Ben Affleck’s new period thriller Live by Night has debuted its first trailer. Warner Bros. Pictures released the video on YouTube last Thursday and sets us up for a prohibition era gangster flick starring Affleck, Elle Fanning, Chris Messina, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana and Chris Cooper.
The trailer begins with a medium shot of Affleck’s character, Joe Coughlin, solemnly staring out of a car’s windshield. We hear Graciella Suarez’s (Saldana) voice warning Coughlin that he’s on a dangerous and violent path. Masked men run out of a bank and hop into Coughlin’s car. As Coughlin speeds away, the men in the back of the car turn to shoot at police officers. Fourteen seconds in and we know Coughlin isn’t a typical protagonist.
The rest of the trailer is stitched together with a promise of guns, money, and sex. Coughlin takes over the narration, letting us know that he’s a complicated guy. He wants out of his life a crime, but he’s told that he’s in too deep to crawl out. The antihero must battle his way through mobsters, police officers, and femme fatales in a blaze of bullets as Hozier’s “Arsonist’s Lullabye” croons in the background.
The trailer conveys a lot to its audience. It presents us with an engaging plot, beautiful visuals, and a lot of explosions. However, the main ploy is director, writer, and star Ben Affleck. Around the one minute mark we are informed that this film is “from the director of Argo and The Town.” Affleck is very well-known in the film industry for just about everything. Earlier this year he earned praise for his role as Batman in Batman v. Superman in an otherwise poorly received film. Because even casual movie-goers know who Affleck is, the trailer is sure to generate quite a bit of interest.
I am looking forward to this film myself. The shots featured are visually stunning and the characters, especially Coughlin, are intriguing. This first trailer doesn’t give too much of the plot away. I have no idea if Coughlin will manage to escape with his life or go out in a blaze glory, and I want to find out. I guess I’ll just have to wait until January.