Warner Bros. gave us an early Christmas gift when they unveiled the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer, yet some are scrambling for the gift receipt. Here’s why:
Though some are confused by Jesse Eisenberg’s depiction of Lex Luthor—the cold, sadistic businessman turned to something akin to the psychotic Joker—and others are still bitter toward the casting decision leading handsome everyman, Ben Affleck, to play rich-- yet troubled-- humanitarian, Bruce Wayne, the biggest concern is the trailer. Did I say “trailer”? I meant “summary”.
For a generation that coined the term “spoiler-alert,” we’ve got bigger issues than dubious casting decisions for a movie we’re all going to see anyways.
The thing about great trailers is the non-linear way they tell the story. It uses footage to focus on a defining moment, offers suspense or humor, and escalates the tone with engaging snippets without revealing too much. In a trailer for something called Batman vs. Superman, the defining moment should be the moment where Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) are at odds. Instead, the idea was introduced very early on in the trailer, so that there’s room to show you the two make up, the true villain appears, the secondary villain attacks, and some not-so-surprising guests help out the fight. There’s the whole ensemble and the entirety of the movie. Though visually impressive, the Dawn of Justice trailer offers too much in too little time.
Maybe Jesse Eisenberg’s Joker-esque performance is an odd decision and maybe Ben Affleck doesn’t have the same “made-of-money” look that Christian Bale, George Clooney, or Michael Keaton’s eyebrows had, but maybe it’s for the better. Who’s to say this early on? But that trailer felt like a Cliffnotes version of the movie, leaving very little room for speculation and audiences doubting that there’s more to the movie than that.
If only I had a Neuralyzer.