The red capes are coming! And the black ones as well! The bombastic new trailer for [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) has been doing the rounds online for four days now, and reactions have been generally favourable. The three and a half minute preview has given fans a lot to chew on, so let’s take an in depth look to see what really stands out.
Batfleck looks promising
The most interesting part of the trailer for me was getting a taste of Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne/Batman. Judging from this footage at least, he appears to be a much more human and relatable character than Superman. The first time we see him he’s running towards a collapsing building in his civilian clothes to search for survivors while everyone else runs for their lives. Now straightaway, that is Batman: courageous and determined. As the trailer goes on we find out that Batman has had a very long and laborious career in Gotham city, suffering many losses along the way, and now feels threatened by the presence of this new, god-like being in his fragile world. His butler Alfred (Jeremy Irons) argues that fever and rage “turn good men cruel” and that Superman may not be the enemy, but Bats seems adamant that the Kryptonian is too dangerous to be ignored. Wayne’s mistrust of Superman should be perfectly understandable given the events of the previous film, and I feel that him having to deal with the aftermath of those events is a very smart direction to go in. This film has the potential for some very good conflict, both physical and intellectual, and I really hope it delivers. I also really hope that Batman will rely on his brains and not just brute force.
Superman the Messiah?
Some of you may have noticed the ridiculous amount of religious symbolism in Man of Steel. Specifically, Superman being portrayed as, well… Christ. From making him float in space with his arms outstretched to sitting him in Church with a huge stain glass Christ in the background, the director really wanted to hammer in that Superman is essentially an allegory for Jesus (even though his story more closely resembles that of Moses, and for that matter Hercules). This can be very distracting and will hopefully be toned down in the sequel, however there is one particular shot in the trailer that's still giving off that vibe. I’m talking about the shot in which a family stranded on the roof of their house during a flood reach out to Supes as he descends from the sky like an angel. Yeah, still not picking up an awful lot of subtlety from Snyder’s direction there. We already know that Superman is meant to be the savior of mankind; you don’t have to spell it out in big huge letters.
The Dark Knight returns... again?
When the first official picture of Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader hit the web, the first thing everybody noticed was that the design strongly resembled the costume worn by Batman in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. That coupled with the fact that he would be battling Superman, as he also does in Returns, led fans to assume that the film will be drawing heavy influence from (and maybe even adapting) certain parts of the book. What we’ve seen in the new trailer arguably supports this as certain parts seem to hint that we will once again be seeing Batman come out of retirement to battle a new foe. For instance, there is one shot showing someone walking towards what I assume is Wayne Manor, but it looks totally dilapidated. Did Bruce abandon it after he stopped being Batman? Or did he just start living in the Batcave full time and let his old mansion fall apart?
There’s also a scene in which Bruce stairs at the Batsuit in that “I never thought I’d wear you again” kind of way. While we have seen the “return” arc done previously in The Dark Knight Rises, having him return in this film would probably make more sense within the plot they appear to be setting up. Batman has been battling crime in Gotham for 20 years, as opposed to just a couple of years in the Nolanverse, and has become very world-weary during that time. And yet, he still seems to care deeply about the lives of others and this may prompt him to re-don the cape and cowl when he sees the world in jeopardy at the hands of skyscraper-smashing aliens.
Holy sidekick Batman!
I know everyone will have already mentioned this, but the trailer has confirmed that Robin exists (or existed) in this universe and also hinted his death at the hands of the Joker. I won’t bother going into detail but hopefully this backstory will be a big part of Batman’s character arc in the movie.
Lex Luthor has… hair??
One noteworthy aspect of the trailer is that it shows Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor sporting long, curly locks. The only reason this is noteworthy is because a previous Twitter pic showed Eisenberg having shaved his head completely for the role, so we can only assume that he loses his hair at some point in the movie (probably a result of Superman burning it off with his heat-vision, or something). Aside from that, Eisenberg’s performance looks fine. He has experience playing genius, billionaire douchebags so I think the part fits him fairly well.
How does Wonder Woman look?
For the most part,
looks like… Wonder Woman. The costume is pretty well designed, sporting a Xena Warrior Princess look while still staying true to the source, and actress Gal Gadot certainly looks exotic enough to be an Amazon. The only slight issue I have is Gadot’s skinny physique. Not to say she looks bad but when contrasted with the heavily beefed up appearance of the male superheroes it comes across as stereotyping. Wonder Woman in the comics is very toned and actually looks like a warrior, while Gadot looks more like a supermodel (which shouldn’t be surprising seeing as she is). This is just my opinion of course, and in any case we’ve only seen a few glimpses of her so far meaning that final judgment will have to be reserved.
This is a very decent trailer, but I remain cautiously optimistic... for now. Considering Snyder’s overblown directing style and the very mixed bag of work he’s produced so far I’m not expecting any kind of masterpiece. One thing the director is good at however is delivering spectacle, and that is something the Batman V Superman trailer has in spades. Check it out below...