So earlier this month nerds from all over the world were flocking to San Diego Comic Con. Amidst all the usual cosplay and fangirling, the world was introduced to a whole host of new trailers to get excited about. A lot of them were exciting, like Suicide Squad which completely turned me around about the whole thing. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn? Fuck yes Jared Leto’s joker? Holy shit! Even Will Smith doesn’t seem like too abysmal. So yeah, it turns out I’m actually excited about what DC has to offer in a world dominated by Marvel films. Which, considering how I felt after Man of Steel really fucking shocked me. Of course, even after the super popular Batman v Superman panel that sent everyone crazy, I’m still not over the bitterness that surrounded my soul after watching Zack Snyder fuck with Superman. However, after I first saw the trailer I was weirdly excited about it. There are parts that look so good but… I hate Zack Snyder. I really don’t know what to think.
As you may recall, I was disappointed by Man of Steel. It amounted to little more than just destruction porn with Snyder’s limited saturation. It wasted it’s major villain without giving him anything to do. Russell Crowe was fucking awful. Whilst depicting one of the comic book world’s power couples, Lois and Clark have no fucking chemistry. And really, due to the fact that Superman’s origin has been done to death at this point, the narrative was just super uninspiring. Plus, Zack Snyder is just a one trick pony. He’s fucked up so many things at this point I don’t understand why he keeps being giving so many second chances.
So, my unwavering annoyance with Man of Steelhas meant that every time my idiot colleague keeps trying to get me excited about Batman v SupermanI just sort of fob him off with a non-committal nod. I wasn’t looking forward to a sequel after I saw it and I wasn’t looking forward to it when the teaser trailer came out. I mean whoever was paid to write “Tell me, do you bleed? You will” is the jammiest shit on the planet. If the script follows that line then we’re all fucking doomed. I’m still cringing now.
So, by April 2015 I was still resolute in my decision to not give a shit about this film. Then Comic Con happened. I didn’t pay much attention to anything that was said during the film’s panel but I had to give the newest trailer a watch. To my absolute horror, I was on the edge of my seat the entire fucking time. I was in a horrible position when I thought I’d have to eat my words and write an open apology to Zack Snyder for ever doubting him.
Then I watched it again… and again… and again. Just to check that it hadn’t been a fluke. I’ll be honest, the initial wave of euphoria had passed but there are some things about this film that genuinely excited me. Above all else, Batfleck is as fucking awesome as I always suspected that he would be. I love Ben Affleck more and more each year and his Batman looks absolutely amazing. Not only is he fucking huge nowadays but he looks more than comfortable in both the Bruce Wayne and Dark Knight role. I just hope Snyder gives him room to work.
So that’s one major plus point. The second: Jeremy Irons. Michael Caine’s Alfred was perhaps the most perfect imagining of Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler you could have asked for. I honestly didn’t think anyone could replace him. However, Jeremy Irons’ Alfred looks different; less passive and much more vocal. I’m always quite excited to see what Jeremy Irons has to offer and, since the trailer, I’m even more excited to see what he can do with such a well-known character. It could be the greatest thing since Michael Caine uttered the words “some men just want to watch the world burn”.
Then it became trickier to find things I was truly excited about. For every shot of Batfleck you are forced to suffer through Amy Adams spouting some awful cliché like “this means something, it’s all some people have, it all that gives them hope.” Urgh. She’s so much better than this shit. However, there are the usual tempting glimpses to distract you from that, of course: Robin’s old suit with the Joker’s scrawled message of doom on it, an underwater Aquaman reference, “You let your family die”, and that shot lifted straight from The Dark Knight Returns‘s cover. I even like the self-aware plot line concerning the consequences of Superman’s fight with Zod. Snyder’s hitting back at the critics of his last film and saying ‘I get it. They’re needs to be consequences.’ It’s just a little bit pointless when Batman and Superman are clearly going to face off in an equally if not more destructive showdown. I’m not saying that isn’t enough there to whet anyone’s appetite but how good is it actually going to be?
The trailer is, more than anything, exhausting. There is so much going on that doesn’t seem to fit naturally into the main narrative strand. We see Wonder Woman in the trailer and we know the other members of the Justice League are going to introduced in some form here. You, therefore, have to ask the question, can Snyder handle that much plot? Looking at Man of Steel, I’d say no. He shrugged off the narrative to make way for more explosions the first time round so giving him more storyline to fit in and more strands to pick up just seems to be asking for trouble. Either the film will be longer than Peter Jackson’s latest outputs or it just won’t make fucking sense.
To be honest, Snyder has always seemed like the wrong choice for these films. I’m not saying he’s awful. 300 was obviously good and Watchmenis the best adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel that we are likely to get. However, he doesn’t have a light enough touch or enough of an interest in the finer details to do the material justice. He’s a blow shit up in front of some green screen kind of guy.
Christopher Nolan has fucking ruined comic book movies for us now. He was a talented director that made comic book movies good films. You can’t just be heavy handed anymore. People give a shit these days. Considering Marvel have had such phenomenal success with their directorial choices lately, you would have thought Warner Bros. could have copied their strategy and gone off the beaten track for this one. But no, Zack Snyder is a bankable director. So he’s the guy we’ve got.
To answer the original quandary of this post, the Batman v Superman trailer didn’t get me excited about that movie. Mostly because the whole film is just a shameless trailer for the Justice League movie. What it did succeed in doing was getting me super pumped up for more Batfleck. Seriously, Warner Bros. just need to admit that Superman has been a no go area after Christopher Reeve’s era. What we want is more Batman, more Affleck and less fucking Snyder.