By Sean Gardner
Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has been toying with my emotions since it was announced a few years ago. The idea of a Batman versus Superman movie instead of a Man of Steele 2 I found intriguing, but there have been some things that just make me doubt that this movie is going to be any good.
First came the announcement that Ben Affleck would be playing Batman and my initial reaction was, “Really? Daredevil and Gili and Jersey Girl? That’s who you want to play a brooding Batman?” However, I remembered that people hated the idea of Michael Keaton as Batman. People also hated that Heath Ledger was set to play the Joker. Now pretty much everyone loves both of them in their respective roles. Then I saw Argo and Gone Girl and realized Affleck is a much more mature actor than he was 10 years ago. I realized that I shouldn’t be too quick to judge. I figured I’d give Affleck the benefit of the doubt until I saw the film.
The next most worrisome aspect of this film’s production was the fact that so many characters kept getting added to the cast. I thought it was just supposed to be Batman and Superman, but there is also Lex Luthor (more on him later), Lois Lane, Perry White, Wonder Woman, Alfred, Ma Kent, with rumors of Cyborg, the Flash, Barbra and Jim Gordon, the Joker, Aquaman, and on and on. With so many characters, Snyder is running the risk of it turning into Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3; overloaded with too many characters and not enough time to develop them all. Yet, again, I was willing to give Snyder the chance to show me something great. If he focuses the story on the dichotomous battle of moral codes held by Batman and Superman with all the other characters in small roles or cameos, this could be fantastic.
So, going in to this newest trailer, I was hopeful to see if Snyder could deliver a knock out punch that would fully sell me on seeing this film. What I got was complete and utter failure. I hated this trailer. It literally made me angry. It stinks. It does the exact opposite of what a trailer is supposed to do. I want to see this film less because of this trailer. It took all the hopes that I had for success and it punted them off a bridge.
The trailer started off with so much potential. The first scene of the meeting of Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent was great. Their banter about ideological views of justice is a different kind of “Batman v Superman” that could add depth to the story. But Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor has to show up and ruin everything. He starts cracking wise about how Clark has a strong handshake and how Bruce shouldn’t pick a fight with him. It jarringly changed the tone and feel of the trailer. Eisenberg felt out of place. He could’ve turned to the camera and winked at the audience and said, “I bet you guys can’t wait to see these two get into a throwdown!” and it wouldn’t have been any worse. I have never like Eisenberg in any of his movies (The Social Network aside). He is passable at best in most of his films and something just doesn’t feel right about Luthor being played by such a dweeb.
I’m not even going to give a spoiler warning for this next part because it is in the trailer and I hope you’ve already watched it before reading this so here it goes: Doomsday. Why? Why Doomsday? Why does he need to be in this trailer? He doesn’t even need to be in this movie, but even if he is, then why put him in the trailer? Wouldn’t it be better to save it as a big reveal, or a twist? Imagine: the whole time we thought Luthor was the bad guy, but little did we know he was creating something more terrible than ever before. That could’ve been awesome.
For those of you who don’t know, Doomsday is the character in the comics created by Luthor from General Zod’s DNA that ultimately kills Superman. He is a villain that deserves his own movie. If Doomsday is killed, he would have been wasted, completely wasted in this film universe.
The last shot of the trailer shows Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman all standing together, bracing for Doomsday’s next attack. That shot single handedly sums up the entire plot of the movie: Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent meet. They don’t fit in with each other. Lex Luthor gets involved and pits Batman against Superman. They realize they should be fighting Luthor and not each other. Luthor sicks Doomsday on them both. They team up with Wonder Woman to defeat Doomsday and form the Justice League and live another day to be in more pointless superhero team up movies.
Do I even need to see the film? No. Is the Batman v Superman title even necessary? No. Shouldn’t they just call it Dawn of Justice? Yes. This movie needs to go away. I know that’s not going to happen but it’s what I want. Hey, Christmas is coming up. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get lucky.