Release Date: March 25th, 2016
In the summer of 2013, I saw three of that summer’s big blockbuster offerings in quick succession, and I came away from that experience deeply unsettled. First up was Iron Man 3; a film that spent nearly 90 minutes convincing us that the so called bad guys with the explosive skin were actually human beings worth saving, only to have Tony Stark and his robotic suit army indiscriminately kill them all as soon as the plot demanded a high action climatic battle. I guess they were hoping that Robert Downey Jr.’s charm and witty quips would let that one slide.
Next up was Star Trek Into Darkness, wherein the final act saw a spaceship crash-land in the middle of San Francisco, slaughtering thousands of innocent civilians in the process, without so much as a word of recognition or remembrance for these deaths by the final frame. Perhaps the filmmakers were hoping we’d all be so distracted by Benedict Cumberbatch’s sexy villain voice, we wouldn’t notice that the film had so callously murdered thousands of people for the sake of spectacle.
However, neither of these films compare to the ending of Man of Steel, which saw Superman and General Zod engage in a destructive rampage throughout a city full of people, leaving nary a building untouched by the time Superman supposedly saves the day. Again, not a word is spoken of the thousands of people who would have perished in such a grand scale devastation of a large urban city, and when taken together, the lack of empathy these three films showed towards the massacres they portrayed was almost alarming. Big budget action movies have always revelled in chaos, violence, and mayhem, but I can’t remember the last time a summer season produced so much death and suffering with so little remorse.
This weekend, the new trailer for the upcoming Batman vs. Superman extravaganza was released at San Diego Comic-Con, and since the first trailer did little to pique my interest in this film, I didn’t expect much from this one. However, just 60 seconds into this extended trailer, all of my expectations went completely out the window, because it quickly became clear that not only would this film focus on the consequences of what happened at the end of Man of Steel, but it also hinted that perhaps the destruction of the city of Metropolis was not merely spectacle, but instead an important plot point that was necessary in order to set in motion the events of future films.
Before seeing this trailer, my interest in this film lay solely in the fact that it would mark the first appearance of Wonder Woman on the big screen. Now, however, I’m almost entirely sold on the film as a whole. On the basis of this trailer alone, I’m genuinely interested in seeing more of Ben Affleck’s take on Batman, the few shots of Wonder Woman in action look amazing, and Jesse Eisenberg somehow comes off as both charismatic and creepy in the role of Lex Luthor, and I want to know how he’s going to sustain that for an entire film. However, above all else, I’m relieved to see that there will finally be some consequences to the events of Man of Steel, and I’m looking forward to seeing how these will play out.
One more thing. It’s been two trailers now and we’ve yet to hear Superman utter a word. They actually let Henry Cavill talk in this one, right?
Verdict: Against all the odds, I’m actually excited for this one.