Jennifer Lopez’s crazed murder rampage may make this her greatest wedding movie yet

<span>Photograph: Lionsgate</span>
Photograph: Lionsgate

Be honest. When you heard that Jennifer Lopez had a new movie out, you simply let the news wash over you unattended. We live in an age where a movie has to be truly special to do well theatrically, and truly special Lopez movies are few and far between.

This goes doubly for this new film, which bears the title Shotgun Wedding. That’s right: another Lopez wedding movie. Another chunk of fatty gristle in a soup that already contains The Wedding Planner, Monster-in-Law and (God help us all) Marry Me. So, you filed the film away in the back of your mind. At absolute best, it would be the third film you watched on a long-haul flight.

But wait. Because, as anyone who watched the trailer will attest, Shotgun Wedding might just end up being the greatest Lopez movie ever made. In the trailer, Lopez plays a beautiful bride on a stunning tropical island, happily in love with Josh Duhamel despite all the quirky interruptions from her future mother-in-law Jennifer Coolidge. Her relationship is even strong enough to withstand the arrival of her showboating ex, played by Lenny Kravitz. Everything is gorgeous and perfect. And then the final two minutes of the trailer happen.

BAM! Some dock workers stab a wedding planner to death, each strike making a sickening wet thud as it lands in his torso. Mercenaries – led by a figure in a horrifying Slipknot mask – storm the wedding, firing machine guns into the air to terrify the guests. Scared for their lives, Duhamel and Lopez piece together a survival plan. They literally set fire to the heads of their attackers. They explode the bodies of some more with a hand grenade. Coolidge goes bananas with an assault rifle. At the end of the trailer, it is heavily implied that Lopez has decapitated someone with her wedding cake knife.

I haven’t seen the full movie, so this is only a guess, but you have to assume that the final shot of the film is Lopez and Duhamel sitting in stunned silence together, trying and failing to grapple with the atrocities that they have committed, in the knowledge that they will have to spend the rest of their lives seeing the faces of all their victims beg for mercy whenever they close their eyes. Either way, though, Shotgun Wedding has two thumbs up all over it.

Related: The best and the worst Jennifer Lopez films – ranked!

The best thing about the Shotgun Wedding trailer is how abrupt the change of direction is. One moment it’s a syrupy wedding film, the next it’s a mid-90s Steven Seagal flick. Is it the most abrupt about-face in all of movie trailer history? No, because that plaudit still belongs to Spies in Disguise, the 2019 animated espionage movie where Will Smith inexplicably becomes a pigeon halfway through. But it’s a close-run thing.

Look, everyone has their own favourite type of Lopez film. Some prefer the earlier, critically acclaimed work, like Selena and Out of Sight. Some prefer the imperious glamour of Hustlers. Some might even like her for her dutiful custody of the entire romcom genre. But my favourite type of Lopez movie, even though I didn’t know it until right this second, is the one where she embarks on a crazed First Blood-style murder rampage through a jungle in a wedding dress. It’s action. It’s comedy. It’s drama. Short of an extended dance interlude, Shotgun Wedding has everything you could possibly want from a Jennifer Lopez vehicle. As such, I am prepared to upgrade it to the second film I would watch on a long-haul flight.