One of my favorite books of the last few years has to be Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, the story of a father and son’s harrowing journey across the ruins of post-apocalyptic America. The novel was a big hit last year, dubbed by many to be an “instant-classic” after it won the Pulitzer Prize. So of course, a feature film adaptation was inevitable.

Well, the first trailer for The Road recently dropped and I have to say, I’m a little bit miffed about how this trailer is (mis)representing what the novel and the movie are really about.

Take a look at the first trailer for The Road:

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The Road was originally supposed to hit theaters last November, but studio The Weinstein Company decided to hold off on releasing it until Fall of 2009 – no doubt another one of old Harv Weinstein’s master Oscar strategies. And though I’m pissed that the film was delayed, the hold-off at least suggests that the finished film is worthy of Oscar consideration. But does the trailer you just saw make you believe that in the least?

Here’s my beef: This trailer makes The Road out to be some kind of post-apocalyptic action film with a heart. It’s not that at all. Anyone who is a fan of Cormac McCarthy (you probably know a little book he wrote called No Country For Old Men) knows that his version of “action” is pretty straightforward and often very brutal. No extravagant chase scenes or “things-go-boom” moments in that man’s books. Violence is quick, messy, and the consequences are decisive – none of which we like to see in our action flicks.

At its core, The Road is about the bond between father and son, a fragile bond brought into intense focus by the hellish circumstances they are living in. How does a father protect his son and raise him to be a good man in a world gone mad? For sure there are some thrilling moments in the book, but like I said, they are straightforward, simple and brutal; the kind of violence that is meant to disturb, rather than entertain. This trailer makes The Road look like freaking Running Man set in the woods.

Weinstein Company, why you cut the first trailer this way, I’ll never know. You delay The Road nearly a year, likely hoping to up your Oscar chances, and then you go and sell us an action film? Maybe you think that an action film is the only way to sell John Q. Public on seeing The Road, like: “Middle America loves a down-home family man action hero!”

I think its insulting that they’re not pushing this film based on the merits of its story. Cormac McCarthy had a son late in life (in his 60’s, I believe) and The Road is a brilliant meditation on his paternal emotions as only an older man could render them. Any father (or mother for that matter) will understand what that’s all about.

On the positive side, I do like the way the film looks, and how actors Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee look as The Man and The Boy. Just how I’d imagined them. However, I think this trailer totally misrepresents the role The Wife (Charlize Theron) plays in the story. I get that they’re trying to play off Theron’s star power, but I think that little bend-of-truth is going to piss people off when they see the movie.

The Road is paved to open sometime in October of 2009. Click here for an HD version of the trailer. If you want to see more of the film, we’ve got some still photos from The Road.

What did you think of the first trailer?

Source: Yahoo Movies