You may have noticed that Lexus has been leveraging the new Black Panther movie to pimp the LS500 sedan and concept coupe that get heroic appearances on screen. There’s another Toyota in the movie too, but it totally misses the perfect chance to show off one of its best features.
Watch the movie’s main trailer closely and you’ll see that a black current-generation 4Runner gets demolished by King T’Challa, also known as the Black Panther, jumping and clawing in his cool Vibranium suit. That’s one of my favorite 4x4s, so I was excited to see what kind of trouble it gets into to warrant a righteous dispatching from the movie’s hero.
And with that, I have to warn you that my next observation includes a tiny scene spoiler so click away and revisit this when you’ve seen the movie if you go nuts over that stuff.
I mean it, don’t scroll down!
I don’t want to make any movie fans mad.
Are they all gone?
OK, surely even the biggest phone reading this in portrait mode won’t have inadvertently seen this far into this post, so let’s get on with it:
There’s a scene where one of the bad guys and his entourage roll up with a fleet of black 4Runners rocking aftermarket front bumpers. As soon as I saw this, I got fired up. I thought to myself: now here’s a pack of anonymous henchmen who mean business. They’re not dicking around with some horseshit Chevy Tahoes or clichéd Range Rovers. And props to Toyota for knowing they would have looked like candyasses in Lexus RX300s or NX crossovers.
It also occurred to me that, man, the 4Runner makes a great car case car because you can shoot out of the back without opening the rear hatch or breaking the window.
That’s right: the current 4Runner still has a fully-disappearable powered rear window. In real life, it’s awesome for hauling long things or a dog or a photographer. In the movies, well, we just went over that.
Anyway, of course one of the 4Runners in the movie has a huge gun turret in the back and for a split second, I was all, oh yeah, that’s the good stuff. Now the evil Klaue is going to carefully roll down the rear glass and tell his buddy: “could you even imagine a better car for fighting superheroes with? Thank god we bought five.”
But no. They just... shoot the dang glass!
The 4Runner finally gets its chance to shine, and all it gets is blown up and wrecked.
I’m sure thousands more 4Runners would have been sold if only moviegoers had been subjected to that totally seamless and excellent product placement opportunity. But now? Who knows.
Oh well. Here’s hoping Toyotathon is celebrated in Wakanda.