Alright, so you may have heard that a small film is coming out. It’s a nice indie film called Batman v. Superman. It should be a fantastic character piece. All joking aside, there was a trailer that was released for this. I’m thinking this will be a billion dollar film easily (one of a few to come out in the next 12 months). This is probably our best look at the film and what we are in for come March.
We open up with some pretty fantastic dialogue between Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent. I like how they exchange with jabs with one another. I get the feeling that these two already know more than they let on. Bruce makes a slick reference to the Joker, someone who we will be introduced through next summer’s Suicide Squad. I like this exchange for several reasons: we get to see a real division between these characters. They see the world differently. Clark sees vigilantism needs to be done through the proper channels where Bruce feels that as long as the job gets done the methods are fine. These two are fundamentally different and the conflict is already there.
Their banter is broken up by Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. I will say that on my first viewing I didn’t mind Eisenberg’s Luthor. Look, I don’t mind a re-imagining or different interpretations of a character. It happens in the comics and it allows us to enjoy many different actors’ interpretations. We have 4 different versions of Joker (minus Jared Leto’s version) and each one brings something different to it. But Eisenberg’s Luthor is devoid of anything resembling a compelling villain. He looks more like that really annoying IT know-it-all from work: you just want to punch him in his smarmy face. Eisenberg is a great actor but he tends to fall into his tropes. I find his performances really good but when he interrupted Clark and Bruce it was like a freight train just screeched to a halt. What was built up was just lost. Then his comment about not getting into a fight with Clark was so cheesy and off the cuff.
I don’t think we will get a Jim Carry version of Luthor because his very next line in the trailer was very good. His line to the senator about power was very good and actually sounded compelling. His line that he says to Lois Lane about insanity being a 3 syllable word that idiots use was also very well done. I really liked it. So, I think that Luthor is a two-faced (no pun intended) villain: an annoying billionaire in the public eye and a ruthless, manipulative man behind the scenes.
We get a lot of scenes between Batman and Superman fighting. Now, initially these look great and Affleck’s Batman is a bonafide badass. Affleck’s Batman is different than Bale’s. Bale’s had a lot of inner turmoil whereas Affleck’s has that pain but he expresses it through rage. That’s a Batman that we haven’t seen yet. These are the scenes and the visuals we have been waiting for. We want to see these two fight like the immovable object and unstoppable forces that they are.
Then… This freakin’ trailer goes off the rails. We were on a great ride. We were going to “hyped anticipation” territory. Then the penny on the track to screw it all up was introduced: Doomsday. Luthor suddenly turns into a weird kind of Dr. Frankenstein and creates Doomsday. I’m saying Doomsday because, while it wasn’t officially announced, that’s who everyone is saying this is. I hope they don’t waste Doomsday as a rushed third act villain. It is a legitimate badass and I don’t know if we should see this. Then we see half a city get destroyed. Doomsday comes in and tries to kill Batman but Wonder Woman saves Batman from a Doomsday eye blast. All 3 stand together and the trailer ends.
Isn’t that one of the problems with Man of Steel? That there was too much needless destruction? It certainly one of mine. I don’t want to see tons of destruction for the sake of it. If this is the Justice League I sure as hell don’t want them to “protect” me. My entire town will be up in flames before the battle begins and the last thing on their mind will be saving my ass. It’s like Michael Bay took over directing duties. This is destruction porn. Not construction porn which some people really like (I’m sure they are out there, right?) but destruction porn by a 2nd or 3rd tier director.
The other problem with introducing Doomsday is because this film is Batman v. Superman. I want to see those guys fight until the very end. I don’t know if this is the end of the third act but I’m assuming it is. This trailer became a “Justice League” trailer at that point.
OK, so some people have criticized that this trailer gave too much away. I agree. I really do. I also think that DC really gave away the “money” shot with their three heroes. That is the Justice League shot and it looked fantastic. I understand the issues; I had those same issues, until I really thought about it. I have never seen the Linda Carter Wonder Woman TV series. I have only seen her on the small screen in the animated Justice League show. I have certainly never seen Batman and Superman on the big screen together. What I was seeing was something I had never seen before. And I kind of marked out for it (“marked out” is a professional wrestling term. I know, pro wrestling is predetermined but when you completely suspend disbelief for a moment and just enjoy the wrestling moment we call that a “mark out.” It’s like you jumping up from the couch because you just saw something so awesome.). I really didn’t care about how much the trailer gave away because that moment was awesome. Now will that carry over to the film? I don’t know but I sure as hell hope so. It’s like getting a fantastic regular season pitcher in baseball. Will that carry over to the playoffs? We don’t know until we get there.
The other thing that I’m concerned about: Gal Gadot still hasn’t said one line. Not one. Nothing. Look, Wonder Woman isn’t like Luke in Star Wars or Spider-Man in Civil War. We all know she’s there. Why can’t we get one line from her? (Comment: BUT GREG! WE DIDN’T HEAR BLACK PANTHER TALK IN CAPTAIN AMERICA!) This is different from Captain America because we know Chadwick Boseman is a boss actor. The dude crushed it in Get On Up. We don’t need Boseman to talk to know he can bring it. Gal Gadot is not on the same level. Not even close. We know nothing. So not hearing her speak for the second trailer in a row if making me a bit nervous. You want to know whose voice was great, though? Ben Affleck’s Batman voice. It was freaking awesome. I would put it right behind Kevin Conroy’s Batman voice as the best Batman voice of all time. It was really, really good. He doesn’t sound like a chronic mumbling distorted smoker (no offense Christian Bale but if you sound like a clogged chimney it’s a problem).
Overall I enjoyed the trailer. There are still a bunch of things that cause concern but am I going to watch this movie? Damn straight. But know this: this film needs to be great. Not good, not decent but great. This is kicking off the DC cinematic universe. They can’t afford a divisive film like Man of Steel. They need to knock it out of the park. This is their hail Mary play, hopefully it’ll end more like this:
And less like this:
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in theaters on March 25, 2016
What do you think of the trailer? Leave a comment below! Happy Friday, everyone!