Well that was a pretty gripping trailer. Z for Zachariah’s first trailer was pretty intense, but oddly pretty. The scenery was great, dichotomy between Chris Pine and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margo Robbie’s innocence and willpower, and just the overall premise had me sitting up in my bed with my eyes glued to the screen. So, let’s break this end of the world thriller down and look at what did and didn’t work in this trailer, and then I’ll give you my overall impression.
That Valley Location
A lot of the time people don’t realize how important a location can be for the success of a film. Even though the film presented itself as a post-apocalyptic thriller, the scenery gives you a sense of hope and wonderment within a world that you assume is devastated. However, as we can see in the trailer, the scenery is used to hint at larger problems the characters are having. I’m a sucker for filmmakers personifying their locations to foreshadow what is to come.
The Pure Talent
It speaks volume to the actors involved with this movie that they are going to be able to carry this film with just each other. These actors are more than well equipped to do that though. Let’s start with Margo Robbie. Much doesn’t need to be said about her. She has raw talent and is on a hot streak right out of the gates. She knows how to be cunning and independent, which is great to see when you pit her against two great male actors. Chiwetel delivers another emotional performance. I think that there might be some underlying villainous intentions, but I will have to wait to see another trailer to really come to a better conclusion. Finally, Chris Pine is looking psycho. I’m admittedly not a big Chris Pine fan but he is looking like he’s stepping away from the whole suave, pretty-boy persona he’s usually associated with. I love that, and I think it’s necessary when going up against Chiwetel who is known for playing cunning villains and honorable heroes.
The Plot So Far
We obviously don’t know everything about where the movie is headed, but the picture that was painted for us in the trailer is fantastic. It’s biblical undertones are very present, but welcomed. You can tell that the movie is going to focus on the destruction of an oasis, much like the Garden of Eden. I’m always interested in different versions of a post-apocalyptic world, and I applaud this film for showing much more of the spared part of the world than the devastation. Instead, it seems like that pain and devastation will be creeping into the area of salvation on the backs of Pine and Ejiofor. I can’t tell yet if Ejiofor will turn out to be bad as well or if Pine is the clear cut villain here. I’m just really interested in seeing how each persuade Robbie to be on either side and what that means for this oasis.
What Didn’t Work?
The Last Sequence of the Trailer
The ending montage of short clips seems a little too focused on the romance rather than the survival to me. I know it is just the first trailer and I’m sure there is a lot more to see, but I just wish it didn’t refocus so much on the love triangle at the end. I would have rather it kept with the bleakness and wonderment with what the world is now and how this valley survived. The ending felt a bit like season 2 of the Walking Dead with Shane and Rick. Other than this minor detail though, it was a very fine trailer.
I’m sold. I had never heard of this movie before today, and now I can’t wait to see it. The trailer painted a lovely picture of this world for us, while giving us enough plot that we have an idea of what will happen without knowing everything. I think there are still plenty more twists and turns left in the movie that we won’t see coming, and I can’t wait for that. So, you should now be excited for this movie by this trailer.
As always, let me know what you thought about the trailer in the comments below. Did it excite you? Did you know this movie even existed before this? Do you like the premise of the film? Thank you for reading and please follow me on Twitter @HaneyCasey and keep an eye out for mine and Richard’s podcast coming out soon on Youtube.