Posted on Saturday, April 15th, 2017 by Ben Pearson
We often go to the movies to avoid the insanity of everyday life, so how about a movie in which a white guy drops bombs on a Middle Eastern country? Total escapism, right? Nothing topical about that at all, especially not this week!
Lord of the Rings star and legendary on-screen death machine Sean Bean stars in a new film called Drone, and the movie’s jaw-dropping first trailer has arrived.
Watch the Drone trailer below.
I referred to this as “jaw-dropping” not because it’s great, but because my jaw literally dropped in disbelief when I saw the direction co-writer/director Jason Bourque takes this story. The concept of an icy drone operator realizing the consequences of his job is not an inherently bad one, but when it’s revealed that a man whose family was killed by Bean’s drone actually encounters him face to face, it starts to get a little ridiculous.
But “ridiculous” is fine. I can deal with that. What I can’t deal with is the turn it takes around the 1:20 mark, which positions this grieving man as a bomber out for revenge. The imagery on display here is xenophobic, reductive, and lazy, and the continued proliferation of images like this in film and television has contributed to the harsh division we’re experiencing in the world right now. I’ve seen comments questioning why we’d write about trailers for indie films like this if we didn’t want to promote them, but it can be just as important to call out things we see as problematic in the hopes that other filmmakers won’t make the same mistakes in the future.
To be fair, this is just a trailer, so there’s a chance the final film doesn’t play out the way we think it does. But it’d almost be worse if things go down differently in the actual movie, because then it means that the marketing team thinks that using visual shorthand like this is acceptable. I know it can be difficult, but we have to stop perpetuating stereotypes if any meaningful change is going to happen.
This movie hails from a company called Screen Media Films, who released indie films like Faults, Alex of Venice, and The Void. But they’re also responsible for a Dolph Lundgren movie called Shark Lake, and I don’t know about you, but there is a 100% probability that I’ll watch a Lundgren movie about sharks in a lake before I’ll watch Drone.
Drone hits theaters on May 26.
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Neil (Sean Bean) is a private drone contractor who spends his workdays flying covert missions then returns to a family life of suburban mediocrity – without his wife or son knowing about his secret life – until a whistle-blowing site exposes him to a deadly threat. Believing he is responsible for the deaths of his wife and child, an enigmatic Pakistani businessman (Patrick Sabongui) tracks him down, leading to a harrowing confrontation.