First Trailer for ‘The Road’ Misses The Mark

Published 6 years ago by , Updated March 15th, 2013 at 12:13 pm,

the road still 5 First Trailer for The Road Misses The Mark

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:

[media id=142 width=570 height=340]

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!”

the road mortensen mcphee First Trailer for The Road Misses The Mark

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

TAGS: The road
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  1. Never read the book, but from what I have seen it does look pretty good…lol I’m always a sucker for post-apocalyptic films.

  2. Do we know if the actual film is more like the book, or like this trailer?
    I could totally see how the studio would fudge the film towards mainstream fare. Shoot, I was shocked when I heard this was being adapted. Way, way too despairing.

  3. I’ve read elsewhere that the movie is more like the book.

    I hate when they misrepresent a movie just to get butts in movie theater seats – in the end it just ends up pissing people off who went in expecting a certain type of film and got something completely different.


  4. Of course the trailer will emphasize the action sequences, because how can you convey complex paternal emotions in a 2 minute trailer? I am sure there will be more to come that will show us something more promising.

  5. The trailer targets the wrong audience and is just a complete miss in every respect.

    I was surprised that they didn’t show Robert Duvall or Guy Pearce but went with Garret Dillahunt instead. That was just about the only thing that I liked about the trailer.

  6. it’s only a trailer. trailers are designed to bring people to the seats who aren’t familiar with the book. we, who are familiar with it already, will be going so they don’t need to lure us in. the trailer does it’s job.

  7. ok

    1. completely miscast.

    2. he fires a TRACER round out of a six shooter? ummm…

    3. mad mad much?

    4. ill wait for DVD

  8. @ Taylor

    Have you read the book?..

    I think the casting except for maybe Theron was pretty much on the mark..I think the man and the boy are perfect casting IMO…

    ?? mad mad much ??

  9. I love the look and all, but I am a little displeased with the “action slant” they’re putting on it. I loved this book, we read it in school and it is the only one I have actually read/enjoyed this entire year. Also I loved “No Country For Old Men” I haven’t read the book yet, but I want to. I just hope this is a little truer to the book than the trailer. Although, this isn’t the worst thing they could have done, I mean there are some pretty actiony moments in the book. This is like the best worst thing they could have done.

  10. Kofi is right. They are waiting for Oscar time to roll around. But to release a full trailer this early is weird to me. I understand the movie has been done since last year so all the footage is there but wouldn’t they have been better served to release a teaser instead?

    They are trying to reach the action crowd with this 1st trailer. I’ll bet you a dollar to donuts the next trailer will go a different direction, sort of what they did with 7 Pounds.

  11. I’ve wanted to read the book for awhile and so I know a bit about it but when I heard they were making a movie I decided to wait, I like to read the book after the movie because otherwise the movie lets me down, this way I’m sure I’ll be entertained twice.

    From what I understood I also thought the trailer seemed a little more action then I thought. However, I don’t think it over did it really, trailers are supposed to make people interested and if I never knew about the road I would look into it now and then decide if I wanted to see the the movie, which would still be yes.

  12. I am looking forward to seeing this movie. I read the book and became excited when I heard that a movie was being made of it and that Viggo Mortensen was to star in it. The trailer looks very intense and although seems a like it put more prequel scenes than expected. However, any scene with Charlize Theron is a nice bonus.

    This looks like it will be most compelling.

  13. I think I’ll like the book and the movie

  14. Having read the book I can tell you the trailer is just like it save for the expanded roll of Charlize as Viggo’s wife. In the book she had a couple lines in a flashback and that was it.

    The book was amazingly bleak and depressing but written like poetry, beautiful and raw.

    It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Personally, I didn’t care for it. Too bleak for my taste. What can I say? I’m a romantic.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing Robert Duvall in the role I just know he’s gonna be playing.

  15. The trailer is a complete misread of the book. Some reviews keep saying this is the first trailer. We can only hope the 2nd is truer to form and to the book.
    A word to Taylor. No it is not 17 again but I would suggest that you grow into an adult mental image, and then wait for trailer # 2.
    Mr. Mortensen is the perfect choice for this role as no one can telescope feelings with his eyes like this man. He is brilliant in most all that he does. This is like icing on the cake for him.
    Sure wish the Weinstein group would give Charlize her own movie. She is so not in this movie except as a thought of remembrance in a flashback. Also they could have dirtied her face a bit, to suit the role.

  16. UMMM read the book i dont recall enviromental breakdown, it was all a nuclear war. So why are they showing global warming and weather havoc?

  17. @thumbmonster

    Because that’s in vogue at the moment (unfortunately).


  18. boy then i am worried about it not being true to the book then if they start adding things that dont belong, as well as the wife, as i recall she had a few lines in the book and thats it in the end. a few lines. so i dont understand why they are adding her to the movie and giving her an extended role.

  19. Ultimately, making a movie out of a Cormac McCarthy book is like making a stage play out of Bach’s Concerto and Fugue in D Minor. So much of McCarthy’s appeal comes from his authorial voice, his diction and even his syntax, that any movie can only hint at the richness of the novel.

    If you’ve only read The Road, do yourself a favor and read Blood Meridian. The Road is good, but Blood Meridian is McCarthy’s masterpiece, the work that should assure him immortality.

  20. This looks nothing like the McCarthy I read. The trailer is grossly misleading and will have anyone who has read the book outraged. Those who have not read the book will go in looking for Road Warrior and will come out disappointed, that is, if they stay to the end of the film. It will lead to bad word of mouth.

  21. I agree totally with the Trailers misrepresentation of the guts of the story, but what’s got me also beevied is that the destruction was caused by a natural caustrophe. I know the book left it up for interpetation. My interpetation was that mankind destroys mankind (War) and that the surviours felt that god had abandoned them but through the journey and discovery of bond between Father and Son and the grey area of right and wrong humanity is saved and the bond between god and people and can never be destroyed no matter how hard we try! To quote the book “goodness will find a way” —will be loss if the destuction is interpetated for us especially something as silly and simple as the weather.

  22. The film was much better than the trailer, I must admit. I was a big fan of 'No Country For Old Men' so I went into this film with a lot of optimism. I think that the actors did well but there were minor elements that could have improved the film. The overall look of the film was great though, very effective. Have you seen the film yet?

  23. The film was much better than the trailer, I must admit. I was a big fan of 'No Country For Old Men' so I went into this film with a lot of optimism. I think that the actors did well but there were minor elements that could have improved the film. The overall look of the film was great though, very effective. Have you seen the film yet?