Quite some time back, I wrote any essay length worth of analysis on Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’s trailer, and explained my excitement about it. I’m still equally hyped. That fervent enthusiasm hasn’t really died down just yet, and here I am, back to talk about that film. In this post here, I’m going to be listing some points regarding why I’m for and against Batman V Superman, including my various concerns and factors making me just crave this film so damn much.
PRO: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Together for the First Time
Okay, every fanboy is going to geek out at this moment, when three of the most popular superheroes this earth (or at least our generation) has ever seen come together in one film. Never before has Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman appeared together, in live-action, on the big screen. Batman and Superman have largely remained in their own confined universes for decades now, with Batman last seen in the Dark Knight Franchise, and Superman last seen (before Man of Steel) in Superman Returns. No easter eggs, nothing. Back then, what we expected were just ‘more Superman!’ and ‘more Batman!’. Nothing crossover or anything of that sort, at least until The Avengers came out and showed the world what Shared Universe really meant. And how successful that model can potentially be. Of course, Wonder Woman has hardly been represented on the big screen before in live-action prior to next year’s film, so its probably our first incarnation of that hero, and things look like they are going down the right path.
CON: Convoluted Plot
This is something that’s indeed really worrying. If you kinda forgot, this film that will probably be under 3 hours long will have to pull off several duties by the end of its runtime. It’s going to have to avoid the criticisms faced by Marvel’s Avengers films, in which all the characters are undercooked when together and are given little starring time. It’s going to have to introduce the brand new Batman, clearly distinguishing this from Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight version, as well as Wonder Woman, in what will probably be just a supporting role. Oh, lets not forget Lex Luthor too, which is one of the most important and renowned villain the the DC universe, and enough justice has to be served in order to sate fan’s appetites. It will have to continue developing Superman as well. Meanwhile, plot wise, as seen by the trailer, there will be a couple of flashbacks focusing on Batman’s past, including one reportedly involving the dead Robin and The Joker cameo. The film will also need to closely study the impact post-Superman VS Zod Metropolis Bloodbath, and as the trailer shows, the government’s response towards said situation, and how Superman is viewed as both a god and a bane to mankind’s existence. Then, of course, the Batman and Superman conflict will have to be built, they will have to fight, and of course reunite all within the span of 3 hours. And then comes Lex Luthor and whoever he brings in to face off against Batman and Superman. Sounds simple, but it’s ridiculously hard, especially if this film intends to please critics and fans all over, and stick to its limited runtime (Warner Bros. is probably going to ask for trims and cuts, so as to shorten the runtime). And not to leave anything out, remember Flash and Cyborg and Aquaman are apparently going to be introduced here as well, though they are all probably going to be in cameos only.
I mentioned it briefly earlier, but I love how this film is tackling society’s stance upon realizing that there is an alien among them. Man of Steel did perform under those circumstances, with loads of commentary over why Clark should keep his identity hidden by his parents. Of course, thanks to the apocalypse-level destruction from Man of Steel, everyone now knows (except those hiding under a rock) about this superpowered individual. The trailers have made it exceptionally clear that this film will be going head on about how divided people are about Superman being given the chance to fit into the humanoid society. It makes it clear how impactful his presence is (even Lex Luthor wants to eliminate Superman due to this). This makes it a grittier/darker take, of course, something which Warner Bros. have desired, based on the tone of their universe to date. This is in stark contrast to Marvel’s tactic (at least until Civil War), in which heroes are all accepted by the mass public, without any sort of conflict. Also about the issue of realism, I like how civilians aren’t just given the task to run. That’s really common in The Avengers, where extras are either given the simple role of ‘run and look panicky’ and ‘ignore whatever’s going on’. Some bits of reiteration here, but we are now seeing civilians having more of the mentality we Earthlings will have. Riots, check. Having a god, check. That isn’t much, but at least that’s better than what Marvel has. Oh, and that statement wasn’t meant to spark any Marvel-DC debate. I love both of them.
CON: Video-Gamey-ish, Cheesy CGI
The CGI looks horrible. Not horrible as in horrible, I mean it doesn’t really suit my taste. Maybe it’s just a teaser trailer, and CGI always gets worked on repeatedly after release, or maybe it strongly resembles the action sequence in ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ comic, but regardless, I’m not plaesed by it. Okay, the Batman in the desert fighting Superman soldiers (?) looks alright, since it’s Batman doing his job without much CGI, but those sequences between Batman and Superman look cheesy to the max. It just reminds me of what I see in video games. Not saying it’s bad, but it takes away a level of realism that DC is trying to build. Come on, how am I supposed to treat a film like a realistic take when itS CGI tells me that none of this is real? Maybe it’s just me, but I feel that the action collage at the end feels badly paced, and CGIed to the max. I’m well aware that any scene with Superman requires a crap load of CGI, but I felt that this pales in comparison to the CGI used in Man of Steel. 7 months to go, DC.
PRO: Cast and Crew
Whoever criticised DC’s casting choices, it’s time to take back your words. As the trailer showed, they more or less nailed it. Ben Affleck? Well, he did great, at least from everything we have to work with so far. Gal Gadot seems like a fit too for her Wonder Woman role. Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor seems wildly different too, at least as compared to previous cinematic takes (he finally has hair in a movie, but that’s not the point), and for what he has, he looks likely to steal the show here. Okay, some might not be convinced with what I have mentioned above, and things certainly might be different in the finished product, but all signs look good. Some might groan over the fact that Zack Snyder will be bringing you this film, and some might irk since he kinda screwed up and divided fans with his Man of Steel. Zack Snyder’s films always have fantastic trailers, but the final film always ends up as letdowns. Just look at Watchmen, Man of Steel, Sucker Punch and even 300. However, he’s the geeky sorta guy, so comic book fans know he’s going to honour the source material. As he has always ended up on the Roland Emmerich side of directing- explosions, destruction first, story second- they brought in Argo’s Chris Terrio here, so things this go round should be better, with a more character-centric plot here. Or at least I’m hoping it would be.
CON: Color Palette
As I scouted through the web the day the official Comic-Con trailer launched, I noticed people raising the point regarding an improvement in terms of the film’s colour palette. To reflect his film’s bleak setting, Snyder has tried making it consistent by introducing a dull colour palette to Man of Steel. Yes, this film is much more ‘colorful’ and ‘vibrant’ in contrast, but that isn’t really saying much. Most of the action sequences (save that Batman fights a bunch of useless, dummy soldiers scene) take place in the dead of night. And Batman is always in the dark. I don’t know whether Snyder has the misconception that Batman has to stay in the dark, due to his dark nature and costume and vigilante status, but maybe that’s just one scene I’m looking at. Regardless, the film would have been much better off having that epic scene take place in the bright of day.
That’s about all for now. Check back real soon for my For and Against: Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2. Meanwhile, here’s the official trailer, all over again: