Super Bowl LIII was a low-scoring game, and the trailers that debuted during the telecast kept their running times down as well. The ad for the Dwayne Johnson-Jason Statham “Fast & Furious” spinoff, “Hobbs & Shaw,” was a one-minute version of the three-minute trailer that was released online Friday, and most of the other clips ran 30 seconds — or half that, in the case of teasers for “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” Here’s this year’s lineup.
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“Captain Marvel” (March 8): The latest ad for the superheroine vehicle starts like a gender-switch reboot of “Top Gun,” as Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) and a fellow female Air Force pilot (Lashana Lynch) bond over their mutual need for speed. The commercial introduces a new catchphrase — “higher, further, faster” — and lives up to it with a lightning-quick montage that sets pulses racing.
“Avengers: Endgame” (April 26): “Where do we go, now that they’re gone?” reads a sign in this spot. Of course, the Avengers aren’t all gone, even though many of them disintegrated at the end of “Infinity War” last year. We get glimpses of some survivors, like Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper). “Some people move on,” says Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), a.k.a. Captain America, “but not us.” Marvel fans won’t either, after this stirring teaser.
“Toy Story 4” (June 21): Forget Julian Edelman — Jordan Peele was this year’s Super Bowl M.V.P. He appeared in an ad for his forthcoming CBS All Access remake of “The Twilight Zone,” rolled out another spot for his sophomore directorial effort, “Us,” and rejoined his old sketch-show pal Keegan Michael-Key to voice one of the stuffed animals who torment Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) in this amusing trailer for Pixar’s sequel. Does Peele ever sleep?
“Us” (March 22): After terrifying Christmas Day viewers with the first trailer for his follow-up to “Get Out,” Peele scored more scares with the second clip. The focus is on Lupita Nyong’o as a mother whose family of four faces deadly doppelgängers while on a beach vacation from hell. There’s not a lot of new footage here, but the spot does debut a clever tagline: “Watch yourself.” Indeed.
“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” (August): This quartet of 15-second mini-trailers is so dark and brief that it’s hard to tell what the hell’s going on, much less if it’s scary. The ads also promise that this adaptation of the best-selling young-adult books is “from Guillermo del Toro,” but the mastermind behind “The Shape of Water” only produced this movie — he didn’t direct it (that would be Andre Ovredal). Boo!
“Wonder Park” (March 15): “This is beginning to feel like a terrible turn of events for us all,” says John Oliver, perhaps all too aptly voicing a porcupine in this confusingly frenetic trailer for a cartoon about a young girl whose imaginary amusement park comes to life. Is riding on a fish carousel really a common fantasy among children? And what exactly are “chimpanzombies”? The flying moneys from “The Wizard of Oz” were creepy enough, thanks.
“Alita: Battle Angel” (Feb. 14): Rosa Salazar plays the title role in this James Cameron-produced sci-fi drama, but the latest spot emphasizes Mahershala Ali — favored to win his second Oscar soon, for “Green Book” — as the film’s villain. In case you’re waiting to catch it on video, the ad declares, “Some things must be seen on the big screen” and this is the “must-see 3D cinematic event of the year.” Sorry, but this desperate Hail Mary pass of a trailer smells of flop sweat.