A few days back, the New York Times wrote about the social media savvy of the marketing team behind Universal’s Fast and Furious 6, a hugely successful franchise relegated to “second class citizenship” because it lacks the “cultural cachet” and “dazzling computerized effects” of competitor franchises like Harry Potter or Transformers. But where F&F6 is second to none is in its “astounding online following,” leveraging Vin Diesel‘s 39 million Facebook followers (among others) and rewarding fan input by casting The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) and bringing back Michelle Rodriguez. Read the article for details.
What I wanted to note in this post was the mobilization of spectacle and stars in the teaser shown at the Superbowl and promoted so effectively and pervasively via social media, making F&F6 the most talked about (tweeted, mentioned, liked) of the 6 major releases promoted during the Feb. 3rd. Game.
Spectacle, or something you’ve never seen before that you desire to see, features prominently in the 1:03 teaser. In this film, it’s (at least) the sequence in which a jumbo jet is hobbled at takeoff, its wings “clipped,” and its fuselage brought down to the tarmac. If this enough, a vehicle, driven by Mr. Diesel, explodes through the nose-cone of the plane in a blaze of fire and debris. This is a bonafide visual treat and demonstrates the production’s capacity for jaw-dropping stunts.
With its lineup of co-stars, including Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Luke Evans, Tyrese Gibson, Gina Carano and Michelle Rodriguez, F&F6 delivers familiar and appealing cast-mates, while responding to Fan Feedback with the inclusion of Johnson and the resurrection of Rodriguez.
Rodriguez appears only in the button to the teaser, hand-gun cocked and aimed as she delivers the punchline, “do you believe in ghosts?” in acknowledgement of her apparent death in F&F4.
Structurally, the teaser adduces the usual combination of quick-cut vehicular chases, kinetic stunts, powerful explosions and cast beauty shots connected by enough story information (the crew is re-assembled and guaranteed pardons for stopping an effort by another team of crack drivers that endangers the nation), to distinguish this sequel from its predecessors. But, that story, at least in its scale and consequence, must also trade on familiar visual, generic and actor appeals to compel a ticket buying decision regarding this latest installation.
If this is your kind of movie, the teaser provides persuasive evidence that you won’t be disappointed.
movietrailers101 by Fred Greene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.