It feels like such a long time ago since we last saw any footage from the DCEU’s mega team-up movie, ‘Justice League’. On the podcast, we discussed in length the problems we’ve had with the DCEU, and on a personal level, I was very disappointed by both Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice & Suicide Squad. With ‘Wonder Woman’ coming our way this summer, I remain cautiously optimistic that the quality of films that Warner Brothers put out will improve. We now have a brand new trailer for ‘Justice League’, so here are a few of the thoughts that popped into my head.
The opening shots of the trailer are breathtakingly beautiful. Boy, Zack Snyder sure loves filming people on horseback doesn’t he? Let’s hope that these scenes actually make it into the theatrical cut this time! The opening dialogue with Bruce Wayne really doesn’t give much away at all, other then to say enemies are coming, so he needs to get help. I suppose I’m cool with the idea of Batman being a sheriff trying to round up a posse to take on the in coming cattle rustlers and seems as if Wonder Woman will play a part in helping gather the heroes together. So far so good.
Then next scene is pretty confusing to the un-initiated. We see a random man enter a random room . We then see a random object that appears to be pulsing away in the corner of the room and then something with glowing red eyes enters the shot behind him in a menacing manor. Assuming that you hadn’t fallen asleep at this point in ‘BvS’, you may have noticed that the man is none other than Silas Stone, father of Victor Stone aka Cyborg. We don’t really have any context for what it is he’s doing here at this point in the movie and the trailer doesn’t give you any hints, so it all is rather odd. Throw in the fact that they have randomly included a Mother-Box & a Parademon in this scene, and all non-geeks are left with is a bunch of images that don’t actually make a lot of sense. Perhaps a later trailer will actually explain a bit more about this? Let’s hope so. This is a movie that needs to appeal to casual fans as much as die hards, and the DCEU in general has been far too casual with giving out information that proves to be pivotal to future plot points.
I have to say, as things stand right now, ‘Justice League’ has me going all in for this guy:
Aquaman is the stand out star of this trailer for me. Which is ironic as Aquaman is a character I have cared next to nothing about over the years. Jason Momoa is playing the King of Atlantis in this movie, and it just feels so right. Physically, he’s a hugely imposing man and he has a presence that dominates the screen. Add to this his natural charisma, a great costume redesign and the fact that he seems to be having an absolute blast playing the character and I’m sold and here for every second of it.
What I am not here for (not yet, anyway) is Cyborg:
Ayyyyeeeeee, what the hell is going on with this?? It looks terribly ugly and very obviously CGI. Now I accept that pulling off effective visual effects for Cyborg was always going to be tricky, but this is a complete eye sore. At this point, my only hope is that this is not a completed CGI composite and that there is further work to be done to finish the visual effects, because as things stand this is a bloody awful. It’s too shiny, has way too many moving parts and looks like the kind of rubbish they fart out for Deception designs in those hideous ‘Transformers’ movies Michael Bay is fond of.
Wonder Woman looks good, but we already knew that from BvS. Hopefully, when her solo movie arrives, we’ll have a greater understanding of her character motivations and I fully expect that she will play a major part in the League’s battle against their enemy. The Flash costume design is..a bit odd really. It looks a bit like pieces of a lobster shell. I’m sure they were probably trying to ensure that it looks different enough from the TV Flash costume, but still, it will take some getting used to. Also, Zack Snyder is really overdoing it with the lightening effects. Okay Zack, we get it, he runs really fast. Aside from this, Ezra Miller seems to be a great choice for Barry Allen. He brings a much needed lighter touch and looks to have some great lines. I actually chuckled at the joke that he and Batman share about Bats lack of super powers, and I hope the movie has more of this type of banter. It was also a nice touch to see Billy Crudup seemingly playing Barry’s dad, and I’m pleased they have chosen to stick with this origin.
Aside from this we get lots of what Rich would call ‘Money Shots’ in other words, lots of rapid fire cuts of characters either showing of their powers or engaged in battle in the most stylised way possible. I guess that is all to be expected given Zack Snyder’s earlier work, but rather than excite me, it all just left me a bit non-plused. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it all looks very fine, but it’s basically just characters battling lots and lots and lots of faceless, nameless things. So at this point, it’s hard for me to muster up the energy to feel one way or another about it all. It all felt a bit like watching video game footage and it’s not going to appease those who are growing tired of seeing Superheroes slapping down faceless goons in big set pieces. Of course, I’m hugely grateful that we live in a time when I can see my childhood dreams come true and enjoy my favourite heroes on the big screen in a big way, but I’m also weary of the day when we start to hit ‘Superhero Movie Fatigue’ which surely can’t be far off and may have damaging consequences. It’s up to film makers to keep on finding new ways to turn the genre on it’s head and present fresh takes on tried and tested material. ‘Justice League’ doesn’t feel like that type of movie for me, based off of this trailer, but I am happy to be proved wrong when it hits cinemas.
Overall, I would say this is a solid if unspectacular trailer. The emphasis seems to be on the action and adventure elements of the movie, and that is definitely a good thing. Previous efforts from the DCEU have lacked this for me, so hopefully ‘Justice League’ will correct that mistake. There are lots of people, myself included, who are crying out for great movies based on DC characters because they have such rich histories and so many great stories to tell. If this can be a spring board for a diverse set of movies and characters to be reintroduced to the wider world in a fun, interesting way, I’m all for it.