Super Bowl LV … well it was a football game alright.
To be blunt, unless you’re a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan (congratulations to you) or a diehard “Tom Brady is the GOAT” mark, this game was fairly terrible. It was barely competitive and over before it began.
Now, traditionally if a game is hot garbage (looking at you Patriots vs. Rams from two years ago), there’s always film and TV trailers to save the day. These trailers give us some sort of hope for movies and TV shows coming our way in the near and not-so near future.
This year, it seemed like a lock certain we’d see a ton of trailers. Warner Media announced all their films scheduled for “same day premieres” in theaters and HBO Max in December. Netflix hadThe Rock, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds drop that big “movies of 2021” trailer in January. Disney+ announced a megaton of content coming in their Investors Call. Network shows are returning (slowly) and there’s still films that we talked about last year that have yet to find the light of day.
However, none of this was the case.
Naturally we were inundated with ads for CBS’ in-house content such as The Equalizer (airing after the game), the Yellowstone prequel series, Clarice (the Silence of the Lambs sequel series) and Paramount+, Viacom’s new streaming platform (which CBS All Access is being folded into). The Paramount+ spots have aired before and still remain entertaining while Clarice and The Equalizer were as tame as you’d expect on CBS.
There’s some ads that you can find labeled “big game ads” but we did not see these during the game and no site (as of yet) have confirmed they’ve aired during the game, so we’ll link them here. The first is an incredible trailer for the Amy Poehler-directed comedy Moxie and the upcoming NBC series Young Rock.
So despite all this, here’s the site’s ranking of the Super Bowl LV trailers…
6. Fast 9 aka F9
Release Date: Coming Soon. (Theaters)
Starring: Vin Diesel, John Cena, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, Lucas Black, Jordana Brewster, Helen Mirren, Michael Rooker, Cardi B, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel
Director: Justin Lin
The Fast 9/F9 trailer is ranked the lowest for two reasons. First, it embodies the big problem with all but one of the Super Bowl LV trailers — there are better, longer versions of the trailer to be found online.
Second, this is essentially a watered down version of last year’s big game trailer and the spoiler-filled four and a half minute spoiler-filled nonsense that dropped a few days before that. This felt a little too rushed and a bit defanged from last year’s trailer. But does F9 really need a hard sell? You’ve got 4,000 explosions, cars doing ridiculous things and the film introduces John Cena as the bad guy (who’ll eventually be a good guy). Simply put, if you’re a Fast fan…do you even need a trailer, or do you just a tweet telling you where to buy tickets?
Release Date: April 2, 2021 (Theaters)
Starring: Bob Odenkirk, Connie Nielsen, Christopher Lloyd, RZA
Director: Ilya Naishuller
Not sure any one asked for Bob Odenkirk to star in a John Wick-esque action flick, but here we are. The basic premise here (and not explained well in this trailer) is that Odenkirk is every day guy with a big secret — he was a highly trained government agent whose talent for killing has laid dormant for years. Sadly, this trailer explains none of that and there’s a better one to find online.
However, the point of this ad really was to shock the audience that the man known as a lawyer on Breaking Bad or exclaiming “My Little Women!” shooting people with bloody hatred in his eyes. And for that, it did it’s job really well.
4. Coming 2 America
Release Date: Mach 5, 2021 (Amazon Prime Video)
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Wesley Snipes, Jermaine Fowler, KiKi Layne, Shari Headley, John Amos.
Director: Craig Brewster
Coming 2 America’s spot in the Super Bowl served as a reminder that Eddie Murphy was back in his iconic role of Akeem, rule of Zamunda. Again, a better, fuller trailer exists online explaining the plot and giving us some chuckle-inducing comedic moments (particularly with Wesley Snipes). This however, was the hook the mainstream audience in with an easy (and just flat) joke about Wakanda and a recreations of the famed barbershop sequence from the original film where Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall play multiple characters within the scene.
3. Falcon & The Winter Soldier
Release Date: March 13, 2021 (although the TV spot doesn’t announce it. Airing on Disney+)
Starring: Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Daniel Bruhl, Emily VanCamp, Wyatt Russell
This was a genius trailer. Was it because it was mind-blowingly original and creative? No. It was because the whole purpose of the trailer seemed to be to drive you to go to Disney+’s YouTube page in order to view a longer trailer with the actual release date in it. And since that trailer now has 3.6 million views less than a day after the TV spot, it sure seems effective.
The TV spot here is pretty much what we saw during the Disney Investor Day. It was a typical MCU trailer — flashy with rapid fire editing and big explosions and a little smattering of humor. Much like F9, if you’re a Marvel fan you didn’t need the hard sell on this series to tune in, you just needed the start date.
2. Raya & The Last Dragon
Release Date: March 5, 2021 (Disney+ Premier Access, Theaters)
Starring: Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Sandra Oh, Benedict Wong, Alan Tudyk
Directed by: Don Hall, Carlos Lopez Estrada
The majesty of this film cannot be denied, especially in this trailer. Like most of the Super Bowl LV trailers, there’s better trailers for this film elsewhere, but this felt like the best of “truncated trailers.” Disney+ needs to sell people on picking this up on the paid Premier Access part of the service and this was the perfect way to capture the family watching the game. It had great visuals, big action set pieces and a dragon cracking wise. Sure, this might not have not been as visually stunning or narratively rich as other trailers, but as a hook for the kids and parents who aren’t attuned to all things cinematic, but are generally Disney animated film ticket buyers, this definitely was a home run.
Release Date: July 23, 2021 (Theaters)
Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Ken Leung, Alex Wolff, Eliza Scanlen, Abby Lee, Embeth Daviditz, Emun Elliott,
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
This was hands down the best of the Super Bowl LV trailers for so many reasons. Outside of Nobody, this was the only non-sequel, non-franchise trailer. It was not a big budget spectacle. It was not a shoot ’em up. The trailer’s success was steeped in the M. Night effect. The effect of a lot of things are happening, we have no idea what is happening and we need to find out everything about this film immediately. All we know right now is there’s a beach and it turns people older and it is weird and frightening. The commercial was a true shock to anyone watching this game and the commercials with a malaise fueled by buffalo wings and broken hopes for a competitive game. This also has the high rewatch quotient (who doesn’t want to find out more here?) as well as that buzzy water cooler vibe where you just have to talk to your friends, coworkers, colleagues, etc. about it.