass now, and he no longer needs gamefaq to beat The Prince of Persia: Warrior Within.
Other than that, there’s not a lot of guesswork required. He gets the kingdom, he gets the girl, and he finally finds his long lost monkey Apu. Maybe Ben Kingsley will pop up as a zombie in the last second so we can get a darker sequel with twelve bad guys and a knife that allows the user to go 8-bit.
I can only speak for myself, but I’m not sure the world’s interested in Jake Gyllennhaall as an action hero, all buffed-up like Fabio and using a fake English accent to play a fake Persian. We allow him into our mainstream hive-mind only in his capacity to be slightly off-kilter. That’s the reason why Heath Ledger got to play Tyler Perry gay while Gyllennhaall was stuck playing RuPaul gay. People want to like clean-looking Australian Americans, but they aren’t sure about Gyllennhhaall. He’s got those melty eyes and that weird, broken jaw look which makes him a great Screech and sort of a bizarre A.C. Slater. That’s not to say he isn’t likable. But when your little sister was rubbing em’ out to Donnie Darko, I don’t think this is what she had in mind.
Luckily we don’t have to take him that seriously for long in this movie. Judging by the trailer, any scene that requires running, hitting, jumping, kissing girls, and turning into sand went to his trusty CG stunt double, Squall. Unfortunately, it’s 2010 and Squall’s CG face looks bad enough potentially find a spot on CHUD’s new list. What the fuck. He looks like that scene in Army of Darkness where Ash pulls his face out of the Necronomicon.
In the end, what we have here is the movie Pirate’s of the Caribbean should have been. I knew it would catch up with us sometime.