The Disappointment of the Latest Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer

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Posted December 3, 2015 by Jeremy Winslow in Comic Books

On November 30th, Warner Bros. Pictures’ YouTube channel released a 50-second teaser trailer. In the trailer, we see Batman tied up in some underground sandy locale by his hands, a look of distress and confusion on his face. Clearly, he just woke up and has no idea what’s going on. Superman plummets from the top of the screen (sky?) into this dune, creating a huge gust of sand blasting towards the camera. His followers (?) kneel as he walks toward Batman. The enraged Superman stands in front of Batman, pulls his mask off, looks at the mask, then back at Batman—black.

The trailer concludes with “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

There has been some speculation on whether this Superman is the real Superman (some people believe it is General Zod, or someone other than Superman). Whatever the case, this teaser trailer contained mystery and intrigue. Though only 50-seconds long, it left the audience wondering what was happening; nuances and idiosyncrasies and equivocality made this teaser trailer brilliant. At the very end of the video, it was announced that the “full” trailer would be released during Jimmy Kimmel Live on December 2nd. Well, the “full” trailer has released, and… I’m disappointed. Here’s why:

It showcases the entire movie, compacted neatly in just three minutes.

The trailer begins with Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent engaging in a rather heated discussion about costumed freaks and aliens and glorification and romanticization. Lex Luthor rudely interrupts, popping in with a contemptuous and haughty line: “Bruce Wayne meets Clark Kent! I love it! I love bringing people together.” Now, Man of Steel‘s Clark Kent/Superman, played by Henry Cavill, was fine; I didn’t think there was a problem with Cavill’s performance. (Others would beg to differ.) Ben Affleck has never played the Bat, but he is an excellent actor; I have no doubt the Batfleck will be good. (He has done fine in the trailers.) Jesse Eisenberg, on the other hand… I still can’t buy into a short, long-haired Lex Luthor; I’ve heard this Lex is supposed to be THE Lex’s son, but I’m not convinced of either. (It looks like Jesse Eisenberg is playing Jesse Eisenberg.)

The trailer then cuts to some action, the same sort of cuts and sequences we’ve seen in the past few trailers. This is my first quibble: we’ve seen all of this before. I was in Olive Garden a few days ago; as of recently, most Olive Garden’s have a tablet on the dining tables, where customers can order and pay for their meals. While eating my breadstick sandwich (strange, I know, but it was delicious), I saw an Olive Garden advertisement on the tablet. I was in Olive Garden, eating Olive Garden, while watching an Olive Garden advertisement. I’m already sold on Olive Garden; you can’t sell me on something I’m already consuming. That’s exactly how I feel about these cuts and sequences of action: I’m already sold; you can’t sell me something I’m already sold on. At this point, while the action is shot exceptionally, I’m tired of seeing it; I’m ready to see it in the context of the film. Let’s talk about Lex for a moment.

batman-v-superman-trailer-087

Is this your Lex Luthor? It’s not mine.

Lex shakes both of their hands, but only comments on Kent’s grip: “Ow! Wow! That’s a good grip—you should not pick a fight with this person.” This is my second quibble: Jesse Eisenberg is unconvincing as Lex Luthor, and this line gives away the fight. We already knew Batman and Superman were going to battle, but this absolutely spoils the tension and anger of the moment. He gets a couple more lines in the trailer: “The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world,” and “[The] Son of Krypton vs. [The] Bat of Gotham.” Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams, calls Lex psychotic, to which he replies: “That is a three-syllable word for any thought too big for little minds.” This line is exactly what I expect Lex to say; it just doesn’t sound fitting coming from Jesse. Jesse Eisenberg is an adept actor, and I don’t doubt his expertise playing a witty, intelligent man. The problem is almost all of his roles (except for, maybe, American Ultra) are just that: witty and intelligent. Thus, this performance is nothing new from Jesse; it doesn’t help that there are expectations of Lex Luthor based on comics, and Jesse Eisenberg is the face chosen for the role. While we are on the topic of bewilderment, what the hell is this:

Batman-V-Superman-Dawn-of-Justice-trailer-screenshot-Doomsday

Abomination? Ravage?

Doomsday?! Really?! THAT is Doomsday?! This is my third quibble: when he first appeared on the screen, I had no idea who it was supposed to be. First I thought Bane, but that wouldn’t make any sense. Then I thought Hulk, but I recognized I was laughing at myself and the look of this thing before the name ever escaped my mouth. After the trailer I watched a few reactions and reviews; I heard the name “Doomsday” and doubtfully said, “No… That can’t be Doomsday.” I regret to inform you that, yes, it is… It is Doomsday. This monstrosity emits out a throaty roar, then splits a building in half by jumping out of it. He lands surfer-dude style, sliding on the pavement, gravel and dust catapulting behind him. Batfleck looks up with the most trite “Oh sh—” face in the history of cinematography; Doomsday lets loose a fiery atomic face laser, which ostensibly melts Batman. Wait, what is that…? A shield? From behind the shield outs Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot. I don’t have an issue with Gal Gadot (I’ve never seen her act, but she looks fine as Wonder Woman). I don’t have an issue with Wonder Woman. My fourth and final quibble is this: I don’t understand how and why she is in the film. Sure, “Dawn of Justice,” the film is the formation of the Justice League. I get that; however, Wonder Woman hasn’t been established in the DC Cinematic Universe yet. Placing her in this film feels forced. Compound that with Aquaman and Cyborg (and the other members of the Justice League that are “supposed to” make cameos) and you get either a really long film, a two-part film, or a rushed film.

While the trailer is beautifully shot, and the CG looks good, I can’t help but feel disappointed. I’m disappointed because I know how the film is going to play out (the trailer ostensibly gives acts I, II, and III away). I’m disappointed because I know Doomsday is in the film (that would have been a cool reveal; learn from J.J. Abrams, who hasn’t shown Luke yet in the The Force Awakens trailers). I’m disappointed because Lex Luthor doesn’t seem menacing or intimidating. I’m disappointed because Wonder Woman and Cyborg (who doesn’t join the Justice League until after the Teen Titans) and Aquaman are supposed to make appearances in this film, but they haven’t been established in the cinematic universe yet. I guess we’ll see how it all comes together on March 25th, 2016.

Are you disappointed? Are you hyped? Let us know what you think of the trailer:


About the Author

Jeremy Winslow

Just a word smithing, coffee loving, vinyl collecting, anime watching, film viewing, video game playing Black guy.