Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice teaser – reaction

Batman1The superhero universe is changing; where once a single hero was a brand who could carry a film, following the box office conquering might of The Avengers it’s all about the long term plan leading to the team up. So it is that Batman and Superman (in their ninth and seventh cinematic releases respectively) are headed for a collision which will lead into the Justice League of America.

Henry Cavill, soon to head up the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, resumes the role he first played in 2013’s Man of Steel while Ben Affleck takes over the Dark Knight role recently vacated by Christian Bale following 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, though he has had previous costumed encounters as the original screen interpretation of Daredevil and from his association with Bluntman and Chronic in 1995’s Mallrats.

Batman2Conspicuous by her absence in this first teaser trailer is Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, an established and beloved comic character and feminist icon, due to make her feature debut as only a supporting character, the studio still apparently concerned about the effect a female lead will have on their belief that their key demographic is male and mysogynist, unable to accept a woman of power, perhaps deterred by the failure of 2004’s Catwoman film, steadfastly denying that the problem was not the audience but their own catastrophic production.

Les Anderson – This looks a much darker beast than Man of Steel. I’m intrigued by the fascist elements in the trailer – are they really as presented or are we seeing them out of context? Am also struggling to see how Wonder Woman will fit into this dark rain/testosterone-drenched neo-Gothic world. However I am more intrigued by this than I was by Man of Steel so I am looking forward to seeing it.

Couldn’t they just settle their differences à la Olly Reid and Alan Bates in Women in Love? Sweaty naked wrestling by firelight in a wood-panelled library in Wayne Manor?

Batman3Kevin Gilmartin – I think Affleck will be a good Batman. He’s the right age for the character at the time the original Bats v Supes story was set, assuming it tries to replicate that source material.

Jeremy Irons is an interesting choice for Alfred, and I can only imagine his interpretation will be rather different to those of Caine and Pertwee. But, as good as those two were, that might not be a bad thing.

Batman4Dario Persechino – It should feel epic and impressive but it just comes across as “oh, it’s all Dark and Nolan-y again.” The godlike adoration and vilification of Superman has some interesting mileage and is a good framing for the story. I really liked the shot of the soldiers kneeling before him, it’s a striking image. Hopefully this will lead to a more comic inspired xenophobic Lex Luthor than the land obsessed previous movie incarnations.

Affleck looks good as Batman and I’m sure Cavill will continue as a decent Superman, but the trailer just doesn’t get the heart racing. Coming off the heels of another trailer released in the last few days, which turned grown men into children, probably did not do it any favours. Apprehensive or not I was always going to see it. This hasn’t made me want to see it any more or any less.

Batman5Wes May – Not really much here that we’ve not seen before (except for 100% more Affleck) but glad WB saw fit to release the HD version quickly following the cruddy quality leak. As excited as I am to see this movie next year, as well as excited for what’s to come, I still cannot figure out what Warner Brothers’ issue is. They have this inability to on simply let fans…..enjoy the experience.

Christopher Nolan’s oppressive Batman trilogy (which I loved) has set a precedent for ponderous, super serious heroism in the DC Comics universe. Marvel seem to over want their films to be enjoyed by audiences. WB/DC seem to want it to be a chore for viewers to slog through.

Batman6Owen Williams – My name is Owen, and I am a Superman apologist. I read the comics. I watch the films and television shows. I have the Superman encyclopaedia, T-shirts, pyjamas, cufflinks, four Superman tattoos and the names of my children in Kryptonian down my forearms. I can justify why no one notices Superman and Clark Kent are the same person.

Although Quest for Peace does not exist in my reality I enjoyed Superman Returns (yes, I said it!) and think Man of Steel was a great modern interpretation of the character although even I have to admit that Superman isn’t the protagonist of the film; it’s Jor El.

Batman7People may have been, um… “unsure” when Affleck was cast as Batman, but people also thought that Keaton couldn’t play the role. They thought Ledger was a horrendous choice for the Joker. People doubted that Ahnolt could convincingly play a brilliant scientist driven insane by grief from the loss of his wife.

Well, okay, I’ll give you that last one, but Affleck is different. He’s a decent actor that made a few bad choices as his career was on the rise, but he’s pulled it back and is an established and well respected actor. People need to let the Daredevil thing go. They’ll feel a lot better.

