We’ve been given our first glimpse of the biggest night in the self-congratulatory calendar, and it’s a veritable smorgasbord of meh. If you weren’t already underwhelmed about the upcoming Billy Crystal-hosted backslapfest, this should probably do the trick. The minute-long trail stuffs in plenty of budget and moderately big names, but it’ll be lucky if it induces so much as a wince of a pitying smile. Let’s conduct a post-mortem.
Our heroes are Josh Duhamel, who so memorably played the character ‘Male Human 12B’ in the Transformers saga, and Megan Fox, who thrilled audiences as her ‘Attractive Female Human 1’ in the first two classic instalments of that same critically lauded, Oscar-winning film series (might want to check this is right – Ed). Both appear to reprise their roles from Transformers, i.e. Josh provides all the exposition and Megan keeps quiet and looks pretty.
This unstoppable duo are told to track down a host who has gone ‘off the grid’ by legendary he’s-been-in-everything character actor William Fitchner, who unforgivably is only given three measly seconds of screentime here. Still, off our two heroes embark on an Indiana Jonesian adventure, “charged with tracking down a legend” as Voiceover Guy helpfully notes.
Their journey takes them to see the decorated Oscar veteran Vinnie Jones, once again displaying his effervescent acting versatility after the success of his British Heart Foundation ad explaining how to give CPR in a manner that East End gangsters will understand. (Watch the ad if you haven’t seen it, it’s mindblowing. “No kissing!” he instructs, “you only kiss yer missus on the lips” – i.e. “I AIN’T NAH POOF OR NUFFINK”.)
On Vinnie’s recommendation Duhamel and Fox travel to the “furvest location on earf”, where a bearded Robin Williams does one of his funny foreign accents. For the only actual Oscar winner amongst this cast, Williams’ segment is perhaps the biggest dud. The music even does an abrupt-pause-for-expected-laughter moment for the “He transformed into a Yeti!” line. Yeesh.
Then finally, the payoff. What we’ve all been waiting for. “Are you the one they call…the host?” A lens flare obscuring a scruffy man’s face suggests a big reveal is coming. Billy Crystal, our replacement host, the true hero, is to be revealed. It’s going to be a massive punchline. A hilarious punchline…