*SPOILERS* for the select few excited for Superman V Batman and have been smart enough to avoid trailers & articles.
Comic book movies, in my opinion, have reached the pinnacle of overkill. We no longer have time to exhale from anything, and most films spend half their run time building up to a future film, and within six months you're getting the next entry.
Anticipation and surprise are dead. For some bizarro reason people enjoy knowing anything and everything about these films before they even come out. I feel like I'm mentioning this movie in literally every post, but has anyone else felt enormous pleasure in how mysterious the Force Awakens still is to us?
This past week we got the newest trailer to Snyder's Batman V Superman. In the beginning I was surprisingly amused. I liked the little Wayne/Kent bantering, and how they would clash; but then at the mid way point of the trailer, my jaw hit the floor.
We've all been talking about it, so I won't state the obvious: it reveals a lot. Now it's fair this is just a trailer who knows HOW MUCH was revealed, but seriously? Now look, I just want to let it be known I'm in no way saying what was actually IN the trailer was bad. I think it's pretty cool how they're re-imagining Doomsday, and like I said I really enjoyed the Wayne-Kent face off in the beginning...but why is everyone okay with seeing so much?
Imagine seeing Luke fight Kylo at the end of the Force Awakens trailer. Imagine you watched a trailer for Godfather part 2 and "I knew it was you, Fredo" was in the trailer (maybe it is, most 70's trailer just showed the whole movie...gross).
I will never understand spoiler culture. Every day I go on movie websites there's always "guess who might make an appearance in Infinity War?!" type of article. I get it on the professional side, as journalists you like to break a story that will get you a lot of hits; but as an audience member I do not understand why on earth you want to know everything about a movie before you even see it.
The mystery of a movie's story has become so absent, that most of the time I altogether avoid trailers. Studios no longer care about keeping the product secret, especially the comic book powerhouses which have become these great big machines just chugging along at a break-neck pace. In 2008, while between "Mission Impossible III" and "Star Trek", JJ Abrams made an appearance at TED to talk about mystery boxes.
He sums up his analogy of the mystery box with a Star Wars: A New Hope reference:
"What are stories but mystery boxes?... I mean, look at Star Wars: You've got the droids and meet the mysterious woman. Who is that? We don't know - mystery box! Then you meet Luke Skywalker who gets the droid, you see the holographic image. You learn it's a message, she wants to find Obi-Wan Kenobi (he's her only hope) but who the hell is Obi Wan Kenobi? Mystery Box! So then you go, he meets Ben Kenobi, Ben Kenobi IS Obi-Wan Kenobi, holy sh*t!"
Now Abrams isn't just talking about keeping his secrets before the release of the movie, but something even deeper with expectations vs true emotional moments. It's something that I feel has been noticeably absent from a lot of the big studio movies. World building is all about show don't tell; just look at "Mad Max: Fury Road."
We spend so much time planning out what's gonna happen in the next movie, what will the tent pole for this thing be, that we never really take the time to stop and develop an emotional core for these stories. It's a bit ironic, however, that Abrams contradicts himself with basically "remaking/reimagining" Kahn within "Star Trek Into Darkness", a move he's recently said he deeply regrets.
It's been refreshing to know that someone like Abrams with this mentality has now taken the reins of one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood; and I really hope it leads to a trend of better control over one's bevy of special effects; and maybe some trailers that only nail the unexpected emotionally great moments like Kent vs Wayne's ethics to hook you, rather than needing to reveal the Dawn of Justice.