Tagline: “A real revolutionary goes where he is needed.”
Translation: Real revolutionaries don’t need no stinking bathroom breaks.
The Verdict: Just in time for Che to make a one-week, Oscar-qualifying pit stop in selected theaters in New York and Los Angeles (at the Ziegfield and the Landmark, respectively) before opening nationally in late January, IFC has finally decided to release a trailer for the Steven Soderbergh opus that manages to boil the four-hour epic into its purest two minutes and 28 seconds. As the iconic image of Che Guevara that you’ve seen on the chests of millions of confused collegians everywhere dissolves into a clip of Benicio del Toro enjoying a fine cigar, viewers are swept through a few minutes’ worth of visually striking scenes that show Che alternately fighting in jungles and stirring up the revolutionary spirit with denizens of Cuba and Bolivia. Heavy-handed and overly simplistic summations (“He was an inspiration / Behind a revolution”) accompany a score filled with equal amounts of tension-filled violin plucking and soaring orchestral arrangements, signaling to all that this is a film to be taken seriously. However, we’re not sure that this trailer works hard enough to convince audiences to make the bold choice to commit to sitting in a dark theater for four hours next weekend, with or without an intermission break. After all, we are still plagued by nightmares of recovering from the last movie of this length that we were forced to endure, the butt-numbing display of hubris that was Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet. Regardless, we’ll be there next week and likely again in early January, when we’ll be able to
take more frequent bathroom breaks digest the film’s breadth in the comfort of our own home through the magic of On Demand.