Hope you are all keeping well.
As the dust has settled on San Diego Comic Con 2015, we were treated to a plethora of news regarding some of our favourite things to geek out about. Without out a doubt, one of the biggest things to generate ‘buzz’ at the con appears to have been the panel and official trailer release for ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’. From what I have have read (alas, I couldn’t attend SDCC as I’m really not that rich! Seriously, how the hell do you people afford it?!) the audience reaction was to the panel discussion and the trailer were phenomenal. The reaction on my social media feeds was similarly excitable, with some claiming to have been moved to tears by what they had seen and heard.
Now, I must make a confession to you all, I have been rather sceptical about the movie from it’s inception. I was not one of those who enjoyed Zack Snyder’s ‘Man Of Steel’. The film largely left me feeling cold and underwhelmed and I struggled to overlook some of the giant sized plot holes. Henry Cavill seems like a fine Supes’ to me, but the plotting for the movie was very unnecessarily convoluted, and the action scenes all seemed to have the same kind of ‘been there, done that’ feel, and that’s when I could actually tell who was fighting who. All of this has meant that when ‘Batman v Superman’ was announced as the follow up film in the franchise and the potential ‘breeding ground’ for DC’s new cinematic universe, I approached the news with trepidation.. I would have preferred a more straightforward ‘Man of Steel’ sequel so we could explore more of Superman’s character and his introduction to this world, but hey, what evs’, I’m a fan of Batman and I was happy to see the Dark Knight return to our screens once more.
I was able to watch the trailer a few times as it launched on Saturday evening (UK time), and I was left with very mixed emotions about what I saw. On a positive note, I have to say I am pleased with what I have seen of Ben Affleck as Batman so far. It seems as if we are getting a very different screen representation of the character. It’s rare that the ‘angry,vengeful’ Batman is ever seen in mediums outside of the comics and Affleck certainly has the look of a man haunted by the events from the past and determined to vent his frustration at the at the ol’ Blue and Red boy scout! I was also pleased that this film looks to be addressing directly the events of Man of Steel, in particular the battle between Superman and Zod and the repercussions of that. Holly Hunter is an actress i’ve admired for a long time and i’m certain she will bring gravitas and authenticity to her role. Similarly, Jeremy Irons is another actor I really enjoy watching although there really doesn’t look to be much of an age gap between his Alfred and Bruce Wayne! The production design looks great, you get a real sense of the difference between Gotham and Metropolis in the trailer. For the first time, they actually feel like real cities, which is a problem that I have always had with them in the past. The hints at the introduction of the Joker were very exciting and well handled and for me it will be very interesting to see what role he plays in this movie and future offerings from the DC cinematic universe.
However, there are still some major issues I have with this movie as things stand so far. The overall look of the film is still this awful, as the filmmakers have returned to the same washed out palette that they used in Man Of Steel. I completely understand that Warner Bros./DC are trying to give their movies a unique visual style to differentiate them from others,and that they are striving for ‘realism’ but I just hate it! It’s bland and uninspiring which does these vibrant characters no justice at all. I’m yet to be convinced that Zack Snyder is the right person to be leading DC’s attempts at creating a cinematic universe. Whilst he has a keen eye for some iconic looking visuals, these alone do not make a good movie in my opinion. And speaking of iconography, please Zack, enough with the ‘Superman is Jesus’ stuff okay? we get it! His work on Man Of Steel felt really lethargic, like some kind of bastard child of a Terrence Malik and Michael Bay movie mash up. I would hope that with an oscar winning script writer in Chris Terrio on writing duties , there will be more solid and credible character development. But Man Of Steel left such a bad taste in the mouth from a directing and editing standpoint, that I remain unconvinced. Another huge concern for me is Wonder Woman. She is a hugely important character both in the context of the comic books and for her potential to be a catalyst for other powerful female comic book characters to get the screen time and treatment they deserve. Gal Gadot is simply a poor actress. Her work to date has been dreadful, every time she was onscreen in the Fast & Furious franchise, I had to look away. I couldn’t stand to see the same faux seductive face she made in every bloody scene, and to see that same dumb look on her face in the trailer left me with shivers. I really, really hope I am proved wrong on this, but I get the terrible feeling that Wonder Woman is going to be an underwear model in armour rather then the iconic, powerful warrior who can stand toe to toe with most any being in the universe. I’m also not entirely sure about Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. Something about the character’s demeanour feels off to me. I can’t quite place it yet, but time will tell. With this film rumoured to have appearances by Aquaman and Cyborg (pre-transformation) as well as initiating other future plot elements, there is a lot that this film will need to achieve for the DCCU to have a successful launch. As things stand, I remain sceptical about it overall, but if Batman v Superman does turn out to be a great movie, i’ll be the first one back here to tell you all otherwise!
So, that’s your lot for today, how do you feel about Batman v Superman? Am I just a stick in the mud who’s not seeing the bigger picture? Or do you agree with this summary? Let me know, there’s nothing I like more then chatting geek!