Nobody’s more surprised than me at the new trailer for Dawn of Justice
Truth be told I’ve never really been that big a Superman fan, I’ve never picked up any of the numerous books featuring the character myself although I have read several that others have got. My introduction to Superman, like many people of my generation I suppose, was at an early age via the films featuring Christopher Reeve. I wasn’t even aware that Superman was actually the star of a by then decades old comic created in the 30’s until some time later.
Now years later I often find myself watching films that are based on comic properties. Marvel Studios (side note who actually thought Marvel would have its own film studio one day??) can be accused of a distinct narrative formula in most of its films but they remain enjoyable regardless for me the same can’t really be said for DC/Time Warner’s output.
Putting aside the woefully squandered opportunities of Green Lantern and Jonah Hex DC/ Time Warner doesn’t really know what to do besides putting Superman and Batman on the big screen ad nauseam. Whilst I thought Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy was impressive (even if it does have questionable narrative developments) I was pretty much done with Batman in film, a character which unlike Superman I am actually a fan of. Then Man of Steel the latest Superman film turned up.
Man of Steel just reminded me I was even more done with Superman, it was an overwrought, poorly edited incoherent mess of a film with scenery chewing abounds, characters who didn’t seem to serve any narrative function, some truly awful CG FX and featured someone (Henry Cavill) with the acting range of a baked potatoe as the titular character, a character who, as far as I understand Superman, is supposed to inspire humanity.
The few good ideas it did have were lost in a rapidly boring orgy of destruction which paid scant regard to collateral damage. If I didn’t know better I’d think writer David Goyer and director Zack Snyder were trolling everyone. More than that though it placed Superman in the now default “gritty” setting which just didn’t work at all and which also seems to be shorthand for desaturating the colour palette. Whilst it doesn’t change the other problems just reversing the colour desaturation makes Man of Steel more visually appealing check this out .
When I heard the plans for Batman Vs Superman I rolled my eyes with contempt with images of men in suits rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of the truckloads of cash they’d be making regardless of whether the film was just as bad as Man of Steel. Imagine my Surprise when the new trailer for Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice drops at SDCC (and on the internets) and I find myself actually kind of wanting to see it despite it featuring two characters I thought I was sick of seeing on the big screen.
Whilst the “gritty” setting didn’t work for Superman it totally works for Batman and that’s one of the things that makes it work. Mainly though this is a trailer that somewhat shockingly for modern day cinema actually makes me want to see the film and more shockingly doesn’t seem to feature any plot spoilers (I’m looking at you Terminator Genisys marketing department). I haven’t actually seen a trailer that actually made me want to see a film since the first trailer for Mad Max Fury Road appeared.
There’s a lot narrative ideas that seem to be indicated in the new trailer whether they will actually go anywhere is another matter. The most obvious ones being Superman as immigrant to be feared and Superman being worshipped as a god and apparently even having his own military troops. . Elsewhere there’s Ben Affleck as Batman in a rather inspired casting choice and the possible introduction of Jared Leto’s Joker and ofcourse Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman something which The Internet has been frothing at the mouth over ever since she was cast in the role.
I find myself wondering if this is a Batman film that just happens to feature Superman given that the Joker Batman relationship is seemingly set to underpin both Dawn of Justice and the upcoming Suicide Squad film.Whilst Batman and Superman might have been on the big screen numerous times already, at least this is something different and whilst it might all collapse on itself and be a train wreck due to Zack Snyder driving the train again whilst writers David Goyer and Chris Terrio stoke the engine with coal I’m actually interested in finding out.