Now that I’ve had a few days to marinate on the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer, I wanted to express my thoughts as well as hear yours. First off, let me start by saying I am an unapologetic DC heroes nerd. If you read my About Me section, you would discover that Superman and Batman both had a profound impact on my childhood. While I love the current Marvel renaissance we are experiencing, I will always bleed red, blue, and yellow. However, I also have to remind you that I was not kind to Man of Steel back in 2013. I thought it was style over substance that lacked any real sophistication that character of Superman deserved. Plus it was so dreary and it sucked out the fun out of the superhero genre. So I take all that baggage into my thoughts of this Batman v Superman trailer.
Zack Snyder has never been accused of an unartistic eye and this trailer certainly highlights his flair for the dramatic. However, the same dourness and morose tone that described MoS has definitely returned- but this time with a vengeance. Snyder is determined to set up a world that is the antecedent to the Marvel U where the line between hero and villain is very thin at best. I am not appose to flipping the script and starting the journey in an unexpected place but I have concerns that this is the right approach to launch the DC universe. Like I mentioned in my bio, I am a huge fan of Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. As a boy, I was infatuated with the idea of the Man of Steel squaring off against the Dark Knight and I would have never dreamed that I would ever see it on screen. However, what made DKR work was that it was more than an irresistible force meeting an immovable object, it was the clashing of ideals. The payoff was two philosophical world views finally colliding after decades of tension. In this trailer, you get no sense of that. It feels more like, two school yard bullies that can’t share the same playground. Clearly after MoS, Superman is not Earth’s mightiest hero (yet) which is also supported by all the controversial commentaries in the first half of the trailer. If a showdown must happen, then I fear it will result in one inevitable outcome; Kryptonite. That’s how Batman takes Supes out in the DKR and I would bet we will end up with a similar solution (sorry for the spoiler, but you’ve had 30 years to read it). Again, that move by Bats only payoff because of the longterm friendship in DKR. I hope Snyder shocks us with something different but he has not shown evidence of real innovative storytelling from his past works.
So I don’t want to jump to a bunch of irrational conclusions. This was still considered a ‘teaser’ and we have a long year till BvS comes out. Another concern that I have, which I share with many of you all, is how in the world will we introduce Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the gang in the middle of this spat between Bats and Supes?!? I hope I am so wrong with my initial feelings about this trailer and I do want to leave room to be surprised but it’s hard to be optimistic. I also hope they move the release date up since the longer wait just makes it worst if my suspicions are true. Am I being too harsh and what are your thoughts on the trailer? Leave your comments below!
**Updated April 24**
Check out this colorized comparison of Man of Steel, I think it best illustrates my point.
I didn’t know you weren’t too fond of MoS! I personally loved it because of such a different stylistic approach and even the story showing Clark’s childhood and “coming-of-age” story.
Anywho, this new teaser is very very interesting, yet it lacked a little kick-punch attitude. Not to say I wanted to see more action than what was provided, rather I wanted to see a little bit more “spice”. The teaser is a bit slow, eventually panning over Supes’ statue with the graffiti, the cut scenes should have sown some more finesse and more than just a shot of Affleck’s face, or Supe standing in front of a crowd. Not sure how to explain it more but either way, I am very very excited as I too have had a strong connection with the DC universe and the first connection with comics was Superman.
It was definitely light on the action. I’m sure they are trying to build tension. I’m sure once we see Bats and Supes land some blows it will get the fans pumped up. Although, I don’t see how Batman will be able to hang after that ridiculous battle royale Supes had with Zod. We’ll see. Thanks for commenting!
Agree 100%. I would add two things:
1) Darkness in and of itself does not make a movie edgy or interesting. Sympathy does. Why did darkness work for Nolan’s Batman? Because Nolan made explicitly clear how traumatic the murder of his parents was. We sympathized. We liked him. I never watched Man of Steel, but from the trailer alone, I have no idea why I should root for either Batman OR Superman. I discussed this w/my roommate & he made an excellent point: if this movie had Michael Keaton’s Batman vs. Christopher Reeves’s Superman, everything about this movie would be far more interesting.
My other point is that Snyder’s directing is just way too damn busy & distracting. I know you didn’t watch The Force Awakens trailer so I won’t spoil it, but quality-wise it was much more simple. JJ constructed a masterpiece of a trailer, slowly & methodically moving from one iconic image to another. You could easily follow the story’s path as he literally moved from the initial dark images based on the original trilogy to the bright images of the new, essentially signaling the “awakening” of the Force. That’s storytelling at its finest.
But what does Snyder give us? An overexposed image of a super bright & dark city skyline while bombarding us with news commentary. CGI of Superman holding a wrecked car. More noise. Then an image of Batman all pissed. Why is he pissed? I mean, I get that he’s ALWAYS pissed, but why should he care about Metropolis when Gotham is his territory? Did HE lose anything in Superman’s battle w/Zod? Apparently he gets pissed watching TV, and thus decides he’s gonna make Superman “bleed,” which, with no obvious motivation, makes him a sociopath. Great, a sociopath wants to hurt a really strong dude for no apparent reason.
And this is why Snyder’s direction in all his movies irks me. He’s always been one to emphaize the spectacle before the characters, so all his movies (300, Watchmen, Sin City, etc.) end up devolving into one, convoluted fight among assholes. If I wanted to see that I’d just throw a Magic SDCC exclusive just outside the Hasbro booth on Preview Night.
But even then I’d at least know what the assholes were fighting for.
