DC fans all around the world have been in a state of utter elation for the last week. The trailer for Justice League finally debuted, and it was pretty impressive. There's humor, there's adventure, and there is a strong team dynamic that actually seems to honor what fans of this comic book team have come to know and love about them over the course of the last six decades. To put it bluntly: the movie looks damn good.
On that note, although we generally enjoyed the trailer for Justice League, that doesn't mean that it's without its flaws. After all, no movie trailer is completely above reproach. With that in mind, we have gone through the frames of this behemoth trailer and picked out a list of reasons why we're still somewhat concerned about Zack Snyder's upcoming superhero epic. Check out what we have to say, and let us know what you think of the trailer in the comments section below. Now let's start with the first thing that we see in this trailer: Bruce Wayne on a recruitment mission.
How Much Of This Movie Is Going To Be Recruitment?
It goes without saying that Justice League has a ton of heavy lifting on its hands if it wants to set up this many corners of the DCEU. While we love a good team-building movie as much as the next group of nerds, we have to admit that there seems to be quite a bit of "recruitment montage" storytelling going on in this first trailer. We will be five movies deep into this new superhero movie universe by the time Zack Snyder's latest DC movie finally debuts, and the fact that so much legwork is being done to introduce this many characters is nothing if not a little disconcerting. Snyder has never prided himself as the most economical storyteller when it comes to the size or scope of his films (Watchmen comes to mind), so the sheer amount of recruitment in this trailer certainly has us a bit on edge.
There's No Sense Of The Average People In This World
While Man of Steel leaned heavily on the concept of collateral damage to inform its central story, Justice League seems a bit more hollow. Sure, we see Aquaman and Cyborg saving a few innocent bystanders towards the beginning of the trailer, but this first preview of the upcoming Justice League movie doesn't sell us on the sheer stakes of this war with Steppenwolf. Scope and scale? We see those ideas on display here, but there's minimal indication that individuals who are not DC icons even live in this universe. The main Justice League battle sequence seems particularly concerning, as it appears to follow the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad method of having our heroes fight the villains in an abandoned city. We don't want to watch innocent people get slaughtered, but we want a better sense that the League is fighting to protect real people from an extraterrestrial threat.
So. Many. Characters.
Speaking of iconic DC characters, did we mention that there are a lot of them in this film? Justice League seems like a regular "who's who" of the DC universe, and while we're incredibly excited to see all of these characters come together and flesh out the DCEU even further, the fact of the matter is that this movie is starting to feel crowded. Not only does this trailer give us proper introductions to most members of the titular team, but we also get to see folks like Mera, Commissioner Gordon, Henry Allen, and Silas Stone make appearances as well. Taking into account the fact that this movie will also include fan-favorites like Superman, Steppenwolf, and possibly even Darkseid, we're starting to worry about the sheer density of the story. We're not saying that DC has to copy the structure of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but following that template of slow introductions definitely would've instilled more confidence.
It's A Lot Of Cool Action, But No Substance Yet
Having said that, despite the fact that Justice League seems like it's packed to the brim with DC characters, we haven't seen much depth from this story yet. Sure, the first trailer for the film is a masterclass of style and flashy action sequences that Zack Snyder is so damn good at, but we really don't have a sense of what this movie is about yet. The best comic book movies in recent memory have been the ones that have broached complex ideas with these characters (The Dark Knight, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, etc.) but Justice League currently looks more like a bombastic battle than a genuine rumination on any substantial concepts. With that in mind, our current hope is that future trailers will take more time actually to flesh out the mission of the army of Apokolips, and give us a better understanding as to how all of these characters mesh together in a meaningful and thought-provoking way.
The CGI Is Pretty Bad
Special effects take a long time to perfect, and sometimes trailers drop before a film has a chance to complete them correctly. We're not saying that it's time to start panicking about the CGI work in Justice League, but it's hard to deny the fact that the visual effects used to create Vic "Cyborg" Stone are pretty god awful in some shots. The character currently looks like something out of an XBox 360 era cutscene, and that's not something that you want from one of the most highly anticipated superhero movies of all time. Beyond that, bad CGI has historically gone on to define the legacy of A-list films -- which is not something that the DCEU needs at this stage of its rocky existence. We still have the better part of a year for Justice League to punch up its effects, so let's keep our fingers crossed that Cyborg will look far better in the final cut of the movie.
The Color Palette Is Incredibly Dark
The DCEU already strikes a much darker tone than its competitors. We have known about that for years, and we have completely accepted it. If anything, it's nice to see a change from the breezier tone of the Marvel movies now and then. However, we have to point out the fact that Justice League's tone is quite literally too dark. Everything is insanely muted, and the action is almost incomprehensible at times. This will be no problem when a badass anti-hero like Batman is on the big screen, but characters like The Flash and Aquaman are far better suited for a more colorful and vibrant visual approach. Aesthetic qualities of a film are obviously a subjective topic, and everyone has his or her take on the matter, but making a superhero adventure enjoyable to look at should be comic book movie 101. Our hope remains high that things will brighten up by the time we see the final cut of the film.
The Lack Of Superman
Let me be clear: I am perfectly fine with Justice League keeping the return of Superman a mystery. That said, this trailer seems to have shown us a number of different set pieces with very little indication that the Man of Steel will even return at all. Cliffhangers are becoming incredibly tiresome in the world of blockbusters, and I think it's safe to say that Zack Snyder will seriously annoy DC fans if Superman ends up only being in the third act of this movie. The character has already been severely underserved throughout his tenure in the DCEU, so for the first ever Justice League movie to keep him held at arm's length would be nothing less than a slap in the face for the first mainstream superhero of the modern age. We have already seen Lois Lane; now it's time for the film to give us a little bit more from that corner of the DC mythos.
Of course, that's just our take on the first official Justice League trailer. What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments section below. Justice League will hit theaters later this year on November 17, 2017, so mark your calendars and make sure to check out our movie premiere guide for more information related to the rest of this year's most highly anticipated theatrical debuts!