Gunn is obviously the centerpiece of the push for a movie that’s being sold as half a female-empowerment story and half a tense Wall Street thriller about financial regulations and investigations. The former, though, is the part of the campaign, at least, that works best. The part of the movie that’s about women unabashedly being who they are – whether that’s a cutthroat banker or crusading, law-abiding regulator – is the one that appears much more intriguing than the story of potential corporate malfeasance. That’s largely because it’s a much more vital and original story and so presents the bigger value proposition to the audience.
It’s easy to take some issue with what’s on display here. The language is a bit crude and all that in what appears to be attempts at a few easy laughs. So I’m anxious to see if there’s something else going on in the story. But what I also notice is that the campaign shows the moms do indeed give into their urges to have a good time while not at all abandoning their kids. They still deal with them and everything else, it’s just that they shirk some of the societal expectations while still fulfilling the basic tenets of motherhood. Compare that to movies about bad dads, where even in comedies they often completely abandon their family, if only for a short time, to go get their head back on straight. (I’m looking at you, City Slickers.) That’s indicative of the role women are still expected to play, meaning the movie is actually about adding “crazy party girl” to the list of things they need to accomplish on any given day.
The central theme, in case it’s not obvious from all the materials, of the campaign is that Damon is back and we’re really kind of hoping you don’t hold that Renner-starring movie against us. That approach allows the studio to not really focus on the story – whatever there may be of one – since it’s not the attraction, Damon is. It’s all about how we’ve enjoyed his previous outings as the character and after a misguided attempt at contract negotiations went awry he’s returned and now you can enjoy another trip to the movies.
I can’t find any big problems with the campaign. It sells a good, dramatic movie that will appeal to a smaller demographic because of its tone and subject matter but it does so in a solid manner and in a way that should reach the target market. The press push in particular is really solid, playing up the unique artistic credentials on display here and selling it as an experience completely unlike what you’ll find in a super hero or other franchise movie.
The movie that’s on display here does seem very attractive. Again, Janney and Page are both ass-kickers and teaming them up is always a good idea, which is why people keep doing it. This is the rare occasion where I truly feel like there’s plenty to the movies story that hasn’t been revealed in the trailers and other materials, so I’m looking forward to seeing this and finding out what other areas the story explores.