Batman8It would seem from the trailer that Superman is worshipped and feared equally. Despite him seeming quite despotic I can’t imagine Clark would appreciate being seen as a God by the people of Earth. Let’s face it, he’s the lynchpin of the Justice League so they’re not going to turn him into some power mad dictator. I imagine that immediately following the scenes of his worship in the trailer he says “waaay, you, like, totes need to chill out, dude! I’m just here to lend a hand and demolish some buildings.”

In the paranoid mind of Batman, however, it will be the fear of what Superman could become that will drive the story. Batman will see him as a pawn of the powerful, a potential conqueror of the world that needs to be stopped before he begins.

Batman9The trailer is not telling the truth about what this film will be about. It’s telling the truth from Batman’s point of view: Superman cannot be trusted and needs to be stopped. I’d hazard a guess that we’ll get another trailer at a later date from Clark’s perspective, with Batman taking the role of the villain.

In all honesty, though, we didn’t see much in the trailer. No Lex, no Wonder Woman or anyone else from the Justice League, no real hint about what the plot will be. Just a few snippets of dialogue, some explosions and an Alfred monologue. Nothing was learned that we couldn’t tell from the title of the film.

Batman10I have high hopes that this film will put DC on a par with the Marvel Cinematic Universe* and, to be honest, any film becomes infinitely better when it features a true hero like Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Adam Dworak – What can I say? I can’t stand superhero movies. They’re a big no for me. You just can’t import men in tights from the comic world to the real one. It doesn’t work, it comes across like mental patients on the loose. In that way Franklyn is about the only honest “superhero” film ever. If you want to make a successful superhero movie you need to create the whole comic world, for example Tim Barton’s Batman or even Kick-Ass. Ben Affleck with his cute sweet face is definitely not Batman and I hate that new Batman mask with the moulded facial features.

Batman11Michael Flett – It’s a bit dour, isn’t it? I’m glad that, following on from the atrocious last half hour of the otherwise excellent Man of Steel, they’re actually addressing the fact that Superman wasn’t exactly heroic, that while are those who will praise him and see him as a saviour he was actually responsible for one hell of a lot of damage. In these days everyone (hey, gang!) has an opinion to express, frequently uninformed or biased, and Zack Snyder (whose own work has hardly been immune from online wrath!) is very aware of that.

Despite loving the first two Christopher Reeve movies, and yes, I even have a soft spot for Superman Returns despite the wretched presence of Kate Bosworth as Brandon Routh was perfect casting, I’m not a superhero person, never have been. I liked Guardians of the Galaxy because it was big time science fiction, and I miss spaceships and exploration. I liked Winter Soldier because it was only peripherally a superhero film. I liked The Avengers because, well, Joss. And Chris Hemsworth. And Chris Evans.

Batman13Henry Cavill, handsome as he is, just doesn’t have the same effect on me, but then that is perhaps part of Superman; he keeps himself apart, aloof. Only Lois could ever be close to him. Still, Jason Momoa will be bringing the sexy, so we have that covered. Even if he is a fish person. Actually, no, I can’t say that with a straight face, even for Jason.

I don’t have a problem with Ben Affleck as Batman. Though little brother Casey has always been the stronger of the two even when he was a kid, since he moved to directing Ben’s acting has improved, and here he seems to be a grudged up borderline psychopath, which is certainly a new interpretation of Batman for the screen but quite an honest one.

Batman12What is there actually here to see? Not all that much. Certainly no Wonder Woman. And isn’t that Chris Bale’s Batmobile? Guess Wayne Manor is feeling the financial crunch. It’s very odd that Warners are doing this at the same time as Gotham on television, but I guess there is a precedent in comics, with Detective Comics and Batman running parallel to each other and all the spin-offs, so why not. It just seems… odd.

It’s certainly gone for the Nolan vibe, the shadows, the muted colours, the bass roars on the soundtrack, which makes it odd that they’ve not picked up the pieces more directly by carrying forward some of the cast, as it was left so open ended, even though Nolan himself said it wouldn’t be him doing it.

Batman15I do agree with Owen; this is the Batman viewpoint trailer, and the next will be Superman and will be very different, but I doubt Batman will feature heavily in it as Supes likely has bigger global concerns than some jumped up flying rodent.

I can’t help but feel that it’s boys squabbling amongst themselves and just wish they would grow up and settle their differences and get on with something more worthwhile. I’ve no doubt but that I’ll be seeing this, but I’m not feeling an urgency or demand, just curiosity. My peers will be talking about it and I want to participate in an informed manner but there is no burning desire based on this.

*Mr Williams reserves the right to deny the fact that he ever typed these words.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is scheduled for release on March 25, 2016

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