Even though it’s only been three years since Steven Spielberg last directed a film, it feels like ages (curse your regrettable existence, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!), which is why it feels almost greedy that we’re getting two doses of Spielberg this Christmas. The first is The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, which we’ve already seen various US and International trailers for. Marketing for his second film, however, has proven a bit more elusive. But all of that changed this morning with the release of the first official trailer for War Horse.
Adapted from Michael Morpurgo’s children’s novel by Richard Curtis and Lee Hall, War Horse tells the story of, “the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets—British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter—before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man’s Land. The First World War is experienced through the journey of this horse—an odyssey of joy and sorrow, passionate friendship and high adventure.”
So, what do you think of it? Personally, this trailer does little to enthrall me. I of course remain optimistic because of the extraordinary cast (chiefly Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddelston and David Thewlis) and a devotion to Spielberg that will never, ever go away, but there’s just something about this story combined with Spielberg’s trademark style that doesn’t lure me in. It all seems so blatant, like a reverse-engineered Oscar winner. But hey, I am hoping that in 6 month’s time I’m eating these words as I become the dope who says, “I didn’t think I’d ever care about a horse this much, but…”