Saturday, 18 April 2015

Trailer Check: Batman v Superman (2016)


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So now it’s out. The first teaser trailer for the long awaited showdown between DC’s major protagonists Batman and Superman landed on this planet – not unexpectedly but for sure prematurely  –  two days ago and my fan-heart soared. With Marvel dishing out one superhero movie after the other, those of us in favor of non-mutant saviors were beginning to feel a bit neglected. 



For the second time after Man of Steel (2013) Henry Cavill dons the red cape, but as with its predecessor, this movie’s Superman is not the Technicolor version of the past. In line with the Dark Knight trilogy of Christopher Nolan, who is executive producer for this motion picture, director Zack Snyder envisioned a darker, more realist version of the DC- universe.


While there are – of course – still many fantastic elements to Batman v Superman the themes and questions that arise in the trailer might just as well be posed in our real world.

Is it really surprising that the most powerful man in the world should be a figure of controversy?

This question posed on black screen is what sets the tone for our very first glimpse at DC’s next masterpiece. We are left to wonder if is this our very human idol, that is known to live life on the wild side from time to time, or our extraterrestrial savior, who normally can do no wrong, who is talked about. Well, in realist fashion, things are not that simple. Who is good and who is bad? And why are DC’s two ultimate heroes facing off in the first place?

From the first glimpse we get, it seems Kal-El is the one not welcome on planet Earth any more. While in Man of Steel we saw Superman as the cherished helper against an alien force for us “Earthians”, now he seems to have turned into the unwelcome alien force himself. The trailer invokes a sense of paranoia against the unknown and foreign, seemingly despite previous good deeds. This unfounded fear is posed against a culture where everything is in question and caution should be exercised at all times. There is also much talk about the weakness of humans to irrationally follow strong leaders. Nothing is inherently good or evil any more. To attest to this fact a number of religious images is evoked. Superman is propagated as the “False God” and we learn that devils don’t come from beneath the earth, but “they come from the sky”. Ability and purpose/task are under scrutiny.

In all this we can’t help but wonder whether there’s a much darker side to our Superman or if the movie’s plot is one big scheme by our favorite bald villain, Lex Luthor, to discredit his arch enemy. And where does Batman come into this? We see a weathered looking Ben Affleck staring sternly at his Batsuit, while Jeremy Irons’ Alfred forsees:

That’s how it starts, the fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men cruel…

Is he talking about irrational hysteria here or is there an actual threat to be tackled? Will Batman be sent to face Superman as the only human possibly capable of this larger than life task? Or will he be the only one brave and smart enough to see the plot at play behind the uprising against Superman? Will these two heroes in the end go into battle against each other as the last scene of the teaser trailer makes us believe (side note: how awesome is Ben Affleck’s Batman voice?!) or will they unite forces against a much larger evil as we might conclude from the super cool joint Batman and Superman sign?

The first teaser trailer makes us believe in a dark and epic face-off of the – for me personally – two best super heroes of all time. But, like a good trailer should, it poses many more questions than it gives answers. As a sort of sequel to 2013’s Man of Steel this movie seems to fill out the corners in plot and back-story that its predecessor left blank with another major DC player added to the fray as a bonus. After that first glimpse the time until its release in May 2016 just got a whole lot longer!

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