How the ‘Justice League’ Trailer Lost My Interest in 20 Seconds


Oh look! It’s the first big trailer for Justice League! This time it’s not a made-for-promotional purposes showreel, it’s a trailer that will give us nerds a real sense of what the movie will be like! Let’s take a look, shall we?

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Whoa…that’s a hostile looking landscape. Some dude looks like he’s on a pilgrimage or something.

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I know he’s hiding his face but it’s obviously Batman. He’s the only established character so we have to start with him. What’s Batman doing out here in the wilderness? It must be a rough area, it’s only accessible by horse. What could he be searching for?

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Glaciers as well? Whatever he’s looking for out here must be a major plot point. Perhaps a frozen artefact of Darksied providing an important clue to what is coming? Maybe it’s the Fortress of Solitude or something else related to Superman? Some ancient temple where he once trained to gain a greater insight into leading the Justice League?

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Man, he’s out here for a really long time. Whatever he’s looking forward it must be a really big plot reveal.

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What?

Is that it?

A fucking fishing town?

Why did Batman, a so-called genius detective, spent days crossing mountains and glaciers and inhospitable territories in a blizzard to get to a small coastal town?

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH HIM. TAKE A GODDAMN BOAT.

We can see boats going in and out of the harbour down there. Why the hell is he riding a horse through a blizzard when we can literally take a boat to get there. Or a helicopter. He’s not travelling incognito or anything, everyone knows he’s Bruce Wayne. He’s a known billionaire, I doubt anyone is going to care if he turns up in a private helicopter.

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We KNOW he has a helicopter.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Who cares? It looks cooler and it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. But it does. It’s indicative of a wider problem with how Zack Snyder approaches film making. Every thing is spectacle and grand, cinematic visual moments over story and logic. There is no reason whatsoever for Bruce Wayne to be trudging through these mountains except that it would look cool in the trailer.

This way of film-making has done moderately well for Snyder over the years. The trailers for 300, Watchmen and Sucker Punch landed with a bang, and they’re all among the best modern trailers ever made. But he did not bother with the story in any of them. 300 and Watchmen had stories provided by acclaimed comic writes Frank Miller and Alan Moore respectively, and Sucker Punch bombed hard because it was only spectacle with no story. It was an incredibly dull film. He is writing the story on this one, and it’s something that only serves as a secondary concern to him.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad had the same problems. They were both hanging the success of the film’s trailers and ‘big moments’. Story and characters became secondary and the film felt immensely disjointed because they were just one trailer moment after another. The one Zack Snyder film that most people agree is genuinely solid film-making is Dawn of the Dead, largely because it balanced character and story with the visuals, and spaced out the big trailer moments.

Now it seems Zack Snyder is just making 3 hour long trailers. In actual fact it seems Justice League is REMAKING a previous Batman trailer, specifically Batman Begins

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Except Bruce Wayne had a story driven reason for hiking over glaciers in this instance. It’s the only was to reach the monastery where he’ll train with the League of Shadows. He’s in hiding at this point of the film, so it wouldn’t make sense for him to bust out the helicopters.

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It seems as though Snyder is only including the mountain hike in his film because it looked good in the Batman Begins trailer. If that’s the approach then we’re looking at a repeat of Dawn of Justice. Instead of glaciers why not have Bruce Wayne approach by boat, maybe capsize and get rescued by a mysterious figure…actually set up Aquaman a bit? Hell, it might even look good in the trailer so you could serve the story and Snyder’s weird obsession with making rad trailers.

Not that they haven’t responded to feedback on the previous film – it’s just the wrong feedback. Rather than fixing issues with the characters and the story the producers have latched onto the criticism that Dawn of Justice was dark and serious. Solution? Repeat jokes that you found on Tumblr.

“What’s you’re super power?”

“I’m rich.”

Get it? You should, it’s a joke that’s been made online over and over again.

“I hear you can talk to fish?” weird head cock.

Hahaha! Because people make fun of Aquaman for talking to fish! We got that one off Buzzfeed!

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At this point we just want to see Wonder Woman, especially since Greg Rucka told us it was good, and Aquaman because we think Mamoa is going to be cool in the role. Based on what we’ve seen of Justice League we suspect they’re going to make the same mistakes as Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad again. If it turns out to be awesome – fantastic. We will happily eat some humble pie because we want it to be good. But we’re not going in with optimism.

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