I may have used my “Trailer of Year” card a wee bit early this year on Mad Max Fury Road back in January as I gushed over the pure enjoyment it brought me, because the latest trailer to drop on the scene is for the true crime film Black Mass starring Johnny Depp as notorious Boston mafia hitman Whitey Bulger. This one sent chills down the spine, courtesy of the great chameleon that is Johnny Depp. So I’m going to keep track of the trailers that stand out for me this year and declare a “Trailer of the Year” award at 2015’s end. Consider Mad Max Fury Road as entry number one and Black Mass as entry number two.
Two observations: 1) It’s clear to me that Leonardo DiCaprio has been attempting to emulate Johnny Depp for the past 20 years. 2) The scene anchoring the trailer is a direct homage to the most famous scene in modern mafia film history – Joe Peschi and Ray Liotta’s “whatta mean I’m funny?” scene from Goodfellas. The difference in scene depicted here is, the stakes are higher because it’s not personal, it’s about business and survival. This is not a rip-off, this is a great example of being influenced by the greats and improving on it. We’ll see how it plays out in the feature.
Big time kudos to the team behind this trailer. You brought a real sense of evil and fright to us in just two minutes. Let’s hope the filmmakers live up to that promise with the feature.
The film is based on the 2001 book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob written by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill. After 12 years on the FBI most wanted list and 16 years on the run, Bulger made worldwide headlines when he was finally captured by FBI agents in Santa Monica, CA. Black Mass will be distributed by Warner Bros. worldwide on September 18, 2015.