Thursday, September 4, 2014

Before Tomorrow Even Begins: Edge of Tomorrow Movie Trailer

Gunnar Nystrom

Ms. Kassia Waggoner

Intermediate Composition

4 September 2014

Before Tomorrow Even Begins

            What do you think of when you hear the words “Edge of Tomorrow”? Interestingly enough, this is the title of a movie. Just by examining the title, I would expect to witness a movie concerning the end of the day, or to a more extreme extent, the end of existence. In the trailer for Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise, director Doug Liman chose the latter and more extreme of the two.
            Straight from the beginning of the trailer, one can see an easily recognizable Tom Cruise lying confused on top of a hospital bed. Eerie music is playing in the background with the lyrics repeating, “This is not the end”. Tom Cruise is narrating, “What I am about to tell you sounds crazy, but you have to listen to me. Your very lives depend on it.” So besides the easily noticeable Tom Cruise, the audience can now assume that this movie will be some type of serious, dramatic, possibly action packed film. The use of eerie music invokes an emotional appeal also known as Pathos. From personal experience, I can say that it gives me a mysterious, unnerving feeling in the pit of my stomach. I feel it is safe to assume that this is the same for much of the audience paying witness to this trailer. Tom Cruise goes on to state, “You see, this isn’t the first time”. As he says this, we get a glimpse of Tom Cruise in some sort of battle suit jumping out of a burning plane further proving that this movie will be action packed.

            The editors then chose to insert a few more of Tom Cruise’s narrations, “The invasion will fail, along with every soldier you are sending. We lose everything”. The editors decided to include these hard, concrete facts to incorporate some pathos and logos to the trailer. The emotional appeal comes from the sense of seriousness that the audience receives from these comments. A slight logical appeal is also created through the statement of facts concerning the plot of the film. In addition, more logical appeal is created with the presence of military technology and Tom Cruise’s suit. The addition of scientific ideas and technology gives the audience a more realistic expectation for the movie.
The director first begins to establish his credibility and authority by letting the audience know that he was the director of The Bourne Identity and Mr. And Mrs. Smith. This is one of the most obvious signs of ethos, or ethical appeal that one can find in the trailer. Yet, when thinking back to the beginning, we also find ethos when the editors chose to simply include the Warner Brothers Studio symbol and the Village Roadshow Pictures insignia. According to Andrea Lunsford in her book, Everything’s an Argument, “authority can be conveyed through fairly small signals that readers may pick up almost subconsciously”(Lunsford 59). We often ignore the beginning production companies, but we are still receiving credibility just by watching them move across the screen.
The next scene jumps to a military man dressed in a sergeant’s uniform explaining to Tom, “This is Judgment Day”. From that point onward, we now know this is a film concerning a fight to defend the world from complete destruction. After a few more battle scenes, Emily Blunt surfaces on the screen in ferocious fashion spinning through the air with a large two-handed sword. Her first words consist of her announcing, “What happened to you, happened to me”. With these words, we get the sense that the two main protagonists are connected. There is a hint of romance and emotional appeal, but it makes more sense to say that they are destined to survive or die in battle together. The editors used this idea of death to provide a variety of pathos, allowing the audience to feel sympathy for the end of mankind. After all, “arguments based on emotion probably count more when you’re persuading than when you’re arguing” (Lunsford 42). The creators of the trailer are not trying to argue that the movie is great, but rather persuade you to see it. In this case, the creators are trying to persuade you through an assortment of emotional appeals.
Overall, the genre of the movie seems to be a combination of science fiction and action. The trailer provides a variety of action scenes and even shows the words, “Live, die, repeat”. After showing those words twice, it makes the movie seem as if it will be quite repetitive. This could possibly draw the audience away from the theaters because they do not want to see a movie that is incredibly repetitive and monotonous. However, I find it fair to make the point that I did actually see this movie and that it received an 8.1 on IMDB, which is actually quite high. But in all truth, I would rate this trailer with a three out of 5 pickles, much worse than the IMDB rating itself. It appears that while the trailer for a movie is incredibly significant, it does not always do a movie justice. 

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