How Obama and The NSA Are Being Used To Promote Bruce Willis' New Movie
The new Obama-heavy "RED 2" ad is "supposed to be lighthearted, and it's not a referendum on the president or the NSA," a source says.
Barack Obama has been in a bunch of Hollywood movies. Granted, it's generally in the form of archival footage, often played out of context. In Zero Dark Thirty, you can see him talking about torture. In Pacific Rim, he's at a White House press conference taking questions on the alien invaders. In Battleship, the president is visible on a jumbotron telling America to calm down (again, on the subject of alien invasion). In last year's Total Recall remake, his face is on the dollar bills of the future. And now, he's also being used to promote Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren's latest action movie.
The ad campaign for RED 2—the sequel to 2010's darkly humorous surprise hit RED—is mostly what you'd expect for a mid-summer release: the standard social-media push and loud commercials emphasizing the explosions, the guns, the globetrotting CIA mayhem, and the all-star cast that includes John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Anthony Hopkins, and Lee Byung-hun. (The film is directed by Galaxy Quest helmer Dean Parisot and written by the Hoeber brothers.)
But on July 10 (just nine days before the film's wide release), American TV stations began airing a new ad titled "Barack Obama: NSA Code RED," set to the hard-rock edge of AC/DC's 1980 song "Shoot to Thrill":
The description on the YouTube version, which currently has over 26,000 views, begins by paraphrasing President Obama: "'These folks keep America safe.' Watch this video to meet the real heroes protecting us." Here's the trailer promoted on RED 2's official Twitter account:
The TV spot splices together sound bites from Obama's June 7 remarks on the National Security Agency/Edward Snowden controversy with a few bullet-riddled and goofy clips from the new film. For instance, the part when Obama says, "the people...involved in America's national security...take this work very seriously," is paired with the image of Helen Mirren firing two handguns out of both sides of a very expensive sports car.