Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer Breakdown
After Man of Steel arrived in theatres, I wrote an article entitled We Need Superman. I won’t go over old ground, but suffice to say that many of the points that I raised have since been echoed by other fans of the comic-books and original Superman movies.
Man of Steel skips over the juicy storylines and origins of Superman to deliver a film that’s nothing more than one noisy, epic battle after the next. Characterization is minimal and the plot steamrolls over all suspense.
I have a lot of concerns about Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, mainly because it is supposed to be Man of Steel 2. In fact, here’s a handy little quote by the film’s director, Zack Snyder:
“I think in a way ‘Batman v Superman’ is ‘Man of Steel 2… Justice League’ is kind of the transcendent, knights-of-the-round-table of the story. It’d be interesting to think about what a standalone Superman movie might be.”
I’m a little confused by the above quote. Isn’t Man of Steel supposed to be a ‘standalone Superman movie‘?
While the previous trailers have established a few of the exciting set pieces to come, they’ve also hinted that the film might be more than just another slobberknocker. However, the third trailer would suggest differently.
In the wake of Marvel’s success in creating a Universe of television and film characters who co-exist and crossover, DC and Warner Brothers are looking to imitate this model. Therefore, Batman vs Superman is an opportunity to address the problems of Man of Steel, by offering more of a backstory to Clark Kent (aka Superman) that in theory would make Man of Steel a slightly stronger film.
Unfortunately, Batman vs Superman is a crossover film featuring a whole range of characters who haven’t been established yet. It’s essentially Captain America: The Winter Soldier (dubbed The Avengers 1.5) without having the luxury of having multiple films preceding it.
The latter, after all, is the fifth film to feature Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury, the third film to have Captain America and Black Widow, the second to star Bucky.
Furthermore, Falcon (first introduced in The Winter Soldier) has since gone on to star in an additional two films, with his fourth appearance being in Captain America: Civil War. Oh, and did I mention Peggy Carter, S.H.I.E.L.D., HYDRA and… Well, I guess you’re starting to understand where I’m coming from.
However, the standalone film Batman vs Superman apparently includes the following:
- a) Establishes Clark Kent as Superman’s traditional alter ego from the comic-books as a reporter for The Daily Planet
- b) Develops Clark Kent’s relationship to Louis Lane, his mother and his new boss, Perry White
- c) Establishes Clark Kent’s friendship to Jimmy Olsen (according to spy pictures — Jimmy Olsen will not have any legs in the film — presumably he lost them due to an injury suffered in the battle between Superman andGeneral Zod
- d) Creates an entirely new backstory for Bruce Wayne
- e) Establishes how the world has changed after the events of Man of Steel
- f) Creates a new Batman and establish him as being as being better than the previous iteration (did the events of Chris Nolan’s films happen in this new DC Universe?)
- g) Establishes the new Alfred
- h) Introduces Wonder Woman including secret identities, her origin story etc
- i) Shows the evolution of Batman and Supermaneventually coming to coexist in peace
- j) Introduces audiences to the new Lex Luthor
- k) Highlights Lex Luthor as the villain, including a backstory to show the motivations of the character
- l) Shows how Lex Luthor manages to create a creature for the heroes to fight
- m) Explains how the Justice League is formed
I’m sure that I’ve probably missed out a few things, but my point is that the time constraints of a film prevent incredible amounts of information, characterization, backstories and relationships being established and shown to evolve over time. Therefore, I just don’t see how it is possible for this one film to cover so much.
