Halftime Leisure

Trailer Takes: Morbius, The Lovebirds, Guns Akimbo

January 26, 2020

Illustration by Egan Barnitt

Trailer 1 — Morbius (2020)

Steven: Ok, so mad scientist is running out of time, has to test the cure on himself, turns out the cure has some ridiculously over-the-top side effects, yadda yadda yadda, supervillain. I’m pretty sure this has been the B-plot for about half of all Spiderman movies ever made. Aside from proving that I don’t want to see Jared Leto as a sex symbol, this trailer doesn’t really do anything interesting. But WTF is up with that ending? As I understand it, Morbius is supposed to be in the same movie universe as Venom (2018) which is not part of the MCU, but Michael Keaton played the Vulture in Spiderman: Homecoming (2017) which is part of the MCU. So what is he doing in this trailer, seemingly playing the same character? Are Venom and Morbius now officially Marvel movies? Is Spiderman no longer part of Marvel? Is Michael Keaton even still playing the Vulture? Could he be Birdman? Or Batman? I really hope he’s Batman. Even if this movie sucks I would go see it ten times in theaters if he’s Batman. 

Orly: I’m not going to lie, I’m really confused! I actually really like superhero movies, but I don’t know who Morbius is because he wasn’t in Avengers Endgame (2019), so here we are. From what I can gather, we have yet another run of the mill superhero/villain origin story with dim lighting. Of course, the next question is which cliche backstory was used this time? It’s a botched science experiment! Morbius has a disease and wants to cure himself, but in the process of doing so turns himself into a vampire. You, the viewer, should be intimidated by this—which you know because Fuer Elise is playing eerily in the background. As a side note, there’s a poster on the side of the screen at one point where someone graffitied “MURDERER” onto Spiderman’s face, so I’m assuming this has something to do with Spiderman? Which I guess means Michael Keaton is playing yet another Spiderman villain, but I don’t actually know because IMDb didn’t list a character next to his name on the cast list. The next recommended video is “Morbius Trailer Breakdown”, so maybe I’ll watch that and get back to you.

Blythe: With so many versions of Spiderman across the many superhero universes, I never have any idea what’s going on these days. From what I can gather, Morbius is supposed to be a follow-up to Venom (2018) in that it tries to expand a specifically Spiderman-based universe through films about the main man’s villains. I was one of those people that thought Venom (2018) was comedic genius, but given that I still can’t tell if that was the film’s intention, I don’t know if I have any real or grounded expectations for Morbius as its successor. It seems to take itself very seriously, adding a darker tone, a theme Sony has struggled with given that its previous standouts include the more light-hearted Into the Spider-Verse (2018) (which, let’s be honest, was peak Spiderman). I’d argue that the dark superhero movie category has struggled in general since The Dark Knight (looking at you, DC). To be completely honest, there was very little that specifically stood out to me with this trailer, and it felt like a pretty par for the course villain origin story given that I’m not super familiar with the source material: “Ah yes, ‘tis I, a mad scientist with an experiment that will go wrong”. I don’t see Morbius being the next great villain film of our time, however, for Jared Leto’s sake, I can only hope this doesn’t end up as another Suicide Squad (2016) situation. 


Trailer 2 — The Lovebirds (2020)

Steven: Remember when Kumail Nanjiani made The Big Sick, one of the funniest, most heartfelt, all around best movies of 2017? Oh how quickly that shining star dimmed. Following on the heels of 2019’s twin trash fires Stuber and Men in Black: International, Nanjiani is back with The Lovebirds, another movie that seems like it’s trying so, so hard to be funny and failing so, so miserably. The jokes in this trailer were all either obvious or not funny, the cinematography looked lazy, and Nanjiani’s talents seemed wasted (I’m not as familiar with Issa Rae’s prior work, but from what I’ve heard she can do better too). They don’t even get their cultural references right; that tuxedo and masks scene is much more Eyes Wide Shut (1999) than The Handmaid’s Tale

