Can 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' Live Up to Its Own Trailer? Probably Not

On Christmas Day, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty comes out, a not-quite-comedy starring some of your favorite comedy stars, including Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig and Adam Scott. It's the first film that Stiller has directed since 2008's Tropic Thunder and while it looks like a great movie, he might have a problem.

The first trailer for Walter Mitty made it look amazing. The two-minute preview makes excellent use of Of Monsters and Men's "Dirty Paws," paired with gorgeous visuals and while you don't fully understand the plot, you're left with high hopes for the movie.

And there lies the problem. Movie trailers are tough, a feature length film filled with different characters and story lines must be condensed to just a few minutes or even seconds that get the point across without revealing too much. The first Walter Mitty trailer was very successful in that, but may have set the bar too high for the actual film.

It's essentially just a montage set to music, with no dialogue heard until the brief final scene, but wow is it a beautiful montage. The tone is perfectly matched by the music, and every shot is stunning. Stiller as Mitty flying through the window and running down a hall filled with enormous Life covers, Sean Penn beckoning him from a photograph, Wiig's eyes — you don't want to look away for a second. It'd be extremely difficult for a nearly two hour movie to do the same.

Usually films, especially those released on Christmas, have to beat all the other movies playing in theaters that week. Walter Mitty has its own trailer for competition. I sincerely hope the movie wins, because if it can convey the same feeling that the trailer does, it will be amazing to watch and one of the best films released all year.

Watch that first trailer one more time below, and see just what The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has to live up to.


Image: 20th Century Fox