ALL IN: Justice League Trailer Thoughts

With Justice League just under five months out, the delivery of an electrifying, spoiler free trailer was a must. The trailer dropped over the weekend at San Diego Comic Con does not disappoint.

The elephant in the war room, of course, is Superman’s absence following his death. While he isn’t present, there are plenty of references to his death, his legacy and what even seems to be a hologram that Bruce stares at (somewhat longingly).

The use of his sacrifice as a tool to motivate the League and inspire the populace is a brilliant move. For those that saw Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman (2016), there may be a disconnect–as an audience we saw a brooding Superman who wasn’t widely accepted despite his good intentions. Now, suddenly, the perception of him in the movie universe is one of martyrdom. He’s a beacon, an icon–people selling his merch and waxing poetic about his ideals (*cough cough* Batman). Because, in reality, that’s what happens. Most public figures, artists, heroes, etc are forever immortalized and romanticized posthumously.

There may come a day when the swell of Superman’s theme does not bring a tear to my eye, but it is not this day. Hearing Hans Zimmer’s score woven into the trailer music in such a nuanced way honestly struck my heart.

There is more set up for the plot without actually revealing much of what it entails–just the bare bones. A hostile threat from another world has come to Earth to do some very bad things and our heroes must come together to stop the enemy and its (disposable) alien army. Yaddah yaddah. We know the drill. We get closer glimpses of the Parademon army and while he is shown in bits and pieces, their leader Steppenwolf is not revealed completely. I’m grateful for just that; I don’t want another Doomsday situation akin to what happened during Batman v Superman’s marketing campaign.

Where the first trailer focused more on the characters assembling as a team, this one gets right into showing the five heroes work together. They are almost like a dysfunctional family. Wonder Woman is the wise matriarch, Batman is the jaded patriarch (that definitely has another family on the low), Cyborg is the troubled son that was most likely a child prodigy, Flash is the nerdy, awkward younger son and Aquaman is that one crazy drunk, reckless uncle.

One of the problems that I had with Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad (and Wonder Woman to a degree) was that they essentially used dark settings to mask the CGI during fight scenes. So a bulk of the action took place during night time which makes it all the more difficult to follow what is happening in front of you.

While the League seems to be fighting underground, there is an additional action scene that looks like it takes place in an abandoned district. In a voice over, Alfred says that he “does not recognize this world”. Indeed, with the sky a blazing red, it looks as if hell has descended on Earth. The settings seem more to play to Batman’s strengths but I’m interested in seeing how it works in the rest of the team’s favor.

In spite of the movie’s dark palette, the colors still manage to pop. The depth of perception is absolutely immaculate.  I imagine sitting in the theatre and having my face melt off, it looks that beautiful.

Speaking of popping colors, the visuals for Ezra Miller’s Flash just keep getting better and better. The blue lighting contrasted with the cherry red of his suit not only looks good but fits well aesthetically with the color grading of the movie. The best shots of the trailer showcase his abilities, whether shattering the glass pane of a window with a simple touch or propelling Wonder Woman’s sword toward her as the fall in mid-air.

Cyborg undoubtedly looks much better than what we have seen in past trailers. His movements seem more natural. Seeing as he was made from the alien technology that Steppenwolf and his army are hunting for in the movie (big McGuffins called Motherboxes), I am dying to see his level of involvement in that plot.

The final question that everyone wants to know is who does Alfred see in the stinger at the end of the trailer? Who is he talking to? I need answer now.

He appears to be outside at Bruce’s lake house working on something when he is confronted. At the edge of the right side of the frame, a shoulder and the side of someone’s head is just barely visible. Could it be Superman returned? Someone from the Bat Family? An ally from outer space? The world may never know…well, until this fall.

Starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, J.K Simmons and many more, the cast is just as stacked as the team’s roster of heroes. Directed by Zack Snyder, Justice League is due out this holiday season in November, 2017.

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