Monday, February 24, 2014

Jinn Official Trailer Breakdown: Trenchcoats, Swords and CGI equals Jinn movie?

That about covers it...
Last week, Exxodus Pictures released the brand new trailer for the much-delayed movie  Jinn. The film--which had been in developmental purgatory for nearly 4 years (originally supposed to be released in 2011)--finally has a set date for release on April 4th, 2014.

I expressed my thoughts on the initial teaser trailer over a year ago and said from the looks of it, the movie is not going to stay accurate to the Islamic teachings of Jinn but instead veer off into the typical "fantasy monster" movie genre.

Lo and behold the brand new trailer confirmed my suspicions. It's friggin' Highlander meets Fast and The Furious meets Blade. They are even marketing it as a supernatural thriller adventure? Ugh...

A few questions that have me scratching my head:

  • Why the hell is a Catholic Priest the knowledgeable one about Jinn when material on the Jinn are exclusively Islamic based? "They've been around for a long time and some of them want the world back." says Father Smartypants.
  • Why does the story make it seem like the Jinns are some ancient relic when more than a billion Muslims believe not only that they exist but have always been on Earth along with us?
  • The Protagonists dealing with the Jinn are not Muslim but just your average white guys who are skilled in swordfighting, martial arts and wearing black trench coats. If you're going to go that route, you might as well call Wesley Snipes up.
  •  The only Muslim in the story, at least going off the trailer, is a guy in a loony bin?
  • The hero of the story is using a lightsaber sword to fight off these Jinn monsters? Don't tell me the main Jinn is going to reveal himself to be his father...
  • Another line in the trailer "They come generation after generation looking for the prophecised one" that will basically help them take back the Earth and rule over it. Huh? So the Jinn's main purpose is to go searching for the Anti-Christ or something? I thought they were supposed to whisper at us to go watch porn or skip our prayers.
  • This movie has some type of Jinnmobile used to outrun Jinn. Why bother going through the trouble if you're not going to have it fully equipped with fold out autocannons of holy water and blasting Surah Al-Baqarah from the subwoofers? Be prepared, jack!
  • The end of the trailer has a ton of swordfighting with fiery lavamen that turn into the big smoky monster from Lost all ending in a funny final shot of the Protagonist yelling "Aouzubillahi Minash Shaytan Irajeeem!!" (I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan) and charging towards a Jinn monster.
Seriously, what the eff are we watching here? 

Things get more messy when you read the synopsis of the film which the trailer doesn't really make clear at all.
"Jinn" follows Shawn (Dominic Rains), an automotive designer whose new wife Jasmine (Serinda Swan) is mysteriously abducted after he receives a VHS tape containing a message from his father, who died in a fire decades earlier. Shawn's father warns his son of a curse afflicting his bloodline, which has us thinking that Shawn might be "the prophesied one" the Shayateen are after — and poor Jasmine might be what prompts him to go after them.

The story is all over the place and seems to not know whether it's a horror movie, a fantasy adventure flick like Highlander or Underworld, or a little bit of everything like the Mummy series.

Muslim director Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, wrote and directed the movie. I don't know if this was his vision from the onset or if maybe to get producers to finance the flick he had to turn the story about Jinn into what it became because it would gain more mass appeal this way. Maybe the producers saw no money in a straight up accurate representation of Jinn, which I think would've been tons more interesting than the fictional Hollywooditized depiction of them.

I do have to commend Ahmad for actually succeeding in getting this movie produced and completed as it's extremely tough for a Muslim to break into the industry, much less make a movie. I also have to give big respects for him to make a movie about Jinn, the first of it's kind. I am going to reserve my judgment until I see the movie in theaters. 

I was personally hoping for a mainstream Jinn movie to be more along the lines of a traditional horror based flick like the Exorcist or Paranormal Activity while staying true to the Islamic depiction of Jinn but I'll use this film as motivation to write my own screenplay which is in the works and is the reason why I haven't been updating my blog as much. Inshallah I will finish it soon and one day get it made. In the meantime, I'll grab some popcorn and check this out April 4th.

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