Most out there have witnessed the critical tirade that is Honest Trailers. Brought to the world by Screen Junkies, this amusing series of YouTube videos takes the movies that we all know and love (and sometimes hate with a passion) and tear them into little pieces for all the stupid crap that the writers, producers and directors decided would make good cinema. And it appears as if the Screen Junkies crew has now achieved some sort of real power within the industry, for Anthony and Joe Russo are citing Honest Trailers as their litmus test when they co-wrote Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
In a recent interview with Collider, Joe had this to say about the writing process of Winter Soldier and how they were determined to make it “Honest Trailer proof”:
What’s so funny is that I’m an avid honest trailer watcher. I love it, it cracks me up. So I think we talked about it in the commentary we used to sit in the room and go, “this is not going to end up in an honest trailer. This logic isn’t sound enough yet.” We literally tried to Honest Trailer proof the movie. Because what Honest Trailers really is, and I’ll say litmus test again, is “how sound is the logic in your film? How ridiculous are the buys that you’re asking the audience to make?” So we would just comb through the script over and over again and go, “how do we shore up this logic? How do we shore up this logic?” So it was a very helpful exercise for us.
In the end, they were successful. The Screen Junkies had a hell of a time trying to tear Winter Soldier down, as can be evidenced by the Honest Trailer they ended up with:
So is it really that important that writers pay attention to comedic criticism such as Honest Trailers? I’d say hell yes. Movies have gotten so bloody cliché and over-the-top lately that any help in getting these writers to think more critically of their creations is a bonus. Who knows, maybe Honest Trailers will help to usher in a golden age of awesome movies? Probably not, but we can always dream.