The movie trailer for Red 2 draws on arguments of ethos, pathos, and logos to convince the viewer to see the movie. The type of character that Bruce Willis typically plays displays the ethos of the main character. An argument for pathos is created by the use of the color red. The trailer draws on a logos argument by using well-known actors and showing the awards they have won.
The trailer opens with humor, and this shows the genre of the movie while capturing the viewer’s attention. A logos argument tells the viewer that the actor Bruce Willis generally stars in action movies, so if there is comedy the viewer can safely assume that the movie is an action comedy. Phrases are then flashed on the screen with a red background. The phrases help to show what the movie is about, but the real story is the subconscious pathos argument of the red background. Not only does the red background draw comparisons to the movie’s title, but it also subconsciously alerts the viewer to the big actions scenes that they can expect from Red 2. Understanding Movies describes red as suggesting “aggressiveness, violence, and stimulation.” (Giannetti 22) The viewer is excited about the prospect of action just because of the red background. The trailer then shows the impossible stunts and explosions that one might expect from a Bruce Willis film, mixed in with cleverly timed quips that give the movie its humor.
Bruce Willis is well recognized for his role in the Die Hard films. People can connect his character in Die Hard to the character that he plays in Red 2 and expect him to be a good person that will do what is right at all costs. This is an argument of ethos. People like the character and his moral values so they want to see him in more movies.
The trailer also uses music to form a pathos argument. The music is exciting rock music that moves quickly. This makes the viewer excited because they expect to see intense fighting and explosions.
Close to the end of the trailer, academy award winners Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren are introduced. This is a logos argument that states that if these actors are good enough to win awards in other movies then they will be good in this movie. Viewers believe that they will see just as good of a performance in this movie as the actors were in their other movies.
In total, the preview uses ethos, pathos, and logos to convince viewers to watch the movie. It opens with humor to grab attention and keeps it with action and explosions. The ethos of characters that Bruce Willis’ plays in other movies is attractive to people who watch the trailer. A pathos argument is formed by the color red in the background that excites viewers with the potential for action. The trailer displays several award winning actors to create a logos argument. I rate this trailer four out of five slurpees for its use of rhetorical devices. The genre of action comedy is clear throughout the entire trailer. I did not award the trailer a full five slurpees because there is little depth to it. Its most convincing argument is the explosions and stunts that define it as an action movie. The trailer is effective at convincing people to see the movie.