Justice League Trailer Thoughts

Geoff Johns was kind enough to share the new Justice League trailer with twitter this morning.

So let’s get this out of the way. I am not a Marvel v DC person. Obviously I realize there is competition between the two brand and their related movie studios. However,  I do not condone the childish mindset that I can only like the movies from one group. My favourite comic book films include DC and Marvel properties, ranging from The Dark Knight, X:Men DOFP to Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

With that said, I am cautiously optimistic about Justice League. I love the characters, especially Batman, but BatmanvSuperman and Suicide Squad have left a bad taste in my mouth. Don’t get me wrong, both films had great pieces and great moments. Overall. they felt short. Both had weak villians and weak third acts, along with some other issues.

As I watched this trailer I forgot about that for a moment. There is still no sign of Superman but I’m sure we’ll see him in the film. I am glad this film didn’t reveal too much about the plot or reveal the villain yet. We know it will be Darkseid’s uncle, Steppenwolf, and we get some glimpses of parademons (presumably) in this trailer.

From what I understand, Cyborg’s armour is derived from alien technology in the newer comics. It looks like his armour comes from a motherbox, a teleportation device Darkseid’s forces use. This motherbox appears to be the gateway that allows the parademons to reach earth. If this is the case, Cyborg could have a central role in the film and I am hoping the script and the actor can deliver.

To start, there is a lot of CGI in this trailer. Obviously that has to be the case for the visuals this story needs. The Flash looks amazing so far and his scenes are some of my favourites from the trailer. However, this trailer reminds me of 300 with the amount of computer generated backgrounds and surroundings. The scene with Batman fighting a parademon sticks out in my mind as one of the worst offenders. Maybe I wouldn’t notice as much if some of the effects looked better. Hopefully the effects are cleaned up by the time the film begins. Cyborg looks better than he did in the comic-con footage so I am hoping there is still time to improve the visuals.

With that being said, the visuals weren’t my greatest concern going into the film. Steppenwolf will hopefully provide a better villain than Doomsday, Luthor or Enchantress. This should help to strengthen the third act but won’t necessarily be enough. If the third act is just a fight filled with poor special effects, that can also cause the audience to lose interest, like I did with the last fight in BvS.

I am also hoping the desire to add more “fun” doesn’t ruin the script entirely. Obviously some characters are more light-hearted than others. However, Barry Allen has pretty much been turned into Wally West in terms of their personalities. Meanwhile it looks like they are trying to turn Bruce Wayne into Tony Stark. Obviously Bruce Wayne has the carefree, obnoxious playboy persona but the real Bruce Wayne has a drier sense of humour than the one we’ve seen so far.

Okay, time to be more positive.

Aquaman is one of my favourite superheroes, and is severely underrated by the general audience and even some comic book readers. Jason Momoa, as well as the writers, look like they’ll remedy that. I am sure that Aquaman or Flash will end up being the breakout stars of this film and possibly even the franchise. My only worry is Momoa’s acting skill, which isn’t that great from what I have seen so far. That doesn’t detract from my man crush, but it does bring up a possible issue with the film. We’ll see how he does.

In general, the action looks pretty awesome. Looking past the issue of the CGI, it looks like we’ll see some creative and memorable action sequences. It was great to see our first glimpse of J.K Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, and hear a reference to Robin since Batman is “playing well with others” again.

I can’t deny my excitement at seeing my favourite superheroes on screen together and I hope Zack Snyder delivers a film that lives up to the hype.

 

Batffleck Movie Will Be An Original Story

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You can also watch my video on this topic.

BatmanvSuperman definitely got its fair share of hate but even some of the most vitriolic reviews praise Ben Affleck’s performance as Batman. I gave BatmanvSuperman a 6.5/10 but Ben Affleck is a big part of its re-watchability and once the film was done I remained excited about the batman solo film.

Anyone following my Twitter or Instagram will know that I was hoping for an adaptation of the Red Hood storyline. However, Ben Affleck confirmed that if he were to write the film (which he is), that he would make the story an original one.

Geoff Johns, DC’s Chief Creative Officer, is co-writing and will likely have a great deal of influence on the script as well.

The desire to go with an original story does bring up two issues for me.

1) Ben Affleck’s Main Justification

Affleck stated that he would want to use an original story due to the element of unpredictability. Like BvS, the Batman film will borrow elements from other comics and combine them into a new story. The audience would not know exactly what to expect. This logic does fall flat for me since the excitement of most book adaptations is the anticipation of seeing certain characters and events play out in a different medium. For example, many Game of Thrones fans eagerly awaited the television adaptation of moments like The Red Wedding and a big part of the excitement was the predictability. The predicability can also give way to suspense.

If story lines or characters are being excluded simply to make the story less predictable, then the changes may not always add value to the character and story.

2) Characters/Story Lines Could Be Prematurely Used

One issue that many fans of the film, myself included, had with Doomsday was that his inclusion felt poorly developed. Obviously Doomsday does not need to recite a soliloquy detailing his murderous intentions, but his origin is more interesting in the comics. Also, some poorly rendered CGI took away from the gravitas of the final fight. Now that Doomsday and Superman have already died in this film’s universe, this removes the option of seeing a full Death of Superman arc on screen. The storyline was used (arguably too early) and now must be retired.

I worry that the same thing could happen if pieces of story lines such as Red Hood or Injustice are cobbled together.

Affleck has proven himself to be a good writer. I know reception of the New 52 has been mixed, but I do hear that some of John’s work with DC is amazing so I am hoping that the solo Batman film still delivers an engaging DC story.