At a certain point in any truly famous actor's career, there comes a moment where that star's persona becomes so familiar that it reaches an event-horizon of self-parody. Of that phenomenon, there's probably no better example than John Malkovich, whose eccentric, volatile everyman was so distinctive that riffing on it got taken (and taken well) to feature-length levels with 1999's Being John Malkovich -- which, for him, really marked the point of no return. Honestly, is there anyone who can watch John Malkovich in anything without thinking of Being John Malkovich? Toss him in a movie, then, with the likes of Morgan Freeman and Bruce Willis, and you've got a recipe for the kind of back-slapping silliness only Hollywood is capable of.
To be fair, this trailer is ridiculous, but it's also ridiculously awesome. And that really sums up its duality: Sure, it's bloated and self-congratulatory; yeah, it's basically a two-minute onslaught of absurdly stylized CGI explosions and retarded one-liners. But there's also a sly, bread-and-circuses wink embedded in the dumb: You're going to lap this shit up, America, but we're not really serious about it.
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And Hollywood certainly can be clever when it comes to sending up itself, but this trailer in particular walks a fine, postmodern line: When you say "old man my ass" after blowing something up, John Malkovich, is that really a parody of a hackneyed one-liner, or is that just a hackneyed one-liner? It's hard to say, and the answer is probably somewhere in between, but at least one thing is certain: It's goofy as hell.