The new Justice League trailer came out over the weekend and that paired with it's previous trailer, I have mixed feelings about the upcoming film.
I have a lot of faith in Zack Snyder. His direction style is unique to him and judging from his previous works like Watchmen and the extended cut of Batman VS Superman (which allowed comic book fans to forgive him), he is a geek who loves DC. And it's apparent in the latest Justice League trailer.
The thing is I'm a geek too. And while I can forgive certain departures from the comic books — because they're either not that big a deal or well translated for the filmverse — I'm on the fence about some liberties taken in the two Justice League trailers.
Here are a few things which worked in the trailers and what didn't.
What worked: Aquaman finally looks like the King of the Seven Seas
There are very few people who can argue against this. For a long time, Aquaman hasn't been a fan favourite mainly because he didn't have a hero-like appearance. A blond man, covered in orange and green scales, riding dolphins (or worse, a seahorse) didn't exactly look the part. It was a relief when he got a great makeover for the animated series, but it's Snyder who's respected the King of Atlantis like he truly deserves and given him this badass look.
The new look makes up for some acting flaws, like the fact that Arthur Curry seems to fluctuate between acting too casual — rather than coming across as 'royalty' — and not. He behaves more like Lobo than the ruler of 70 per cent of the world. But hey, he looks great! Plus, there's a glimpse of Queen Mera in the trailer as well. Can't wait for that!
What didn't work: Green Lantern being MIA
Okay, Snyder is showing a New 52 Justice League where Cyborg is established as one of the founders. While many would still prefer his presence in Teen Titans, we can't deny he was a core member in New 52. That event has taken place in the comics, even though many readers have opposed New 52.
But what's really hard to ignore is the absence of Green Lantern in the movie.
We get it... the Ryan Reynolds-starrer Green Lantern was an embarrassment to the DC cinematic universe (it was as bad as Batman and Robin, you know it's true) but that doesn't mean we shelf the guardian! It's hard enough for me to let go of Martian Manhunter but no 'Beware my power, Green Lanterns light'?! Cast a new guy and get on with it, please.
What worked: Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne
It's easy to be the superhero. It's easy to wear a mask and perform heroic acts (most of which are carried out by a trusty stunt double). Heck, George Clooney did it. (Yes, I am very bitter about that, okay?) The real challenge lies in being the secret identity, being Bruce Wayne and Ben Affleck plays the role very well. He proved it in Batman VS Superman, with many critics who didn't even like the movie claiming he was the best thing about the flick. He captures the attitude brilliantly and we're getting what we want by seeing him reprising the role again.
What didn't work: Flash looks like Kid Flash
For the universe this is set in, with such a mature Bruce Wayne and a 'yet to appear' Superman, it's a little odd to see Barry Allen so young. For a moment I thought it was Wally West. Instead, we're shown a scene too reminiscent of Iron man meeting Spiderman in Captain America: Civil War -- though it made sense in that film!
Even though we enjoyed the scene in terms of dialogues and humour, it just doesn't connect well with me here. Flash seems fun but this doesn't seem like Barry Allen to us. I'm sure there are many fans of the series who won't like what I'm saying but if you look at the broader aspect here of Justice League, it might make sense. Which Flashpoint paradox has taken place here? I guess only time will tell.
Considering Flash is potentially one of the most powerful superheros out there, I hope you justify this, Snyder.
What worked: The quirky humor
While we don't appreciate Flash's age, we did get a chuckle out of the scene from the first trailer. It captured Flash's sense of humor. And for most characters there are witty remarks.
In an attempt to get rid of cheesy zingers from the golden era, the DC cinematic universe has been showing a lot of dark elements and has a considerably slow pace. In all this it sort of lost the charm that is associated with the heroes in the comics. But this trailer shows glimpses of humour. From Batsy's witty replies to Aquaman's playful jabs, it seems some quirks are returning.
What didn't work: The dark visual tone
The visual tone of the trailers was way too reminiscent of Watchmen and while that film was perfectly executed according to the graphic novel, Justice League doesn't require the same dark tone. Snyder's high colour contrast maybe his signature style, but we'd like a little sun here and there. This isn't just a Batman flick. Even the humourous exchange between Bruce and Barry is visually very dark. Throw some brights in, man.
The dark visuals make the battle scenes in the trailer seem too empty. The setting makes it seem like there was a battleground waiting for the heroes to continue the war. While we can't gather much from a trailer to make such assumptions, this has me concerned.
What worked: The character sequences and music
All the trailers have amazing music and knowing Snyder, there's going to be a great soundtrack. And also, Snyder does a great job of bringing amazing panels from the comic books to life onscreen. And considering how brilliantly the shots of Flash running have been done, how well the scenes of Aquaman in water are and also the mini clips of other characters are shown, you know it's been done well. Our only worry is the pacing, but if it panes out well, it can work.
I mean, come on, this guy has a point.
I really hope we're wrong about what didn't work in the trailer. I choose to remain optimistic due to my fandom for Aquaman.
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