comic book movies

Batman v Superman Trailer Analysis: Dark, thematic and beautiful

batman v superman trailer analysis discussionAfter a dodgy leak, we finally got our first official Batman v Superman teaser trailer, and if you’ve been following my blog, then you know Batman and Superman are my absolute loves, so it’s not surprising this trailer made incredibly happy. There’s so much to talk about, so let’s discuss the first teaser trailer for Batman v Superman! It’s here, it’s here, it’s here! I can’t believe that it’s been nearly 2 years since the announcement of Batman v Superman, and now we get our first official footage of the film. The very first line of the trailer is “is it really surprising that the most powerful man in the world should be a figure of controversy?”. One of the biggest themes of the film, is how Superman’s presence causes the rest of humanity to go into a bit of an existential crisis, but the first line also serves a meta purpose. Everyone knows Man of Steel is one of the most polarizing superhero movies (me personally I loved it), and it did spark a bit of controversy for its darkness, destruction and neck-snaps. So I’m sure this first line had a bit of a meta nod to it. batman v superman trailer analysisThe Jesus symbolism was a huge (and sometimes very non-subtle) recurring point in Man of Steel, and clearly Batman v Superman will continue on that. Another person in the voice over discusses humanity’s need to look for a saviour. We then see a shot of a group of people reaching out for Superman. Superman’s facial expressions says it all, he does not want to be this god figure for people. For me, one of the most compelling aspects of the Superman character, is Clark’s constant struggle to live up to image other people have created in their mind of him. Everyone has an ideal of who they think Superman should be, and Clark is constantly having to live up to that expectation whilst being true to himself. In the comics General Lane wants Superman to be a figure for the government, help them take down dictators and such. Others want him to be their personal saviour. It’s this constant conflict of how he should be and what he should do that causes major problems for Clark when dealing with situations. So I’m glad they’re exploring this theme in Batman v Superman. batman v superman trailer analysisWe then see Superman (in a gorgeous shot may I add) catching Russian cosmomauts. Superman isn’t just a figure for Metropolis, he’s a figure for the world, which I’m not sure other countries will like, this guy meddling in with their affairs. This is another recurring issue in the comics. Superman has to find that balance about how much he should get involved with politics. If he wanted to, he could take down a dictator, but should he? What further issues could that cause, he could start a war! And it connects with the major theme in the trailer, which was about power and corruption. And in one of the most interesting parts of the trailer, we see a group of soldiers kneel down to Superman. They appear to have Superman patches on their shoulder as well. Looks like our boy may have a fan club, a fan club he may not necessarily want. Are these soldiers doing acts in Superman’s name? I highly doubt he’s controlling them, this isn’t an elsewhere story where Supes is evil. Judging from his facial expression in our first shot of Superman in the trailer, he doesn’t like that these people are worshipping him (Jor-El knew this would happen). batman v superman trailer analysis soldiers kneelingIn another voiceover we hear someone say, “maybe he’s just a guy trying to do the right thing” (Jimmy Olsen is that you?). Society is conflicted about what they should think of him, and how they should react. I honestly have no idea how I would react if I lived in the Man of Steel world, do you? Then in a beautiful line by Lex Luthor we hear, “we know better don’t we? Devils don’t come from hell beneath us, no they come from the sky“. Luthor has never really been a Superman supporter, so it’s not surprising he’s saying something like this. I’m assuming Lex Luthor will be a sort of public figure, with a lot of power to help shape public opinion. So perhaps he’s rallied up the haters, making them deface the Superman statue. batman v superman false god statueWhich is what we come to next, along with a chant of “Go home! Go home! Go home!”. One of the biggest parts of the Superman character is his immigrant status. This whole go home chant gives us the idea that he is viewed as the illegal immigrant, and the racists are calling out for him to go back to where he came from. Next up in the voiceovers, Alfred! I really, really like the way Jeremy Irons speaks, “that’s how it starts, the fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men…cruel”. Yes this line is another beautiful line (love that Chris Terrio writing). Out of context Alfred could be talking about Lex, but in the trailer, it’s directed at Bruce. Our first look at Ben Affleck in the trailer isn’t of him as Batman, but him as Bruce Wayne, staring at his weathered suit. He’s looking a little scared, worried and reluctant. He knows he has to get back in the game, to deal with this whole alien situation. batman v superman bruce wayne trailerAnd if you look in the background of that shot, a bunch of people have pointed out that we may be seeing a Robin costume in a glass case. I’m inclined to agree, it does look like it could