Now that we’re finally past the cinematic graveyard that is January, it’s time to come face to face with the long menu of blockbusters that 2016 has been cooking all this while. Perhaps the one most significant for the future of the comic book movie landscape, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has been riddling us with as many trailers to celebrate as to be disappointed over. When you have a studio going all in on a single behemoth play that will prove decisive for DC’s Extended Universe plans as well as Marvel’s reign, it’s inevitable that all eyes are on the play (think: Bond calling Le Chiffre’s bluff in Casino Royale) being dared. To speculate on how this clash of giants will fare, you can watch the final trailer below:
From the opening beats of the trailer, it is clear that this trailer is slightly different from the previous ones. For one, DC and Warner Bros seem to be gradually bringing in the more personal touch to its heroes, and having a little fun with the ‘biggest gladiator match in history’. What I loved about the trailer right away is the dynamic between Bruce and Alfred, both now old-timers taking digs at each other in the midst of another hard day of vigilantism. ‘Thermal imaging is showing me two dozen hostiles on the 3rd floor’, says the butler, before following it up with ‘Why don’t I drop you off on the 2nd?’, speaking with the demeanor of a lift operator. This lovely relationship drama is soon followed by our first glimpse of Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince interacting with each other. Enough for the masses to get behind Gal Gadot’s Diana and to get the fanboys drooling, that brief dialogue makes it look like Snyder is taking a page out of the Justice League animated series by introducing the bittersweet romance between Bruce and Diana. Gal’s Diana is as confident and regal as she is powerful, and is complete with that all-knowing smile of having walked the Earth a bit longer than the eponymous two have. And if that wasn’t enough, we get an amazing glory shot of the Amazonian Princess diving into battle that makes it look like she’s saying, ‘I’m here to school you two kids.’ No, I don’t think either Bruce or the comic book movie audience have ever known a woman like her.
While it sure looks like Snyder and Terrio are paying far more attention to the personal relationships of the characters (a welcome change), the former hasn’t left his forte of action sequences far behind. Right after being ‘dropped off’ on the 2nd floor, the Batman emerges in a flash from beneath the hostiles, who sacrifice multiple bones to show us exactly how adept a fighter Affleck’s version of the Caped Crusader is. The sequence is both exhilarating and gorgeous, satisfying the fans of his comics with the Batman taking out each thug in styles only too familiar to them. It is astonishing how fluid and effortless Batfleck’s movements are, something that has always appeared burdened by the suit in prior incarnations. I guess the new suit not only looks the look, but also walks the walk, giving Affleck almost complete control over his movement. This is the sort of thing you should insert in your trailer to get the hype going without taking away from the movie, unlike the last one which blew its load too soon. And it’s exactly the sort of thing I’m now going into the movie hoping for more of, a perfect tease.
Perhaps the most viral moment in the trailer is the last one, which has an apparently cocky Superman blocked by an armored Batman who doesn’t look like he’s breaking a sweat. The trailer cleverly tells us through images what we already knew: the Dark Knight cannot take the Man of Steel head on for he’s only human, but given the right amount of time, he’s smart enough to come up with a solution to his humanity. We see the Kryptonian stand tall over Batman whose attempts fail one by one, from riddling the alien with bullets to crashing into him headfirst with the Batmobile. It looks as though this is the Dark Knight’s response to what Superman told him in that last TV spot: ‘The Bat is dead.’ The promotional campaign for Batman v Superman has largely followed this trend, each new video alternating the upper hand between its two heroes, only for Wonder Woman to be the apparent voice of reason. As for the effect of Batman’s latest one-up, the bewildered expression on Superman’s face says it all.
Batman is a psychological wreck and the patient equivalent of a lobster dinner to a therapist, and his many battles in the past have led him to not trust anyone beyond Alfred. Superman, on the other hand, is a boy scout who prefers not to be pushed to throwing punches, who cannot get behind the more savage and ruthless ways of the Bat. It’s a fight for the ages, and one to be fought between two contrasting ideologies of heroism. It’s clear that Snyder understands the mythos and philosophy of the characters better than most, and there won’t be trouble on the action front either, something integral to a film with ‘versus’ in the title that’s not a legal drama. But most importantly, it looks as though we might have something to look forward to in terms of conversation as well, as it also appears to be turning a more focused lens to the alter egos of Wayne, Kent and Prince. Giving us a little more of what to expect from this movie, and a taste of the magnificent bout to come, this final trailer is clearly the drumroll for the cinematic event I’m starting to gain a little more faith in.
Alongside the new trailer, Warner Bros also released the latest poster for the movie, seen below:
Check out some more cool images from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice below: