The full trailer for Batman v Superman dropped last night, and I get a very Transformers-like vibe from it (as in huge special effects in service of a pretty simple story. And speaking of story, doesn’t this trailer seem to give away a lot of stuff that they maybe shouldn’t have?), which isn’t necessarily a good thing (unless you’re talking about box office, because the Transformers movies have the uncanny ability to get dumber every movie, yet become more profitable).
Though the worse thing is how familiar the trailer feels, with the feeling that Zach Snyder’s goal is to pummel viewers into submission, as opposed to entertaining them.
Though some things bothered me more than others, so here are five off the top of my head.
- Jessie Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor just doesn’t work.
Arrogant to a fault, Lex Luthor started as simply a cartoonish enemy of Superman’s, though he eventually became more nuanced, essentially a foil to Superman. Luther came to see himself not as a criminal mastermind, but more of a necessary evil and the only person brilliant enough to stop the threat that he saw in Superman.
This faux-nobility was even present in Gene Hackman’s version of the character, from Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman, so-far definitive version of Superman, and perhaps of Luthor as well.
Jesse Eisenberg’s version is another matter entirely. He comes off as whiney–his relatively high-pitched voice doesn’t help–and nowhere near threatening or menacing.
An older actor would have helped make the character appear more imposing, as opposed to manic (as if taking his Ritalin on time is the most pressing thing in his world) and wired.
2. More disaster porn
After the pummeling that Metropolis got in Man of Steel I have to admit that I was hoping that the producers would at least try to rein in the virtual destruction this time around. After all, it was particularly off-putting (and probably had more than a little to do with it being outgrossed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Captain America!), so the idea that there would be less of it this time around wasn’t unreasonable.
I guess I was asking for too much because the trailer has at least two shots of either Metropolis or Gotham going boom in orgies of CGI-based destruction.
3. Doomsday looks vaguely like a Ninja Turtle.
Be honest. That’s probably the first thing that popped into your head as well. And sure, that’s a bit silly, but it’s also true.
4. The biggest thing going for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is in the title.
For a lot of people the attraction of Batman v Superman is exactly that, namely a meeting between Batman and Superman on the silver screen, a movie first.
5. It’s all about the budget
At the moment I am unaware how much Batman v Superman cost to produce, but Zach Snyder, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros have hopefully managed to control costs because Man of Steel earned just over $668 million on a $225 million budget (a by no means a superhuman performance) and anything under a billion will probably be considered a failure (keep in mind that Avengers: Age of Ultron earned over $1.4 billion, and supposedly some at Disney were disappointed. For the first meeting of Batman and Superman to do worse would not be a good thing for the future of the DC Cinematic Universe).