Are you ready for the blockbuster hit of the summer? Well you're probably not going to find it here.
New Jersey governor and potential Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie put out a fake movie trailer Tuesday before suddenly pulling it off YouTube not long afterwards. Luckily, the Internet in its infinite wisdom preserved the clip elsewhere. Take a look:
WTF was that? Technically, it was a bunch of Chris Christie speeches set to action movie b-roll and the occasional clip of The Rock. More generally, it was an attempt to let voters know how seriously Christie takes the state budget and why he's going to push for cuts to state worker benefits — "No Pain. No Gain."
Which is why everyone's laughing at Christie, not with him. If the budget crisis is a serious matter, as Christie certainly believes — "We need to fix this system or it will eat us alive," he says — then why make a video with the joke that things are silly and over-the-top? Are we supposed to find the ridiculous narration and explosions and Dwayne Johnson amusing while still nodding thoughtfully along to Christie's budget speeches?
The response: Believe it or not, the video was produced in-house, a Christie spokesman told CBS. It spent less than half a day online though — apparently The Rock was none too pleased about his inclusion.
New Jersey Democrats and union leaders did not fall into the "so bad it's good" camp. Unions criticized the governor for making fun of the situation after cutting $2.4 billion from pension contributions in 2010.
In what was already way too much ado over a stupid trailer, state Democratic Party chairman John Currie put out a statement saying, "The state's economy is in ruins, and yet the governor is mocking the pain and suffering he's causing middle-class families ... Sadly, the governor's bizarre Hollywood fantasy is not the action drama his team imagines, it's a horror film that never seems to end."
Next steps: The video was supposed to provide an introduction to a plan Christie will release sometime this summer detailing ways to make up the state's $40 billion pension shortfall. He'll be holding a series of town hall meetings to discuss the budget and, one assumes, screen the full version of "No Pain. No Gain."
As for a sequel? Maybe we'll just have to wait for a 2016 presidential run. If Christie plays his cards right, it looks like just the sort of vehicle Michael Bay might want to direct.