It’s so easy to miss a AAA trailer these days, even with all the endless marketing build-up around teasers, pre-trailers (“in one day,” etc) and other forms of cinematic hype. A good trailer is an art form, one that is able to convey a movie’s plot, tone and style all while resisting that ever-present urge to score it to a slowed-down pop song. So here’s the Trailer Park, where we’re parking all the trailers you may have skipped, missed or want to revisit from the past week. Appreciate them. Nitpick them. Figure out if the movies they’re selling are actually going to be any good. That’s all part of the fun, after all.
This week, we’ve got everything from F9 to Army of the Dead, a pair of high-octane action movies that actually feature similarly outlandish elements.
Here are the best new movie trailers of the week:
Army of the Dead
Director: Zack Snyder
Release Date: May 21, 2021 (Netflix)
Director Zack Snyder looks to be setting his sights on releasing one of the zaniest zombie action films ever made, judging from the newly released trailer for Netflix’s upcoming Army of the Dead. Packed to the gills with cartoonish explosions, improvised weaponry and action sequences that look like live-action adaptations of a Dead Rising game, the freaking undead tiger is really just the icing on the cake.
Army of the Dead takes place in Las Vegas, where a zombie outbreak has destroyed the city, but left the rest of the country apparently intact. That means money still has some value, and like the inferior Train to Busan sequel Peninsula from last year, it’s what drives the story forward.—Jim Vorel
Director: Justin Lin
Release Date: June 25, 2021
By the looks of the trailer, this installment of the Fast franchise will provide even bigger stunts—at one point Vin Diesel safely barrel rolls out of a flying car—and more reality-bending tech. Look out for a magnet so strong it can send cars through sheets of metal, obligatory familial barbecue scenes, a cameo by Bow Wow and a Diesel/Cena smolder-off so exciting you’ll go “now that’s what I call acting in a billion-dollar action franchise.” Also: Space.—Adesola Thomas
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
Director: Patrick Hughes
Release Date: June 16, 2021
Filmmaker Patrick Hughes is on his way back with a grammatically messy sequel to his calculated piece of action-comedy snark. While the first film gave us Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds, the latter of which must protect the former, the new film adds in a game Salma Hayek to complicate the guarding relationships. Setting the shootouts to a Britney Spears song is pretty indicative of this franchise’s sense of humor, which will perhaps improve over the first film’s R-rated revelry thanks to Hayek’s additional talents.
Riders of Justice
Director: Anders Thomas Jensen
Release Date: May 14, 2021
Oh, Mads Mikkelsen. What won’t we watch you get up to? There’re few things more satisfying than watching one of our greatest living actors get up to some dramatic business, but sometimes it’s nice to watch them let loose in something pulpy, like a revenge thriller. In Riders of Justice, Mikkelsen goes full Taken on some bikers. The action looks solid and the script (along with the cast) seems savvy enough to sprinkle in some blackhearted humor among the standard brawls and blasts.
Director: Simon Barrett
Release Date: May 21, 2021
Horror movie geeks are quite familiar with the name Simon Barrett, as the writer-actor-producer has made quite a mark for himself in the last 15 years, primarily through collaborations with friend and recent Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard. Barrett was long the secret weapon of Wingard’s well-regarded early movies, having written two of the best: 2011’s You’re Next and 2014’s The Guest. Now, though, it’s time for Barrett to move behind the camera for his feature length directorial debut, Seance. Wingard, fittingly, is a producer this time around. Seance is set at a posh finishing school, in a similar mold to something like Osgood Perkins’ The Blackcoat’s Daughter. If we’re being honest, that’s a pretty rote description for a standard supernatural thriller, but Barrett’s films have always featured some crisp writing in the past, so we would expect this to be no different.—Jim Vorel
Honorable Mention: The Underground Railroad
Director: Barry Jenkins
Release Date: May 14, 2021 (Amazon Prime)
Yes, we know it’s TV. But it’s also Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and it looks downright awesome. Ten episodes? We’ll be binging this miniseries as soon as it drops, no problem.