Maybe Bruce Wayne’s favorite penthouse in Metropolis got leveled in all the fighting- thus why he is so mad. I can’t disagree with anything you said. I didn’t think Snyder was right for directing MoS and I don’t think he is right to lead the rest of the universe. I guess we’ll find out soon (or not soon, since it’s still a year away). *sigh*
Thanks for commenting!
Tony, like you, I am a HUGE Superman fan! Ever since I stumbled upon Superman the Movie on HBO back in 1980. I have been a die-hard Superman fan. . . got to meet Margot Kidder and Jack O’Halloran at SDCC ’09 and I was nearly speechless. I even defended Superman Returns and Man of Steel but I think you hit the nail on the head. . .”it’s hard to be optimistic.” I’m having a hard time getting excited. Even the teaser posters are a disappointment. Granted, I’m a designer and I look at posters definitely, but I’m just not that excited. I’m hoping I will be surprised when the movie lands.
That’s awesome that you met Lois and Non at SDCC! Yea, none of the marketing have been that impressive. I wish they would release a new picture of Batman because I am already tired of looking at the hunched over ‘sad Batman’ image. New hero shots of the trinity would really help change perception. Thanks for commenting!
Im semi torn on which way to float. On one hand Im a DKR fan, on the other Im a Snyder fan. Im one of the few that simply loves whatever Snyder does. The visuals and tones in his movies just move me tremendously. Its an artistic style that is to be desired. (eg. I’m one of the very few that utterly loved Sucker Punch). So with that said this movie simply has no way of disappointing me -“on paper”. I did like Man of Steel, simply because I knew it would be “Snyder-y” and it was. He took an unusual approach to it and I think it worked out ok (this again being the Snyder fan in me) But I can see where Superman fans may have had an issue. I wasn’t the biggest Superman fan growing up so maybe Im able to overlook artistic liberties he took that offended some. Thats a little different now that were approaching DKR territory. Im more vested in this adaption than I would have been with MoS. So far Snyder has made movies that I havent been too obsessed with to begin with. I vaguely remembered reading Watchmen a long time ago, but I wasnt a superfan, so that movie sat well with me also.But again DKR is different. Im emotionally tied to this more than any other movie he has made so if there was ever a time that he may disappoint me, this would be his only chance thus far. There little wiggle room.
That being said, I enjoyed the teaser. Maybe because I knew its just a “teaser” and not a deeper look at everything to come. Heck i dont even think thats a Batwing blowing everything up, everyone assumes it is. So Im fine thus far with what we’ve seen. My major hang up is that this trailer dropped right after the Force Awakens, and im a HUGE Star Wars fan. I may have liked this trailer MORE if it came out before the Force Awakens trailer. Ive been too bust still drooling over the shots of the Star Destroyer and Han and Chewie to fully appreciate anything else. We’ll just have to wait and see next year if its the movie fans wanted. I hope so
Yea, I do think if you are not as attached to the DC properties that your perspective would be different. I am interested to see how a non-fanatic will think of this new universe. Your right, this trailer dropping still feels like WB/DC trying to catch up to the Marvel/Disney machine. Keep me posted and thanks for the comment.
I just can’t get over the horrible casting of Ben Affleck – and I don’t think I’m alone. The trailer only fueled my theory, that they have the wrong guy for the role. Henry on the other hand… perfect!
Plus, I am not a hardcore comic person, so I’m confused about the two superheroes fighting. (I only know the Super Friends and that they all get along to fight evil.)
Yea, not a fan of the Bat-Fleck. I like his imposing stature but it’s hard not to separate the man from the ‘Fleck. I do like Cavill though but this movie doesn’t spoil him for me. Check out the graphic novel Dark Knight Returns- you will understand the inspiration for this movie and you will understand why there is so much comparison. Thanks for commenting!
I think you are being adequately harsh.
I feel bad for the casual viewer that might go to see this because, if they only have a fringe/popular knowledge of the characters, this will be confusing as all heck to follow.
I didn’t hate MoS but I wasn’t blown away by it either- my reservations are pretty much identical to yours. MoS was a thinly veiled Batman movie. I can accept an early and young Clark Kent being dark, morose, brooding because he is different. I can accept that he is weighed down with the burden of being the last of his planet and choosing to protect his new homeworld. BUT- the Superman I know and love carries all of the above on his shoulders with a gleam in his eye, an almost arrogant smile on his face, and an unshakable hope for the best in all of us in his heart. Superman is good BECAUSE HE IS INHERENTLY GOOD. What the heck is wrong with that??? His homeworld being blown to bits is tragic enough- he doesn’t need another motivating death that they frankly ripped off of the Spider-Man universe.
The fact that Superman is the last of his kind and that he has the burden of everything I said above, and he carries that with the charm and energy of the Christopher Reeves Superman, well that’s pretty darn noble and heroic to me. Superman is supposed to embody what is best in all of us, in mankind.
What we’re getting with Mos and what we appear to be getting more of in BvS, is a brooding and tired Supes. He’s the tired father of the human race who at the end of the day doesn’t want to do your homework with you, just have his beer, kick off his boots, and watch reruns of COPS until he falls asleep. That’s not Superman to me. At the end of MoS, you get the feeling that he’s just tolerating us.
Batman can be dark and brood all he wants, but I swear to Zod, if Affleck does his signature tear-shed I am going to throw my twenty dollar popcorn at the screen!
Sorry for the rant… I guess I hated MoS more than I thought…
I do not disagree with anything you said. TWO brooding heroes is one too many. The only saving grace will be is if by the end, Supes accepts his mantle and embraces the hero we know and love. Otherwise it’s just gonna be a drag for the rest of the franchise. Thanks for your rant, I mean comment 😉