Edward Snowden’s story was one that was itching to be told in a glossy Hollywood thriller and director Oliver Stone, with his innate sense of paranoia, seemed like the perfect person for the job. Equally as enticing was star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Frenchy accent in The Walk notwithstanding, is one of his generation’s best actors. So why does this trailer for Snowden look so bad?

The trailer, which you can see above, feels like a trailer that you would see in a Hollywood comedy making fun of overly-dramatic Hollywood movies. There’s the heavy-handed scene where Snowden is having sex with his beautiful girlfriend (Shailene Woodley playing the role of Edward Snowden’s Beautiful Girlfriend) and the camera dolly zooms to the webcam on his MacBook as Snowden realizes he’s being spied on. Or, maybe it’s the random appearance by Nicolas Cage. But probably it’s the really bad accent Joseph Gordon-Levitt is using in the film.

Gordon-Levitt tries hard, perhaps a little too hard, to replicate Snowden’s flat, droll accent and the result is off putting. Most people don’t know, or don’t care, what Edward Snowden sounds like, so I’m not really sure why he felt the need to replicate the voice. Though it was distracting in The Walk, at least Gordon-Levitt’s bad French accent made sense in the narrative of the film; Philippe Petit was a Frenchman. Here, Gordon-Levitt sounds like he’s Kylo Ren when he takes his mask off. Or, as Mike Ryan put it, like Jerry doing a fake voice on an episode of Seinfeld.

It’s very possible this is a poorly cut trailer and the film itself is actually well executed. I mean, this official plot synopsis describes it as a “pulse-pounding thriller,” an “epic story” and “one of the most compelling films of the year” and the studio releasing the film wouldn’t lie to us, would they?

Snowden, the politically-charged, pulse-pounding thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, reveals the incredible untold personal story of Edward Snowden, the polarizing figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the NSA and became one of the most wanted men in the world. He is considered a hero by some, and a traitor by others. No matter which you believe, the epic story of why he did it, who he left behind, and how he pulled it off makes for one of the most compelling films of the year.

Snowden opens in theaters on September 16.