Look, for this job I watch a lot of promotional videos. Trailers and TV spots and ads and featurettes—everything studios do in the neverending pole-dance that is trying to get people to see their movies. Sometimes, movies are paid a lot of money to let other companies sell shit using their characters and I have to watch those ads, too.

And even knowing all of that, I have to ask what on Earth Fox is doing with Manchester United, which I am told is a British soccer team. (Please do not make me call it football, I can really only handle so much right now.) The studio has inserted popular players into bits of Independence Day Resurgence, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Deadpool, and they are mind-boggling.

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Here’s the one for X-Men: Apocalypse, which starts with a clip from the movie and then is seamlessly edited to put soccer players in it:

And now my head hurts. Because it starts with an actual clip of the film and then delves into some “jokes.” Here are a few questions:

  • They seriously couldn’t get someone to do a better James McAvoy impression than this?
  • Or Nicholas Hoult as Hank? Seriously, Professor X sounds like he’s talking to us from underwater and Hank is proof that you can do a bad American accent.
  • Is the point of this “Manchester United: Our players are good, but not like mutant good?”
  • LOOK, WAYNE ROONEY, I GET THAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW WHO APOCALYPSE IS, EXACTLY, BUT I THINK THE NAME IS PRETTY SELF-EXPLANATORY AS TO WHAT HE CAUSES.

Okay, yeah, that last one isn’t a question. But “Apoca-wha?” is unforgivable.

They did also did a Deadpool one, which is fine. There’s no situation where Ryan Reynolds won’t put on the suit and make a few jokes, so whatever. And, mercifully, no one but him talks in that one.

That’s definitely Ryan Reynolds’ voice, so my question here is whether it’s also really Ryan Reynolds in the suit. If Man U. couldn’t afford even a decent McAvoy impersonator, it seems unlikely that they could get Reynolds... except the actor has shown an almost pathological willingness to put on the Deadpool outfit for hundreds of promos for his own film. What’s one more?

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Yesterday, we got one for Independence Day: Resurgence. And, sigh, just watch it:

A few questions here as well:

  • Why is Wayne Rooney the only one not wearing a flight suit at the beginning?
  • Is Jeff Goldblum standing in front of the worst green screen effect you’ve ever seen in a professionally-produced video?
  • Was that Daley Blind joke really funny enough to do twice?
  • Wouldn’t you totally believe it if one of the Independence Day sequels actually was about a sports team using their specific sport’s skillset to fight aliens?
  • Oh god, why did they make one of these where the team talks so much?
  • Why? Just “Why?” in general.
  • I am not actually old enough for this reference, but who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?
  • Great Britain, seriously, are you okay over there?

These are so bad, I had to wonder if Manchester United was blackmailing Fox into making these—or the other way around. Neither side looks happy to be doing this. Except Reynolds, of course. The other two? I ended up rooting for Apocalypse and the aliens to join forces and end this world.

[The Guardian]