& Becky Campbell @radicalgeekery
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. While the movie is still a year away, the first trailer was leaked online (for our coverage of the ethics involved in that click here) and then officially released. We saw our first shots of Ben Affleck as Batman, briefly heard Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, and got to see Henry Cavill looking as Superman-y as ever. So is the trailer any good? Well, depending on what corner of the internet you were on, it either rocked, was the worst thing ever, or landed somewhere in between. The internet is divided, with opinions slanting towards negative on the geek side (“It’s too dark!”). Here to take a stab at finding some consensus are Fanpup regulars Cody & Becky.
That line felt contrived, I understand that maybe the Bats doesn’t trust Superman, but he’s a fairly rational superhero who can recognize another hero when he sees one saving the planet (where were you when General Zod was going hog-wild by the way bats?). What I would find more genuine is them arguing about their different day-saving methods while still having some mutual respect.
Becky: In my opinion, this trailer wasn’t as spectacular as Cody thought, but that might be because I didn’t grow up on Batman and Superman. My first experience with the live-action Batman series was Christian Bale in Batman Begins, and similarly with Superman, my first Kal-El was Brandon Routh in Superman Returns. I’ve never been completely sold on the story of Superman, so including his story as such a large part in the trailer turns me off to liking it as much as Cody does. But, because I was a fan of Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Clark Kent in Man of Steel I will let it slide until I actually see the movie.
Then we have Batman, as portrayed by Ben Affleck, which does present a conundrum for many of us Batman fans. While Affleck is a fine actor, I still can’t get over the mistake of Daredevil from 2003. It was campy, horribly-written and it didn’t stick with the new-style of retelling comic book stories like many of its contemporaries, and I’m afraid that Affleck may bring that to another superhero movie. And much like Cody, the generic shots, Batman’s line at the end, and the bat-vehicles didn’t do much for me to get interested in the movie as a whole.
Cody: Oh dear lord, you’ve hit my pet peeve. Ben Affleck hate. I hate the hate you might say. I honestly don’t understand all the animosity towards him, specifically in the geek community, yes he was in Daredevil which wasn’t that good but lord almighty, how was that his fault? Dude put in a fine performance. What about Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern? Tobey Maguire in Spiderman 3? Hugh Jackman in the bad X-men movies? George Clooney in Batman & Robin? Plenty of good actors have been in bad movies, specifically comicbook ones, and been forgiven. So why would this guy, who's now won an Oscar for his directing and has been churning out solid performances, still get crap for some early 2000s mistakes? The dude has seen the rock bottom of his career and clawed his way back up, if that’s not Batman on some level I don’t know what is. I mean he’s even got a replica bat-cave in his house, I shit you not.
Lastly in my Affleck-defense, he took the role even knowing the internet mob would be after him, not unlike the caped crusader waging a one-man war against organized crime in Gotham, when he knows it will make him a target. It brings to mind a quote from The Dark Knight.
“They'll hate you for it, but that's the point of Batman, he can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice.”
Becky: I agree with Cody’s assessment about both Green Lantern and Spiderman 3 -- I wasn’t a fan of either story interpretation. As someone new to the comic book geek and nerd scene, those movies did nothing for me, and I’m afraid that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will disappoint me in just the same way. I won’t understand the story, and I won’t be clued into the many different plot lines and I will just be lost and confused.
I want to be convinced that Ben Affleck is the The Dark Knight, I want to be convinced that nothing but kryptonite can take Henry Cavill down, and this trailer did neither for me. But, to be 100% clear, I am not discrediting Affleck yet. I remember when a certain heartthrob named Heath Ledger was picked to play the Joker and how I laughed at how it could even be possible, but without a doubt, he was one of the best, if not the only Joker in my mind now. Whether this Batman is the right choice or not, we will be treated to our newest incarnation of the character since Christian Bale left it in 2012. As always, I’ll hope, but will won’t lay all my eggs in one basket until I’ve seen the movie as a whole.
Though, I can’t say that is the actors fault. That I will lay at the director’s feet, none of Zach Snyder's movies have really caught my attention and this trailer didn’t either. If Snyder could convince me this is worth watching from just the trailer alone, I could be convinced that this would be a worthwhile movie to check out.
Cody: Those reservations I can totally understand, if not agree with. Zack Snyder isn’t one of my favorite filmmakers, but I really liked the weighty take him and his team gave to Superman in Man of Steel, so I’m excited for this. But I get if absolute confidence hasn’t been inspired in you.
So as I previously said, I think some of Batman’s lines in the trailer are contrived, but on a broader note I don’t think I’m that excited to see the two heroes fight. For me a hero throw down like Marvel’s Civil War is interesting because they both have a good point and really don’t want to fight. Whereas I get a bit of a ‘boxing match’ vibe from the end of this trailer, like I should be excited for the fight itself and not the reasons why. Did you get that at all?
Becky: Oh, I couldn’t agree more. Batman vs. Superman fighting? Yawn. Give me Marvel characters going at it any day and I’d be more interested, and by that I mean I feel like any Marvel superhero/supervillian identity already has more depth and intrigue than most DC movie characters. Give some depth to Batman and Superman and I’d considered it, I’d rather have depth than brawn. But I am curious to see Affleck’s portrayal as Batman more than anything. It’s a new suit, a new actor and a new movie. And as much as I love superhero movies, I really feel like lately Hollywood has been pushing the reboots (Spiderman, Superman and Batman) and I’m afraid they are going to tire out their viewers by constantly rehashing the same stories over and over again.
Cody: Oh, so just to clarify, you just don’t care for DC heroes. Like, at all do you? I prefer Marvel, but if there was an arbitrary Cap vs. Iron man movie without a real reason I’d be wary of that too.
Becky: The Arrow and the Flash? Oh yes, those are cool DC characters, but the DC heroes who have had movies and TV shows for years like Superman and Batman are boring to me, I want to know more about the characters we never hear about like Supergirl, Batwoman, and Blue Beetle. DC needs to branch out more, and Marvel has shown that they can do that without any difficulty.
Cody: So to sum up: Becky isn’t totally sold on the trailer, and wants to see some lesser known heroes (give her Blue Beetle gosh darn it!). And I will fight anyone who has a problem with Ben Affleck, while remaining cautiously optimistic about the film. Granted, we won’t really know what’s up until we actually see the film next year, but for now we can keep speculating.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.