The First Trailer for the Borderlands Movie Has Me Cautiously Optimistic

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Thomas Richards
| February 23, 2024
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Video game film/TV adaptations have recently become the new hotness. With the success of projects such as Sonic the Hedgehog and The Last of Us, every major studio is now dipping their toes into the video game pool. One game series that I didn’t expect to get the adaptation treatment was Borderlands, seeing as the main focus of those games is the gameplay loop and not the story. The games do have some fun characters and some interesting lore, but they always felt like they weren’t the priority to me. But now, we have our first look at the upcoming Borderlands film, and from this first trailer, I’m a bit more optimistic and even have a theory or two.

A Trip to the Wasteland

Lilith, Roland, Tiny Tiny, Krieg, and Claptrap are in a car. Roland is driving and is talking to the others. Lilith is looking out the window, and Tiny looks disinterested. Claptrap is looking at Roland, and Krieg is distracted.
How long before he turns this car around? (Lionsgate)

Taking place on the “lovely” planet of Pandora (not the Avatar one), Borderlands will follow a ragtag group of vault hunters as they shoot, drive, explore, and shoot their way through all manner of creatures and bandits. From the looks of it, they’re combining elements from the first two games, seeing as the core group consists of Borderlands 1 characters Lilith (Cate Blanchett) and Roland (Kevin Hart) alongside Borderlands 2 favourites Tiny Tina (Ariana Greenblatt) and Krieg (Florian Munteanu). They’ll be joined by crazed scientist Tannis (Jamie Lee Curtis) and everyone’s favourite one-wheel robot, Claptrap (Jack Black).

Outside of showcasing the cast of characters, we don’t get much in terms of what the plot is going to be. Still, if I had to guess, I’d say it will involve the mega-corporation Atlas, a secret vault filled with treasure, and the mysteries of Lilith’s past as a siren (super powerful people in the Borderlands lore). Going off this trailer, they’ll probably also mix in story beats from Borderlands 2, which means Handsome Jack might make an appearance!

Looking Promising

Tiny Tina is holding a rocket launcher while standing on a train. She has a look of contempt on her face. The train is moving through a mountainous area with a large rock wall in the background.
That’s a big gun. (Lionsgate)

The most important thing for me in a Borderlands film is the style and tone, and this film looks to be on the right track. The Borderlands series is outlandish, stupid, and doesn’t miss an opportunity to crack a joke (with one or two emotional moments thrown in). I’m getting that vibe from this first trailer, not only with how it looks but also with the character interactions. The film looks like Borderlands, with Pandora being the wasteland it is and having giant monsters that kill anything and everything. I also noticed quite a few things from the games, such as the Infinity pistol that Lilith uses and the Outrunner vehicle showing up. The trailer also showed some other major companies besides Atlas, such as Dahl and Hyperion (the company Handsome Jack runs).

My biggest takeaway from this trailer was that it looks like this cast has decent chemistry. The quick moments of banter between the characters got a few chuckles out of me, mostly coming from Tiny Tina. They also all look pretty damn accurate to their game counterparts, which is something that a lot of other game adaptations struggled with. Standouts from the trailer were definitely Blanchett, Greenblatt, and Black. They look like they embody the original characters, and I’m keen to see if that shines through in the final product.

Lilith is rolling over an object and is firing her gun to her right. She has a stern look on her face. Rocky terrain is in the background.
Gotta look cool when you shoot a gun. (Lionsgate)

The first trailer for Borderlands has me cautiously optimistic. Video game adaptations have only recently been getting better, and I’m always wary of them being terrible. But with recent success with other adaptations and this trailer capturing the look and feel of the games, I’m excited to see if Borderlands can join the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog and be one of the better video game movies. You can check out the trailer below and keep it locked to Couch Soup for the latest news on the Borderlands film for your hungry nerd soul.

Have you seen the Borderlands trailer? What did you think? Are you going to give it a chance? Let us know in the comments where we can talk about which Borderlands game is best.

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