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No one expected Justice League footage to be shown last weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, as not only is the film currently in the midst of production, but with Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman due out before Justice League hits in November 2017, you'd have thought that Zack Snyder would have given more room for its cinematic brethren to breathe.
But lo and behold, our first glimpse at the big team-up picture arrived, and what was shown was enough to raise my excitement for Justice League, and for some very specific reasons. Before I jump ahead to the reasons I'm eager to see Justice League, let's have a quick recap with the trailer, just in case some of you out there haven't see it yet. You can right that wrong by watching it in all of its glory below.
Earlier this summer I wrote about why I believe the freedom given to DC's directors by Warner Bros is both a blessing and a curse, but that it has already resulted in their films possessing some truly striking visuals. In just 2 minutes and 39 seconds, the first Justice League trailer does that, too. I mean, just look at the framing and posturing of Jason Momoa's Aquaman as he enters the water so impressively.
It's enough to immediately make you forget that entire idea of an Aquaman movie is laughable. I mean, it was even a punch line on Entourage. Meanwhile, Momoa himself also teases that being tall, handsome, intimidating, drinking whiskey by the bottle full, and throwing Ben Affleck's Batman around should be enough to enthrall, too.
That wasn't all that excited me, as Snyder's use of slow-mo as Batman threw his sharpened insignia at Ezra Miller's Barry Allen was also just as stimulating. It not only combined subtle characterization about Batman cutting to the chase with an integral plot point as Allen learns that Bruce Wayne is Batman, but it just looked cool as fudge, too. And sometimes that's all you need.
It looks like Bruce Wayne / Batman is clearly going to have a different relationship with each member of the Justice League. Wonder Woman appears to be telling him where to go, emanating an elder sister vibe, while Arthur Curry / Aquaman is the brutish and dismissive older brother that's only helping because he knows it's the right thing to do. Meanwhile, The Flash is the annoying younger sibling that just wants to be involved in any capacity, and I'm not quite sure what Cyborg is yet. Some kind of metallic dog?
This leads me to believe that Justice League's humor seems more on point than in Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, too. Wonder Woman's, "More or more or more or less," interchange with Bruce Wayne and both The Flash's insistence that labeling him as quick was an "over simplification" and his interruption of Batman's speech were immediately as funny as anything in Batman v. Superman. And, strangely enough, either Ben Affleck's Caped Crusader has clearly already mellowed, or maybe they're just saving the footage of him threatening to murder anyone different to him until the full release.
Of course, there are still some concerns. While it's undoubtedly more humorous, are the clouds grey all year round in Metropolis and Gotham? Or has the DC Extended Universe just forgotten to put the lights on? Also, how couldn't there be after the overblown Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice? Zack Snyder's eye for spectacle is there for all to see, but we can only hope that he's managed to reign it in a tad so that it doesn't overwhelm everything else.
Meanwhile, Chris Terrio's script also anchored Batman v. Superman in tedium with its long, meandering and ultimately pointless diatribes, and Justice League's trailer featured a few hints that it could be the same. The most telling evidence was the fact that Batman's non sequitur to Cyborg of, "I'm real when it's useful," was more puzzling than rousing.
But, out of context, it's impossible to know if these flaws could will sabotage Justice League, or if Snyder and company have actually been listening and made amends. It better be the latter, because fans won't be happy if these iconic characters are treated in a cruddy fashion again. Time will tell if Justice League is a resounding success, or utter failure. But for now, I'm more than ready to take the ride come next November.
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