I really liked the first poster for In Bruges, which opted for a postcard look which I thought was quite creative and fun. So I’m a little disappointed to see that the new posters go for a much more traditional. Just the main characters in the traditional v-formation. That doesn’t make it necessarily bad, but it’s just very obvious and unexciting.
When compared to the earlier effort, the new posters don’t make a very good use of the city of Bruges. The contrast between the almost toy like architecture of the city and the violent hitmen was a big part of the charm and humor of the first poster. In here the city is reduced to a very non-prominent background which is made even more inconsequential by the use of some very bleak color tones.
The colors, by the way, are a weird thing about the posters. They are very bleak and dark for a movie that is a comedy. The exception is a couple of splashes of pink, most obviously in the title but also in the ice-cream that Colin Farrell is holding for some reason. These colors remind me a lot more of London then they do of a cheery tourism oriented city in Belgium.
And that is problem. The two posters seem to indicate different tones. Cheerful X Moody, which makes me a little confused about what the actual movie will be like. But perhaps the two sets of posters will be used in different regions, making this particular problem less important.
I still don’t think these are awful posters or anything like that. They are perfectly serviceable. And perhaps the thinking was that the previous poster was too different and thus likely to alienate part of the audience, so they went with something safer. This explain some of the choices made here, but not all.