Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Sue the studios over misleading trailers

You have to love this story about the lady in Michigan who is suing the distributors of Drive for issuing a misleading trailer. Now, in a sense she’s right. If you look at the footage above — I assume this …

Tue, Oct 11, 2011, 22:25

   
YouTube Preview Image

You have to love this story about the lady in Michigan who is suing the distributors of Drive for issuing a misleading trailer. Now, in a sense she’s right. If you look at the footage above — I assume this is the relevant clip — you could, indeed, be persuaded that the film features much more action and intrigue than Nicolas Winding Refn actually delivers. The lady said that Drive “bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film … having very little driving in the motion picture”. (She also accused the film of being anti-Semitic, but, even if that were true, this is surely an entirely different issue. Did she want men in white hoods in the promo?)

But here’s the thing. The film is actually better than the trailer suggests. Rather than being another Fast ‘n’ Furious crash ‘em up, Drive turns out to be a sly, insidious take on the traditions of the existential western (and existential samurai film and existential gangster flick). This is rather like suing Moet and Chandon for serving champagne in a bottle marked “English Sherry”.

If you have too much time and too much money, you could sue the makers of such films as The Lives of Others or the original Girl With a Dragon Tattoo for issuing trailers that offer no clues those entertainments are not in English. Out there on IMDb, you will find punters complaining that the promo for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy suggests the film is packed with cheap thrills and mindless violence. Why not send a writ to Studio Canal for that outrage? The problem is, of course, that by doing so, you are just advertising your own low-brow inclinations. This film wasn’t dumb enough for me. How dare you force me to read subtitles or puzzle over a plot that doesn’t spell everything out in crayon.

That said, I am considering taking an action against the makers of the upcoming The Three Musketeers 3D. There’s nothing misleading in the merchandising. But there must, surely, be some law against foisting something so aggressively awful on decent hard-working people who just want a nice evening in the cinema. Mind you, the dread words “Orlando Bloom” do appear on the poster. That offers fair warning.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 10 days from the date of publication.