— ZackSnyder (@ZackSnyder) April 17, 2015
It’s here. In the aftermath of a colossal trailer leak, Zack Snyder tweeted the first official HD look at Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice that is perfect for everyone who loved Man of Steel. I do not like Man of Steel, so this trailer just feels like my worst fears realized.
The source material for BvS is about as dark and gritty as it can get. Frank Miller’s standout Batman finale The Dark Knight Returns functions as a critique of superheroes. It’s also a terrible Superman story where he works for the government instead of holding true to his ideologies and gets beat up by Batman. I understand Snyder and company have said this is not a direct sequel to Man of Steel, but since this is the next movie in the DC Cinematic Universe, it consequently is exactly a sequel to MoS.
Look, this movie looks beautiful. Like the pages of an old Frank Miller story jumped out from the page (probably a bad comparison for me since I never like the artwork in his stories but you get what I mean). We get a look at Batfleck (who is going to crush it, btw) and possibly a new Batwing? People bowing down to Superman? Someone in armor exploring abandoned hallways surrounded by pillars? What connects all this? Who knows. But it looks bleak. Too bleak.
Snyder’s forte and his visuals are never in question. He should probably soften it up on the grey tints and aim for more primary colors. To his credit, it looks like Superman’s suit is brighter than the one a few years ago.
It’s the dour tone and cinematography (again, wondrous imagery here) that reminds me of every issue I had with the previous installment. There are interesting questions raised in the trailer about superpowered beings going unchecked in the world and what it’s like to have Gods walking among humanity. DC characters have always been more biblical with religious connotations galore (DC Trinity, anyone?) but ideas weren’t the problem. It’s lack of faith in the people putting forth the material.
If you enjoy the Man of Steel and think its ideas were formed enough to warrant thematic resonance, you’ll probably like this teaser. For me? I just miss when the sun shined in Metropolis and the Man of Tomorrow flew around with a smile on his face.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll be proven wrong and Zack Snyder will have learned his lessons from MoS and adapt a story beyond its mere surface contingencies of “Batman and Superman beat each other up and everything is dark.”