The New “Guardians of the Galaxy”: First Action-Packed Trailer for Sci-Fi Grenade “Borderlands”

When big names come together for a flashy video game adaptation, it must be something special. Just like “Borderlands,” for which a first trailer is now available.

Cate Blanchett and Jamie Lee Curtis in one film? Okay, some movie fans might immediately think of a drama or a tragicomedy. But then you read the cast list and see names like Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Florian Munteanu – and confusion sets in. Especially when you learn that they have come together to star in a video game adaptation. And not just any video game adaptation, but the adaptation of a so-called loot shooter, where the main focus is on finding and collecting as many legendary items like weapons and shields as possible, embedded in a thin plot of course. We’re talking about “Borderlands,” based on the successful video game franchise by Gearbox Software.

It was foreseeable for several years that “Borderlands” would eventually make the leap to the big screen, as Avi Arad (“Spider-Man: No Way Home”) and his son Ari (“Uncharted”) had been working on a corresponding adaptation for some time, along with Tim Miller (“Deadpool”) and former Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford. However, the fact that they would unite such a highly illustrious cast in front of the camera was surely thanks to director Eli Roth (“Thanksgiving”). The 51-year-old filmmaker had already worked with Cate Blanchett and Jack Black on the family horror film “The House with a Clock in Its Walls,” which you can stream on Amazon.

With the 2023 slasher surprise “Thanksgiving,” Roth demonstrated an amazing return to his old genre strength. The horror film was so well-received that a sequel has already been confirmed. As a fan of “Borderlands,” one can only hope that he has brought the same energy to the video game adaptation. In a statement nearly four years ago, Roth promised “a new classic.” The first indication of whether he has managed to keep his big promise or if he may have overstated it comes from the first trailer, brimming with weapons,

Okay, even though there were some red flags beforehand that diminished hopes for an adequate and, above all, entertaining video game adaptation, more on that below, it must be said that the creators at least know how to produce a trailer that not only looks great but also makes you really excited for the finished film. Colorful, chaotic, full of action and visual delights, packed with Easter eggs for fans of the source material. And it doesn’t reveal too much more than what you could already imagine. That’s how a trailer should be! Those unfamiliar with the video games might be drawn in by the unique mix of “Guardians of the Galaxy” meets “Mad Max.”

Also a feast for the eyes is the first poster for the film:

How bad is it really for “Borderlands”? Siren Lilith (Cate Blanchett) receives the task of finding the missing daughter of the powerful and feared Atlas (Édgar Ramírez) on Pandora. For this, the leader of the Crimson Raiders recruits former soldier and weapons expert Roland (Kevin Hart), young explosives enthusiast Tiny Tina (Ariana Greenblatt) along with her fearsome protector Krieg (Florian Munteanu), and scientist Patricia Tannis (Jamie Lee Curtis). The gang is accompanied by the outspoken but cowardly all-purpose robot CL4P-TP (Jack Black).

In theory, this simple premise, combined with the colorful and diverse world of “Borderlands,” offers countless possibilities for plenty of action, chaos, and humor. However, there have been some troubling developments recently that have raised eyebrows and hinted at trouble. For example, screenwriter Craig Mazin (“The Last of Us”) withdrew his name from the sci-fi action project. Later, however, he vehemently denied any involvement whatsoever. Curious. Additionally, the extensive reshoots were overseen by producer Tim Miller, not Roth himself. And: principal photography was already completed in June 2021. Taken together, these points don’t exactly bode well for top-notch entertainment.

“Borderlands” will hit German cinemas on August 8, 2024. A release date in the hottest time of the year usually indicates that the studio responsible has a certain confidence in the film’s ability to win over the competitive summer season. So let’s hope for the best.

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