Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
This post covers all the official trailers, including the latest ‘super serious epic’ trailer embedded above. They all sucked equally hard. Which sounds like a Deadpool line about the protagonists, and I’m ok with that.
So let me declare my lack of interest at the opening. Given that this is a Zack Snyder film, I have few expectations. This is the dude who misread Watchmen in a fairly fundamental way (uh guys, if it’s all about the Cold War then Doc Manhattan can’t be the solution, he’s seen as part of the problem, as the USA’s ultimate weapon – it’s right there in the name!!!). And the dude who made the woefully sexist Suckerpunch, is getting to introduce Wonder Woman to the silver screen?? But *deep breath* I’m a comics nerd, a superhero megafan. I should be excited about the all-star smack down. These trailers should leave me wanting more, they should intrigue me.
They don’t. Not because we’ve all gone giggly and want more Guardians style silliness. Not because I’m an imaginary ‘rabid’ feminist who won’t watch another supermovie till Black Widow gets her standalone (we’re waiting!!). Jessica Jones is dark and woman-centric, Daredevil is gritty, Supergirl might just be this generation’s Buffy, Deadpool was ass-kicking holiday fun. I don’t need my supermedia to tick boxes. We’re going through a glut period at the moment and many tastes are catered too. What this does mean, however, is that the audience has choice. No longer does a pile of crap like X-Men: The Last Stand rake in the summer blockbuster money because its the only supershow in town. No-one’s defending Wolverine Origins.
So, what is actually wrong with these trailers?
First, stupidity. Lines like ‘if there is even a one percent chance that he is our enemy we have to take it as an absolute certainty’ sound like they were transcribed from Sarah Palin’s rant at a Donald Trump rally. You need to be a lot smarter than Snyder appears to be to address human rights and issues of nationality in America right now. And really, at a time like this we don’t need a bona fide hero like Batman up on a big screen spouting off about dangerous ‘aliens’. Why would I even care if a Bruce Wayne this stupid get’s his arse handed to him by Superman? Why would we pay to watch this when GOP primary debates are screened for free and are a lot funnier?
Then, there’s the incoherence. Basically we have a thundering score designed to elicit tension over some pictures of things blowing up and people fighting, intercut with some pretty people in nice clothes. Who are they? Why should we care? What is actually happening? And there’s a monster? So Lex isn’t just here to narrate? Apparently the editor of the trailers thinks that superhero and action movie fans are as stupid as this iteration of Batman. We’re all just supposed to say ‘ooooh’, like it’s the Fourth of July.
Finally, there’s the tone. It’s aiming for Christopher Nolan darkness with some wise-cracking bad guy voice over. But without the emotional depth or characterisation that Nolan achieved what we get is not dark and gloomy, it’s just murky. Even when the characters can’t see clearly, the audience need to be able to. I can’t pick out what part of the screen I am supposed to be looking at in some of the shots, its all so one-note. This isn’t a film where every shot is a painting, like Barry Lyndon. It’s a fast-paced action film – I need to know where the action is.
Poor script, poor direction. Let’s not even start on that Batsuit with the glowing eyes, the obvious messianic imagery surrounding the whitest illegal alien ever, nor the two male heroes joking about which of them Wonder Woman came to the fight with. (Because obviously she must be ‘with’ one of them?? Just kick both their butts Diana.) I want to ask Zack Snyder, who did you make this film for? From the current evidence, I’m going with ‘tiny yellow cartoon Minions for Trump’. That’s a very niche audience to spend $410 million on. In one of these previews Lawrence Fishburne snaps ‘no one cares about Clark Kent taking on the Batman’. Painfully meta – someone buy the script doctor a badly needed gin.