If you are a geek like me, the end of November and the start of December has been a time of joy. In a matter of a week, we have gotten the trailer for Captain America: Civil War and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Both set the internet ablaze, but it seems that only one truly stood out. The numbers speak for themselves. Last week when the Civil War trailer was introduced on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, it garnered sixty-one million hits. On the flip side, just a week later using the same venue to debut their now third trailer, BvS garnered only 23.2 million. That’s almost seven million less than the previous two trailers had. Maybe it’s because it is the third trailer and some folks have already made up their mind about whether to watch it or not, but either way, that is a huge difference in fan support.
So I will admit, I’ve seen the BvS trailer approximately ten times. I will also admit that overall I did not like the trailer and my hopes for the film has dropped down a notch. This trailer, and frankly how Warner Bros. has treated their DC franchises is why I think they should ask Disney for help.
This will be a spoiler filled section as I explain where Warner failed in this trailer. Be warned, that most likely, the film will be spoiled (if the trailer hasn’t done it for you already).
Ok, so now that the warning is in place, check out the trailer again right here and then I’ll explain what is wrong with it.
Ok so first things first, the action sequences look top notch. It’s what you expect from a Zach Snyder film. If you are only looking at that, then the film seems exciting and great. But here is where DC drops the ball in this trailer.
We know from the teaser that Bruce Wayne doesn’t care for the war that Superman “brought” to this planet. He doesn’t trust him anymore than we trust the IRS. He views him as a threat and is willing to go to war over it. He’s a brooding older man. But this clip starts off with what appears to be Clark Kent’s first-ever encounter with Bruce Wayne and he approaches him in tense kind of way. I highly doubt Kent knows he’s Batman, yet he takes it upon himself to puff his chest out. The banter is not bad, and without context, I won’t nitpick on it because frankly, it’s not them I have an issue with: it’s Luthor.
The trailer clearly reveals right from the start that Luthor is the spark of the tension. Why would a foot on the ground reporter meeting Bruce Wayne seem like it is some giant accomplishment? This isn’t Oliver Queen meeting Bruce Wayne, two rich tycoons that most would perceive as enemies. The whole premise of the film was given to us that Lex knew about Wayne as Batman and Clark as Superman by his simple comments and builds upon their “disagreement” in order for them to take each other out (or at least hope Batman kills Superman).
Comics have so many variations of iconic characters that sometimes fans tend to stick to one and that is it. But it seems that in this new universe, DC/Warner prefer the most off putting or obscured ones. Either that, or they just thought that an annoyingly psychotic Lex was better suited than the more intimidating Lex. You see, what I’ve always liked when Lex has been portrayed is that he comes off as a shrewed genius who has a thirst for power. He’s very calculated but also intimidating. He carries around himself a presence that stands out in a crowd, not as annoying but as arrogant and bold.
I see this Lex, and I can’t help but think of Jim Carrey as the Riddler (yes, I think it is that bad). Here’s where DC will fail where Marvel succeeded. In the little that we have seen, does this Lex even compare to the persona of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki? There is something to be said about creating a villain so compelling, that fans will cheer for them like a hero (Darth Vader, Loki). It is something that was so impressive with Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. Loki stands out because we take him seriously and I’m not sure if this Lex will be taken seriously. They really missed out on an opportunity to create an iconic villain that will be embraced and fans will rally around another film with him and I’m not sure they have it.
Finally, less is more
This is where Warner Bros. needs to ask Disney for advice. Of all the Star Wars trailers we have seen, we are left with each one still having 100 questions. But it is best to compare the Civil War trailer. It gave us what we already knew but still left out most of the why’s. Why does each hero choose their side? What does Black Panther have to do with it? Where was Ant-Man? Where is Vision? The BvS trailer told us the whole movie in three minutes. Batman is upset over what happened in Metropolis. Luthor feeds off that and drives the tension between the two. Luthor is annoyingly psychotic who rather others do his work for him. When he realizes he needs help, he creates the actual villain of the film who was more rumored than confirmed in Doomsday. We see that Doomsday shows up and is the reason that Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman come together. That is your entire film right there. We don’t really need a why Luthor does what he does, we know he’s psychotic and is after power. They revealed so much in this trailer that the anticipation for many dropped dramatically.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a trailer be 50/50 in fan reaction, but this trailer was that. We are four months away from seeing how good it will actually be. The film will be a blockbuster hit, there is no doubt in that. However, is just being a blockbuster good enough? With Star Wars: The Force Awakens just around the corner, and 2016 filled with some big geek-filled movies, the pressure is on for this film.
Let us know what you think after seeing the trailer.