be a Robin costume. There’s been rumours about Red Hood being a big part of this universe, so perhaps we’re looking at Jason Todd’s old Robin costume…before he got killed by the Joker, resurrected by Talia Al Ghul and became kinda crazy. We then see shots of Batman standing in this abandoned place, with graffiti (hello Riddler I see you). Possibly this could be the same place where Superman snapped Zod’s neck, makes sense. Batman is investigating what happened and retracing Superman’s steps. batman v superman trailer analysisNow we start seeing some action, with what looks to be the Batwing. But the plane also shoots at and blows up a bunch of bad guys, so either this Batman has gone real dark, or someone else is controlling the plane. I get that this is a Frank Miller inspired Batman, but I don’t want to see Batman blowing people up, we already saw that in Batman Returns, no need to see it again. batman v superman batwingAfter that we get a shot of Batman coming out of some rubble. First of all, oh hot damn! Now that’s Batman! This is by far the best Batman costume we’ve ever seen in film. The rumour was that Batman v Superman will show some flashbacks, showing Batman in Metropolis during the fight with Zod. So maybe this is part of a flashback, and Batman is in Metropolis’ rubble, investigating all the damage Superman caused. batman v superman costumeIn another beautiful shot we see Batman, cape waving in the wind, with a…gun!!!! I’m guessing this is a Dark Knight Returns situation and the gun is a grappling gun. Either way it looks sweet, and Batman looks like a total badass. batman v superman gunOur final scene hints at the showdown between Batman and Superman (it isn’t called Batman v Superman for no reason). We saw a bit of this footage from the leaked Comic-Con teaser. The cinematography once again is completely gorgeous. Larry Fong, who also worked with Snyder on Watchmen, is a beast. We see Batman (yes he looks like Lego Batman, get over it) on the ground, with Superman flying over him. He says, “Do you bleed? You will”. A lot of people have been complaining about this line, saying it’s not something Batman would say. Ummmm yeah he would. When Batman’s pissed, he’s all about the angry one-liners, I love it! Then our teaser comes to a close, and it was some really good stuff. Overall I loved, loved this Batman v Superman trailer! It set up the premise of the film, without giving anything away. There’s so many unanswered questions, which I love, because this movie is still 11 months away. I’ve said this before, but showing too much is never a good thing. When we go in to see a movie, there should still be some intrigue. The look of the trailer was great. The shots were gorgeous, which isn’t surprising because Zack Snyder has always been a master of visuals. I loved the lines in the trailer, the lines Lex Luthor and Alfred spoke were particularly great, making me feel confident in Chris Terrio’s writing. batman v superman trailer analysisBut not everyone is as optimistic as me. Looking through the comments online, there was a lot of hate. “Oh remember when Superman had joy”, this was one of the major complaints, the darkness of the trailer. So when The Avengers does it, it’s okay, but when Batman v Superman does it, it’s the worst thing ever? I’m so glad WB/DC don’t feel the need to replicate Marvel’s tone. I enjoy Marvel’s tone, but I would like a little diversity in my superhero films. So to have Batman v Superman be this darker, more dramatic film, makes me excited to see something a little different compared to the Marvel films. Now this isn’t me hating on Marvel movies, because I adore them, I just would like the studios to differentiate their films. Then there were the complaints about it not showing enough: it’s a teaser trailer, for a movie coming out in 11 months. Had they put Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Cyborg in the trailer as well, people would have complained about it being overstuffed, and not focusing enough on Batman and Superman. This trailer gave the indication that this film is still really a Superman movie. The main focus of the trailer was about Superman, and this film will probably only have brief cameos of the other Justice League members. Although I’m sure Diana will have a bit more of a role to play, but she’s still not a lead of the film. batman v superman trailer fightAnd besides why would you want to see heaps now? Keep the mystery I say, build up the momentum until next March instead of burning everyone out with a bunch of footage. Either way people will hate on this trailer and on the movie. Many people have seemed to be set on this “Marvel rocks, DC sucks” mindset, and will probably never change that no matter what they see. And you know what that’s fine! I’m just glad this footage looks awesome, and that we’re actually seeing Batman and Superman on-screen together, that’s insane! I’m guessing we won’t see any new footage for another few months, maybe not until 6 months prior to the film’s release will we get another trailer. But for now I’m sure I can entertain myself by watching this trailer over and over again, which I have done. Batman v Superman is easily the most excited I’ve ever been about a film’s release before, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more footage and official posters etc. But what are your thoughts? How did you feel about the Batman v Superman teaser trailer? Let me know!

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20 replies »

  1. I agree, the Jesus-like symbolism of making Superman into this god-like figure is clearly a strong theme in this film. Great how so many of the characters were featured only via their dialogue, also great hints to the Bat-Legacy in those initial shots featuring Bruce/Batman. A glimpse of the Bamobile!! And then the hint of the confrontation to come: Tell me, do you bleed?” wow! Sure, its dark & moody, but I think this film will blow us all away. One thing’s for sure, its gonna be epic!!!

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    • Yeah I love that the trailer was mainly focused on Superman and the aftermath of his actions. So exciting seeing all the Batman easter eggs, this is what’s great about having a Batman that’s been around for a while. And yeah that end line gave me chills, it definitely is going to be epic!

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  2. Two things really caught me off guard in this trailer. The first was the false god graffiti on the statue, when you think about how goyer and Snyder are approaching superman, it’s not suprising. The first film addressed complaints that superman was unrelateable, too perfect, and doesn’t throw a punch. They pretty much took care of all of that.

    However, another problem people have had with supes is the false god characteristic. This movie will show that superman doesnt want to be worshipped, which will be great for the character. The second part of the trailer that took me by suprise was the batwing blowing people up, wow. I think its very interesting that batmans toys are being hijacked in this flick, if that’s the case. I hope bruce isn’t going postal.

    All in all i like the trailer and i love that it didnt give anything away. Judging by the complaints it seems that a lot of people want superman stuck in the fantasy Chris reeves era. He just saves everyone and people just love him. They dont wanna see him take on important social themes. Like the first film, “why did he have to kill zod?” “He shouldn’t have been written into that position”. Superman is a damned if you do damned if you don’t character.

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    • Yeah well said! It’s easy to play it safe with Superman, but then we’ll probably get a boring movie. At least this way we’re exploring something different with his character in the film way, and that’s exciting.
      As for the Batwing, I also really hope it’s not Bruce, that’s just too much. Interested to see if it’s Lex or someone controlling it

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      • The tone is different in this film to. In MOS, Zack drained down the colors and used a blue filter. This film appears to have full colors but with brown and dark filters, REALLY dark. The cinematography is sooo much better in this film i might add. Snyder is great at visuals just by himself, but Larry fong and snyder are perfect together.

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      • Yeah i thought the visuals in MOS were amazing, i cant imagine what krypton would’ve looked like with fong onboard. Also, i dont mind shakey cam in action scenes, but MOS had it in just regular scenes. That was just odd.

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  3. A lot of people hate Ben as Batman but I think he fit the look of Bruce Wayne more so than Bale. I just hope he is not stiff and slow as his predecessor. The physique on Superman is true to the comics….conversely, why not give him his symbolic curl?

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    • Me too I think Ben really looks like Batman: TAS Bruce as well! Haha yeah it would have been nice to see the curl, but as least this Superman really has the physical presence

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  4. This teaser trailer is perfect! Batman have the black and grey suit, Ben is Bruce Wayne! He looks exactly like the animated series version. Larry Fong and Zack Snyder together are incredibles!
    Finally we have the two biggest heroes in the same movie. I think that “Man of Steel” is one of the best comic book movies of all time, and this teaser say that “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” will be epic!

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  5. “I don’t want to see Batman blowing people up, we already saw that in Batman Returns, no need to see it again.”

    Let’s not pretend that Nolan’s Batman is innocent. In BB, Bruce burns down the entire temple that killed who knows how many people (including the prisoner who Bruce said he wouldn’t execute), kills off Ra’s al Ghul (Bruce even justified to Talia that killing her father was necessary to save people’s lives), and in TDK, he kills Two-Face to save Gordon’s son despite that it made his “moral” victory against Joker even more meaningless and kills Talia and her truck driver in TDKR.

    But hey, at least not killing Joker was awesome! I mean, it’s not like Batman got many people killed and endanged Gotham City because he resisted killing the deadly maniac or anything…right?

    As for the trailer…promising. I’ll definitely be seeing the movie when it hits theaters next year.

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    • Oh yeah fair point, I almost forgot that happened in Begins. But in Returns he actually strapped a bomb around a guy so it felt a lot more intense.
      But yeah the trailer does look interesting, looking forward to it

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  6. Love that you point out the Marvel rules mentality. I find it so frustrating. I love Dc and Marvel but I find the vs mentality leads to relentless nitpicking of one side over the other. Marvel can throw in more darkness and destruction and be praised, while DC gets a storm of hate for the same thing. The latest trailer revealed too much imo and left me more skeptical but this teaser is still a great piece of marketing. Love the shot of the woman reaching up for superman, might beat us over the head with the Jesus theme but beautiful nonetheless.

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    • It’s so uncalled for, people just love to find things to hate DC for. I definitely think this trailer was a lot stronger, and yeah the shots are really great in this one

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