Trailer Talk: The King's Man
Trailers are a work of art on their own, and sometimes they can be better than the actual movie (see Suicide Squad). But for the most part, trailers do a great job selling the movie they are for. So let's look at a trailer and see what we can glean from it.
For the inaugural entry, let's look at the first Kingsman prequel, appropriately called The King's Man.
The most noticeable thing is the tonal shift from the other two Kingsman movies. The first one had a perfect blend of action and humor. The second one leaned more on the humor side of things. This looks like a war thriller mixed with a spy adventure which is a pretty interesting take. The original Kingsman film hinted at a rich history with a storied organization. It looks like we will get the origins of that. Origin stories can be tricky. We didn't need to know any of this to fully enjoy the adventures of Eggsy. Prequels are sometimes redundant and stale. Hopefully Matthew Vaughn, who helmed the first two movies, has something new to say with this.
It is amazing to me that it took 3 movies for Ralph Fiennes to be in a Kingsman movie. He seems like he's always belonged in this franchise, so hopefully this isn't a one and done. Even if he ends up dying in the film, that won't mean much, as we've seen characters return from the dead before.
As for the structure of the trailer itself, it is cleverly done. If you didn't know the title before you clicked on it, you wouldn't ever guess this was part of the Kingsman franchise until the trailer wants you to know. That trick will work if people see this for the first time in front of a movie at a theater (if they aren't texting during it), but that's it. As most trailers are consumed on the internet now, the majority of people know what they are clicking on before they watch it.
Outside of Fiennes, the film also stars Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Harris Dickinson, Daniel Brühl, with Djimon Hounsou, and Charles Dance, which is a hell of a stacked cast. Vaughn has lofty intentions with this universe, that includes prequels, spinoffs, and television shows, so it feels like any of those cast members could anchor their own adventure if that is something worth exploring.
"Real power is not found running off to war. Real power lies in understanding who it is you're truly fighting."
That might be the most important quote of the trailer. Not only does it suggest that this will be a bit of a spy thriller mixed in with the war stuff, but also that there might be a twist about who is working for who. Fiennes makes a great villain (he was Lord Voldemort after all), and I wouldn't be surprised if things leaned that way in the third act.
The trailer sold me in a way that the mere idea did not. So it did exactly what it was supposed to do. We'll see if it translates well to the actual film.
The King's Man hits theaters February 14, 2020.
If you noticed anything of interest about the trailer, be sure to let me know in any of the usual areas!
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