Now THIS is what I'm talking about!
I will say that seeing Doomsday was a bit jarring given how relatively realistic everything else looked, but, y'know what? I LOVE it.
THIS is the shot in the arm that Warner Bros. and DC and their "cinematic universe" need: casting aside the "gritty realism" of the Nolan franchise and doubling-down on the comic book roots of--hello!--three of the most enduring superheroes. Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, in many ways, ARE comic books, so rather than reject their heritage and try to make something "believable", the sheer fantastical nature of their stories should be embraced. I strongly believe that idea is at the core of Marvel Studios' continued success, and this trailer looks like a step in that direction for Warner Bros. and DC.
If the film delivers on the promises of the trailer (isn't that always the hope?) then this movie will be HUGE. There are some things that are a cause for a concern, though: namely how BIG it feels. There is SO much going on. Batman and Superman have to deal with the fallout of Superman's fight with Zod in Man of Steel, Lex Luthor has to be introduced, Wonder Woman has to be introduced, so many other characters are reportedly going to be introduced, and, well, hello, BATMAN has to be introduced. Not to mention a subplot involving Zod's body and Doomsday. And there's the whole thing about Justice having to Dawn.
If they try to deliver full introductions for all of these characters, the movie will be far too bloated. We don't need an origin story for Batman (even though the previous trailer suggested we'll get one); Wonder Woman seems to be getting her own origin story, and does Lex Luthor need an origin story?
I want to avoid any further speculation and just react to what is available in the trailer, so let's do that, shall we?
The trailer opens with Bruce Wayne arriving in a car that is that is surprisingly and refreshingly subtle for him--for him. Soon after, Clark Kent introduces himself to Bruce, and gets right into a discussion on Batman and civil liberties. It's an interesting idea and the trailer makes their respective points of view very clear, but I worry that kind of discussion won't go much further.
Bruce refutes Clark while also doing a bit of world-building, alluding to the Joker with a nigh-heavy handed line about "freaks dressed as clowns." While it's not terrible, his line about "the Gotham City in me" is much better, and characterizes him as something of a brawler, someone who knows the streets and gets his hands dirty. Superman and Batman have always been contrasts, whether friendly or not, but I like the extension here beyond Superman/Day, and Batman/Night towards Superman/Clean and Batman/Dirty. Superman and Batman often clash ideologically over "ways of doing things", and while it was touched on in The Dark Knight, it was more of a discussion of surveillance rather than excessive force. I very much like the idea of a world in which Batman is more of a physical threat than Superman. These ideas aren't new, of course, but it's, again, exciting to see them here. What's also exciting? Just how good Ben Affleck seems to be as Bruce Wayne.
Shortly thereafter Jesse Eisenberg arrives to chew away more scenery than Superman destroys and seems to be having a blast doing it. Maybe it's his line reading, but he seems to suggest that Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne are equals (they certainly don't seem to be height-wise). While that may not be true, I will be very interested to see how the rest of the world of this film is built. Though Man of Steel was large in its destruction and action, its scope was still relatively narrow. We met a lot of characters, but they were all contained to that story. That makes sense, of course, because at the time Man of Steel wasn't exactly the kick-off to a new cinematic universe it eventually became. My ultimate point is, will the introduction of Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor, two huge figures in their own right, feel as if it came out of nowhere? Or will it be effectively reconciled and built upon the world began in Man of Steel?
Speaking of worlds, are we seeing an alternate world in which Superman is so angry? When that teaser aired on Monday, there was a lot of speculation as to what was happening. Was it an alternate universe? A dream? A nightmare? A vision? Superman on red kryptonite? Superman on something? The juxtaposition of those shots and Lex's claims about the innocence of power certainly suggests the last, but we'll see.
(Sidebar: the editing and music of the [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) trailer flirts almost too much with parodying an epic film rather than supporting one.)
Lex seems to be pulling all kinds of strings, commenting as he does on the fight between Batman and Superman. Call me crazy, but I like how angry Batman seems, how much he wants this fight. It's possible we'll get an explanation for that, but I like the idea that that's just the kind of Batman this is. The previous trailer suggested he's reacting to the destruction caused by Superman's fight with Zod in Man of Steel, and his comments at the beginning of the trailer certainly support that, but what's on show here suggests that was just the straw that broke the camel's back for Bruce. Maybe he's at the end of his rope, or the end of his career, and he's jealous of and bitter at Metropolis' shiny new hero? Maybe that's why he's so hell-bent on this suicide mission, as Alfred calls it?
(Another sidebar: I know I said I wanted to avoid speculation, yet here I am.)
It's around this point in the trailer, once the action kicks in (the great-looking action) that things start to ratchet up on the Comic Book-Crazy scale. Referring to Superman as "the Son of Krypton" is a blatant link to the comics, and the rest of Luthor's line sounds as if he got it straight from the sensational comic books covers they don't really do anymore. We cut to Batman engaged in a fight with soldiers who seem to have said son of Krypton's symbol on their shoulders, while things with wings buzz around overhead. They call to mind bugs, for one, obviously, but also Geonosians from Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, but also also the creatures from the New 52 relaunch of Justice League--the creatures that preceded Darkseid's appearance through a Boom Tube. Could Warner Bros. and DC try to answer Marvel's use of Thanos with Darkseid? They're already introducing Doomsday here, so where do you go from there?
For now, we'll focus on Doomsday. The trailer makes it clear that Batman loses (actually, Superman makes it clear first, in a great line that suggests he's really embracing how strong he is), so Lex has to pull even more strings to get what he wants. We're treated to more elaborate art direction (remember the bizarrely complicated-looking tech on Krypton in Man of Steel, especially the penis-shaped pods that launched to the vagina-shaped portal to the Phantom Zone?) as we see Lex turn Zod into Doomsday (it's great to see more of Tao Okamoto, but it seems DC and Marvel are content to have Asians just play their scientists).
Doomsday kind of looks as if the cave troll from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring had sex with one of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles then did its best to look like Wraith from Superman: Unchained. Thing is? I'm not mad about it. The Comic Book-Crazy just ratcheted up way high and I love it. When The Flash is taking on Gorilla Grodd and Zoom and freaking KING SHARK on TV and just utterly celebrating its comic book roots, it's about time the DC movies caught on. There is a reasonable concern that Doomsday, the villain who killed Superman will get the short end of the stick here, but his appearance gives us the first ever live-action appearance of the Trinity, so I'm okay with it.
If you didn't get chills upon Wonder Woman's reveal, then I don't want to know you. The final hero shot of the three of them sent my heart to the moon as that's something I've been waiting for (hell, how long have we all been waiting?) since comic book-based movies started to gain respect.
Some final observations: "Is she with you?" represents potential levity in the film (beyond Lex), which is certainly not unwelcome after how serious Man of Steel was. Hopefully it doesn't feel forced (like a lot of Superman's lines felt in MoS). Next, it sounds as if Batman is using a voice modulator rather than just speaking deeply, which I like. If you absolutely must mask Batman's voice and just can't ask Kevin Conroy how he did it, a modulator makes the most sense. Bruce Wayne does own Wayne Enterprises, after all (Waynetech?). Finally, it looks as if a lot of things get destroyed still.
In all seriousness, I'm excited. This looks like closest yet DC and Warner Bros. have come to challenging Marvel, and let's hope they follow through. Really, don't we all win if this movie is good?