The world had its first look at Zack Snyder's upcoming Justice League movie, this weekend, and it looks to be the biggest aliens-versus-superheroes battle since The Avengers. Bruce Wayne, face cloaked by a scarf, climbs a snowy mountain and reveals himself to be… Ben Affleck! Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) talks with him in voiceover about the storm coming, Mr. Wayne—er, attack, that's "not coming, Bruce, it's already here." What the trailer lacks in details or surprises or sunlight it makes up for in anticipation and exciting character introductions.
Fans will be divided about Ben Affleck's return as the Dark Knight with his CGI-looking costume and face that's trying so hard not to show any emotion. Wonder Woman is an exciting presence to have back, and the Flash's (Ezra Miller) lovable humor will do something to brighten the mood if not the shots. Cyborg (Ray Fisher)—a.k.a. Iron Man—is going to be a tough sell as a face painted onto a CGI robot body, but if it's successful he could be a worthy competitor to Robert Downey Jr.'s excellent Tony Stark. Aquaman's (Jason Momoa) bar scene and quip at Batman's costume set him up as a valuable Wolverine character (come on, the comparisons are unavoidable when the Avengers have years on the Justice League).
Who am I missing? Oh, right, Superman: where's he? The villain? Busy redeeming himself to critics after Batman v. Superman? His absence remains the film's biggest surprise and a talking point to keep building anticipation through blockbuster season, until November 17.
Among the actions shots of the new characters—Cyborg busting through a flaming car, the Flash zooming through the city surrounded by pale-blue lightning, Wonder Woman kicking a guy—are snippets of the White Stripes' "Hardest Button to Button" and a metal-ized "Come Together." There's a brief wide shot that's possibly just the Orcs invading Helms deep, a random slow-motion football player who's possibly the lone survivor of Bane's destruction of the Gotham stadium and a glimpse of Ripped J. K. Simmons telling Batman it's nice to see him "playing well with others again."
Batman's "I'm rich" joke and Aquaman's dig at the bat costume are the only bits of humor in the trailer. Where Avengers: Age of Ultron was basically one-liner after one-liner with an explosive battle at the end, Justice League looks to be a much more serious, brooding film. Yet the synopsis starts, "Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy." That doesn't sound much like Batman; at least it's not the caricatured version of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight that's taken over since 2008. "Restored faith in humanity" isn't a strong point of Batman or Zack Snyder.
I hope, like I always hope, that the D.C. characters who have been gravely underrepresented in movies during the Marvel boom will finally have the film they deserve (post-Christopher Nolan—his Dark Knight trilogy isn't and can't be a part of any superhero franchise because it hasn't been equalled). Man of Steel could have been that breakthrough film; Nolan put his name on it as producer, after all. But still we wait for D.C.'s answer to Spider-Man and Iron Man.
Also waiting eagerly for this film are the Avengers, who appeared in a (hilarious, fanmade) reaction video to the Justice League trailer to prove it. The team looks worried, which, more than anything else, might boost excitement for the movie and demand it be taken seriously. Therefore prepare thyself: if Tony Stark and Bruce Banner are paying attention, then we probably should, too.
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