Trailer Overkill: Taking the Mystique out of Looper

Rian Johnson's LOOPER drops September 28.

Last week, the trailer for Rian Johnson’s (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) highly anticipated new film Looper hit the web. I watched once out of curiosity and it solidified the movie’s place on my personal list of Fall must-sees. I was prepared to not think any more of the trailer — after all, why should I? The purpose of a trailer is to convince you to buy a ticket and this assemblage of Looper did exactly that for me.

But over the next few days, it seemed like my Twitter and Facebook feeds were crowded with nothing but re-posts of said trailer, with friends and colleagues practically analyzing it frame-by-frame. At the very least, some had watched it dozens of times. My big question was: Why? Surely, the trailer is expertly edited enough that it gets your adrenaline pumping as you watch it… But don’t repeat viewings of promotional materials ultimately take away from the experience of watching the movie once it’s out?

I guess I’m not so much surprised by this practice–after all, I’ve covered many a preview footage-filled Comic-Con–as I am perplexed by it. It seems that true fanboys would want to feel the wonder of a true “virgin” moviegoing experience, avoiding advanced footage at all costs. Had I been more invested in Looper from the get-go, I probably would have forgone the online trailer, even looked at the floor if it came on before a movie at the multiplex (as I did with Cabin in the Woods after I was warned to avoid spoilers).

Today, things got even more ridiculous when MTV posted the following director’s commentary enhanced recording of the trailer:

Yep, that’s Johnson talking over what’s essentially a piece of advertising, discussing motivations on the project, etc. It’s about the same as what you’d get at a Comic-Con Q&A and obviously he has the integrity/investment to not spoil anything about his work, but I just don’t get it. Isn’t going to the movies about discovering something, not seeing something you’ve experienced before?