The TV commercials during the Super Bowl this year had more lows than highs, but overall, there were enough laughs and spectacle in between game time to make those four hours or so run smoothly. Like every other year, major studios buy pricey TV spots for only their most expensive and (financially) promising movies. Yesterday, we saw new TV spots promoting the likes of Top Gun: Maverick, Mulan, and Black Widow, to name a few. If anyone is in need of a full-on rundown or refresher of the night’s commercials, look no further.
The Invisible Man (Release Date: February 28th)
After Universal’s grand and naive plans for remaking their monster movie classics was flushed down the toilet by the failure of The Mummy, the studio turned to Blumhouse for their next remake. Unlike The Mummy, Blumhouse and director Leigh Whannell (Upgrade) are sticking to their title’s horror roots. Based on the trailer and a new TV spot, The Invisible Man is character-driven horror in the vein of the original film:
Mulan (Release Date: March 27th)
Disney’s most recent live-action remakes or updates, like Mary Poppins Returns and The Lion King, have been huge hits but creatively uninspiring. They were more of the same. Disney’s new live-action film based on animated classic, though, looks to stand out from the Disney crowd with practical sets, a story that could actually translate well to live-action, and more graceful action scenes. Directed by Niki Caro, Mulan continues to look promising with its large-scale super bowl TV spot:
No Time to Die (Release Date: April 8th)
Daniel Craig’s time as James Bond is over. The actor did a remarkable job of bringing the character into the 21st century by softening his charm and highlighting his brutish anger. He’s a killer, as Casino Royale and its sequels made loud and clear. He’s grown a bit over the course of the movies, but Craig’s last Bond pic, Spectre, was a major setback for the character and the franchise. Hopefully, director Cary Fukanaga is getting the character back on the right track with a sequel that ties all of the past Craig-Bond films together:
Black Widow (Release Date: May 1st)
Black Window (Scarlett Johansson) died in Avengers: Endgame, but as Marvel has proven, death is never the end. With the long-awaited Black Widow movie, Marvel is taking a trip to the past. Black Widow is alive and well, and this time, she’s on a more personal mission in her homeland, Russia. Like Captain America: Winter Soldier, Black Widow has spy thriller vibes to go along with the large-scale action and destruction:
F9 (Release Date: May 22nd)
The most beloved family in popcorn cinema is back this summer with a new member or two. The most recent trailer revealed two major surprises for the faithful, ride-or-die Fast & Furious fans: Han is dead no longer and Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) has a pissed off baby brother (John Cena). The TV spot doesn’t top those surprises, but it comes with a reminder of what’s in store from director Justin Lin, the real author of the franchise. He set the tone and scope of the series with Fast Five. After a couple of years away from the franchise, he’s back at the helm:
Top Gun: Maverick (Release Date: June 26th)
Maverick (Tom Cruise), where’ve you been all our lives? Who would’ve thought in 2020 people would be actively looking forward to a sequel to Tony Scott’s groundbreaking popcorn movie, Top Gun, which took aerial shots to the next level. Tragically, Scott passed away years ago. Directing the sequel is Joseph Kosinski, who made TRON: Legacy and worked with Cruise on the comfort food sci-fi movie, Oblivion. Cruise, as always, looks in top form and Kosinski has, at the very least, captured some spectacular action:
Minions: The Rise of Gru (Release Date: July 3rd)
A franchise that just doesn’t quit. Another Minions sequel is on the way, telling the story of how young Gru became a super villain. Per usual, Illumination is behind the Minions movie. It looks like more of the same. These movies are for kids and kids alone. Based on how much money these movies make, how much merchandise they sell, and all the minions running around Universal Studios, kids continue to enjoy the hell out of these loud, annoying characters. They were once fairly cute in the first Despicable Me. As long as they make kids happy, though, why complain?