Trailer Analysis: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Early Friday the first trailer for “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was officially released.

I’ll admit I’m a bit skeptical about Dawn of Justice given my doubt in Zack Snyder — he’s amazing with creating great visuals, but that’s as far as my praises go. The trailer, however, in terms of teaser trailers, might just be one of my favorites this year.

It really establishes the tone and direction Dawn of Justice is going for, and it really brings up my hopes for the film — while giving us some of the best one liners from Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons and Ben Affleck. All of this while not giving away too much; it focuses on the two main titular characters and teases what’s to come.

The first half of the trailer includes a montage of audio and video clips. The audio clips are reactions and insight on Superman from people all around the world. And, as you’d expect, the consensus is pretty split. “We know better now don’t we,” he says. “Devils don’t come from Hell beneath us. They come from the sky.” After that, there’s a great shot of said hero in the sky as a citizen reaches out for him like he’s some savior. During the first half we get a little sound byte from Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, expressing his thoughts on the superhero. This seems to be a trend in the trailer, as it showcases a lot of beautiful shots from the movie.

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I hope that “Dawn of Justice” succeeds in capitalizing on this idea of idolizing or condemning this “False God” while also setting up the DC movie universe. My fear right now is that Snyder and Co. will focus too much on the latter, missing out on what may be a very powerful element in their hands. At the end of the first half of the teaser, a vandalized statue of Superman is shown, revealing the spray-painted words “False God” over the hero’s iconic badge.

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The second half then introduces Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, via a steady shot of Affleck grimacingly looking ahead and an epic one liner from Jeremy Irons as Wayne’s loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth. “That’s how it starts,” Alfred says. “The fever. The rage. The feeling of powerlessness. It turns good men cruel.” From one line alone, I already have a strong feeling that we’ll see the most darkest iteration of Batman on the big screen in Dawn of Justice. And since Affleck’s Bruce Wayne will already have years of experience as the infamous vigilante, this brooding background definitely seems well-fit.
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By this time, people may already know and fear who Batman is. And the shots that are shown throughout the second half of the teaser make him seem like he’s on some kind of destructive rampage similar to the one in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, which is what Dawn of Justice is inspired by, if not loosely based on. My opinions on this possible “rampage” are split. It’ll make for a good story, but it seems too soon to put the two icons in an extreme head-to-head battle so soon.

And finally, to close out the trailer is a tease of the showdown that will for sure happen between Batman and Superman in Dawn of Justice. We see Affleck in the armored Batsuit that is also from The Dark Knight Returns and Superman hovering over him. There’s also a preview of what may be Batman’s voice while he’s in the armored suit when the trailer closes with yet another epic one liner. ““Tell me, do you bleed?” he asks Superman. “You will.”

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Again, an exceptional teaser that perfectly captures the grim atmosphere of its feature-length counterpart while revealing the right amount of footage and information to the many viewers anticipating its release. Dawn of Justice will no doubt be an extremely heavy superhero blockbuster, and with Chris Terrio (“Argo”) having worked on a rewrite of the script, it looks like the film is shaping up to be a worthy, and hopefully better, successor to “Man of Steel.”

It also looks like Dawn of Justice will be much more psychological than its predecessor, possibly providing commentary on our reactions to and how we, as humans, handle situations involved with fearing what we don’t know.

Jerome Casio, Film writer at Seroword

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