Orly: To be perfectly honest, when this trailer first started playing I thought it was the ad before the trailer. It was not. I hate to be like this, but this movie simply looks bad. The trailer really pushed my buttons, especially because I am just so frustrated with the movie industry right now. Can someone please explain why every comedy being released to theaters nowadays has the same brand of unfunny humor? It’s like Hollywood writers take the same general types of joke—over-the-top yelling, people falling, cheesy one-liners, etc., etc.—and recycle them in every freaking movie. It’s so lazy! This film is not the first to do this and it certainly won’t be the last, but the opportunity has presented itself, so I just needed to get that out there. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

Blythe: Watching this trailer made me really consider how I would respond if I were involved in a murder mystery. Realistically, not very well, and with significantly less motivation than this film’s starring couple, Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani) and Leilani (Issa Rae). The Lovebirds tries to appeal to younger generations with its lack of self-seriousness, trying to channel both the self-loathing attributed to millennials and the absolute nihilism associated with Gen Z. As with most modern attempts at such, it comes off as trying too hard and ends up losing a lot of its comedy. Also, I found myself thinking a lot about those pictures that came out showing how ripped Kumail Nanjiani is now. As someone who doesn’t tend to be drawn to comedies too often, I did find myself exhaling from my nose once or twice throughout this trailer, but it didn’t really stand out to me. I am excited to see that the clumsy comedy duo genre is becoming more diverse, though. 


Trailer 3 — Guns Akimbo (2020)

Steven: Between the “edgy” jokes, aggressive pop music, goofy violence, blonde psychopath with dyed hair and the whole “we’re bad guys being forced to go on a suicide mission” plotline, this trailer reminds me uncomfortably of Suicide Squad (2016). Seriously, replace wisecracking Rhys Darby with wisecracking Jai Courtney, gun-toting Daniel Radcliffe with gun-toting Will Smith and Samara Weaving with Margot Robbie and you’d basically have a trailer for Suicide Squad 2. The title card for Guns Akimbo even uses almost the exact same neon font with spinning weapons on a dark blue background aesthetic that Suicide Squad did. Suicide Squad is possibly the worst movie I have ever suffered through and I will do anything in my power to avoid a film that’s seemingly trying to emulate it.

Orly: The font used in this trailer looks like Fortnite. Also, Harry Potter is using an American accent. These were both intentional choices, but are also the only two important things about this trailer. Lowkey though, this movie looks entertaining! I enjoyed watching the trailer, though it took two viewings for me to get a grasp on what exactly it was that I was watching, and why Daniel Radcliffe had guns nailed to his hands (that was my own fault, though, it was explained pretty clearly, the American accent just distracted me). There were a few too many close-ups for my taste, but all in all, this may be a fun thing to watch when I am stuck in my boring town over spring break with nothing to entertain me.

Blythe: Two things really struck me about the trailer for Guns Akimbo. First of all, how off-putting it is to hear Daniel Radcliffe speak in an American accent. Second, the realization I had about thirty seconds in that this was the source of that meme of Daniel Radcliffe in the street waving guns while wearing pajamas. The film immediately establishes the requirement for a certain gore tolerance in its audience with Radcliffe permanently having guns bolted to his hands in a particularly gruesome fashion. Eclectic, video-game like characters try to kill each other in gruesome but stylish fashion in order to please the most sadistic of audiences: internet-users. It seems to me that Guns Akimbo is trying to bring the e-girl aesthetic to the action-comedy genre, which means it intends to be all style with little substance. Overall, the trailer kind of gave me gruesome, not-quite-punk Scott Pilgrim vibes, and seems to be more than anything yet another attempt by Radcliffe to convince the world that he is not, in fact, Harry Potter.

Blythe Dujardin
is a sophomore in the SFS whose most notable personality trait is being Canadian.

Orly Salik
Orly is a junior in the college and an assistant editor for Leisure. She exclusively wears heels so that people don't realize how short she is.

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