In the last week, we have been graced with the release of a teaser trailer for two of the most anticipated superhero sequels due for 2018 release. The Incredibles 2 and Deadpool 2 are two very different ends of the superhero film spectrum, and while both could feasibly fall into the broad comedy genre, Incredibles is a family-friendly affair whilst Deadpool revels in its masturbation jokes. Seeing as both of these are just short teasers, I thought I’d check out both and do a little compare and contrast.
Full disclosure: I have never been a big fan of The Incredibles. I have always loved superheroes, but even as a kid, Pixar’s offering to the genre never really did it for me. Now I can see why most people loved it, but to me, it just felt like a weird hodgepodge of various superheroes mashed together as a strange combination of Fantastic Four and Watchmen. This teaser is pretty stock standard. It does what a teaser should do, which is to announce the film, but for something so hyped it seems little more than a logo announcement. It opens with Jack-Jack, the family’s Omega-Level baby, appearing in an empty red room (was he invisible or is this a different dimension? why do I care?) whilst crawling along and shooting lasers out of his eyes ala superman or cyclops. He spots The Incredibles logo and uses his laser eyes to the carve the ‘i’ into an ‘ii’ (get it? it’s a sequel!). Cut to Mr Incredible picking Jack-Jack up and exclaiming “You have powers!” Jack-Jack then sneezes, causing him to breathe fire, create lightning and fire his laser eyes simultaneously. This singes his dad’s hair and leaving him hysterically laughing –oh, the hijinks! This is a cute little teaser and is almost certainly aimed at getting previous fans hyped for this the up-and-coming sequel. In this age of nostalgia, fans can type ‘THIS IS MY CHILDHOOD!!!!’ excitedly in the comments, and the teaser has done its job. But for me, this doesn’t change my lack of interest. I guess I’ll just have to wait for the full trailer to get any kind of context for this thing.
Now. Deadpool. What is there to say really? The first film was a surprise smash and, although the character was already on the rise in popularity, the film just skyrocketed him to an A-list hero. I’m a big fan of Ryan Reynolds, and since the first film, the actor and the character have become almost synonymous. It is clear Deadpool is his passion project, and if it wasn’t for him, the first film, and by extension, its sequel, would never exist. To no one’s surprise, I loved the first film. It was a brilliant adaption, and its trailers, TV spots, Valentine’s Day ads (really the entire marketing campaign) shone with pure brilliance. But enough gushing. The teaser opens with Deadpool in a full Bob Ross outfit parodying Bob Ross’s TV show ‘The Joy of Painting’. The title card reads ‘Getting Wet on Wet with Deadpool 2,’ and most of the teaser consists of an extended skit. There are just too many jokes and pop culture references for me to mention them all, with names of the paint colours he is using flashing across the screen in true Bob Ross style. These colours include ‘Clockwork Orange’, ‘Soylent Green’, ‘Box Office Gold’ and ‘Betty White’. The obligatory masturbation joke is there, made about “whacking off” his paintbrush. After dropping his brush in a “whacking off” accident, we cut to a montage of clips that don’t give much away about the final film. Mostly, it’s just shots of various characters and action sequences and closes out Bob Ross style with a finished painting. This teaser continues Deadpool’s signature goofy, crude, fourth-wall breaking style in a brilliant fashion. While it doesn’t show off much of what to expect in the film itself, it showcases the films strongest drawcard—its humour. At the end of the day, if you don’t like the humour in this, you are not going to like the film in general.
When looking at both teaser trailers, I can’t help but feel that The Incredibles teaser just… didn’t do enough. While we can’t compare every marketing campaign to Deadpool‘s (it being notoriously extensive), Pixar’s efforts seemed a little shallow. It didn’t offer me anything to new to grow my already low interest in the film. While I know teasers shouldn’t be held to the same standards as a full two-minute affair, I feel that by comparing these two superhero sequels, we see the issues with the current ‘trailer for a trailer’ trend. Deadpool‘s trailer is different content and really, if marketers are going to insist on releasing teasers, I would like them to contain something substantial enough to warrant the click. Maybe you enjoyed seeing a slice of superhero parenthood but, for me, I would rather learn how to paint a beautiful watercolour with Wade.