Over the weekend, I sat through the live blog of the Warner Brothers Studio DC offerings, because I needed to monitor the final segment of the panel (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) for Wizards&Whatnot. Though the Rowling property closed the day, with the exception of Kong and a couple other small throwaways, the majority of the panel was given over to Warner’s currently struggling DC properties.
The directors of all the upcoming movies slated to be released, from Suicide Squad to Affleck’s stand alone Batman that we will direct himself were present and accounted for. Even Lego Batman got into the action. But the trailer that was the most anticipated was that of Wonder Woman.
Of all the trailers we’ve seen out of the DC slate so far, this is the first that has not left me scratching my head in bewilderment to what they were thinking (Man of Steel), feeling sort of meh (Suicide Squad) or left me laughing for all the wrong reasons (Batman v Superman.) In fact, this is the first trailer from DC I can say I’ve liked, and that’s despite the problems clearly baked into the text.
When I say “problems baked into the text,” what I mean is the framing of the trailer to the audience. I understand that in an origin story,we must introduce the character through the eyes of someone else. And perhaps not everyone knows Wonder Woman started off as a WWII period based character, or that she’s supposed to have been living for centuries (which is most likely why they set the movie in WWI, and a hundred years ago.) But there’s an odd sense from the trailer that this is “Wonder Woman, Starring Chris Pine.” I can accept that perhaps DC–as they are the first one to actually make a movie starring a female superhero–are trying to pave that trial they are blazing by giving us a trailer seen through the eyes of a man. But this better only be the framing of the trailer. I have no need to go to a theater to see two hours of Wonder Woman, only to discover the hero of our first Female Superhero Stand Alone Property is actually starring Chris Pine.
Moving on to the rest: Suicide Squad still confuses me. Marvel was ten movies deep before they did a movie like this, though perhaps if they had tried to do one earlier they too would have had it star Loki teaming up with Hydra and the demons that live in Tony Stark’s head instead of a talking raccoon and a monologarithmic tree. It does not help that Jared Leto’s abusive behaviors in the name of “method” acting have also shaded this in terms of appalling. But perhaps?
But the big surprise was the release of the first Justice League trailer, which was a choice most likely driven by how bad a critical flop the Batman v Superman movie was that was suppose to function as a lead in to it. the actors weren’t left on stage long enough to answer any questions–they just came out and waved. So sadly we could not ask questions as to whether they enjoyed making this movie. As the trailer stands though, I would say that, despite the fanboy squeeing that ensued after it played, a critical eye will note a tone of almost irritation with the comic proceedings at hand.
Ezra Miller is clearly enjoying himself, but Affleck mostly has a glint that says “Can you believe the 180 I’m doing here?” Meanwhile the overall sense from Zack Snyder’s direction seems to be one of sullen footdraging. One gets the sense that before they started filming, Snyder and company were dragged up to a top level board room and sat at the end of a table, while a dozen or so suited board members took turns hollering that if this kind of wisecracking was motherfucking good enough for motherfucking Marvel, and it’s what the goddamn asshole critics and audiences wanted, then Snyder was to get over himself and his bullshit pretentious high faluent crap and BLOODY GIVE US ONE THAT WILL FUCKING SELL.
We’ll see about that too, won’t we?