The third Batman Vs Superman trailer pretty much outlines the entire plot:
- a) Clark Kent covers an event held by Lex Luthor
- b) Clark Kent is made aware of Bruce Wayne
- c) Clark Kent clashes with Bruce Wayne (including an over the top reference to The Joker in Suicide Squad)
- d) Bruce Wayne mulls over being Batman again so that he can stop Superman
- e) Alfred warns Bruce that it’s not possible to stopSuperman
- f) Bruce has a nightmare about the future of the world and gets back into training
- g) Batman starts to fight crime again
- h) Clark Kent and Lois Lane develop a romance
- i) Clark Kent supports Batman fighting crime, but is told that The Daily Planet won’t publish a story about a vigilante
- j) Batman looks to stop Superman — one epic battle after the next
- k) Lex Luthor gets General Zod’s body from the military and with a machine is able to create a monster withSuperman’s powers called Doomsday
- l) Batman and Superman put aside their differences (becoming almost friendly) to stop Lex Luthor
- m) Doomsday pops up to stop them
- n) Wonder Woman suddenly arrives
- o) Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman have a huge battle with Doomsday and stop Lex Luthor
- p) Justice League is established
- q) The world is safe again
You’ll notice that the above plot outline doesn’t really have any glaring holes or missing pieces of the puzzle. You can basically watch the trailer and find out everything that you could ever need to know about the film.
Worryingly this means that there is very little, if any, opportunity to add a rich backstory to characters or to even create suspense.
Think about it: the entire first half of the trailer establishes that Batman has not a snotter of a chance of stopping Superman. It’s ‘suicide‘. Suspense!
As good as Batman is, it’s futile to fight an indestructible alien being. It’s like the T-800 fighting the T-1000 with the entire fate of humanity hinged on stopping an unbeatable force from killing an innocent child (in this case, us).
Okay… in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s slightly different. However, here’s the point: the trailer gives away that neither Batman orSuperman will lose and that neither of them are in any mortal danger… After a little cheeky joke (one wink shy of Roger Moore as James Bond),Wonder Woman jumps into action.
The climax of the film has nothing to do with Batman fighting Superman… it’s Doomsday.
Am I insane in thinking that this movie should be only about Batman andSuperman? Shouldn’t this film be objective, to resolve their major differences that may flare up in future installments of Justice League?
Taking The Avengers films into consideration, am I wrong to think that prior to this two hour David vs Goliath slugfest, backstories, origin stories and the DC Universe that the characters inhibit should have been established in previous films?
You may have noticed the artwork in the background during Clark Kent andBruce Wayne’s confrontation at Lex Luthor’s event. Figures from Greek mythology are in the background which supports the idea that Superman is the Son of God (much akin to Hercules being the son of Zeus). This is similar to Wonder Woman’s representation as a Greek hero, in particular Perseus (also the son of Zeus) who is given gifts from the Gods (a shield, sword, helmet etc) so the he can defeat the Kraken (Doomsday).
Another interesting point (for me at least): Batman is at his weakest, captured and defeated in the desert, the most electrifying moment in all of the trailers. However, (anyone else getting fed up with the buts, ifs and whatevers?) an image at a recent toy fair cropped up on Reddit which is a 12 inch action figure of Batman wearing the same costume seen in the film. The toy company lists the figure as: Knightmare Batman.
When the picture was released, some speculated that the entire sequence in the desert is just a nightmare that Bruce Wayne has. Sadly, the new trailer supports this opinion as new footage shows demonic creatures flying pastBatman as he fights two soldiers in the midst of a sandstorm.
Therefore, at the point when Batman is in serious trouble (suspense!) and when Superman is presented as a far darker character than we previously thought, it’s just a dream… Doesn’t count… Move on…
So there we have it: a trailer that suggests that Man of Steel 2 aka Batman vs Superman aka (oh, we’ve already been through the list haven’t we?) is nothing more than pointless noise that lacks suspense. Why? Because the trailers told us not to worry about the heroes that we care about.
Regardless… As a geek, it’s an exciting time. Wear your badge with pride. We’re no longer a minority, but a majority, an opinion supported by the trailer racking up an impressive 1,691,536 views on YouTube… Not bad!
(For a full breakdown of each scene in the third Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice movie trailer, please visit: Batman Vs Superman Trailer Breakdown