Awesome Justice League Trailer Aims To Unite The Tangents
THE AGE OF HEROES
I’m worried about the Justice League. It’s the one movie I want to be amazing more than any other in 2017. Several big blockbusters are coming that already appear to be hits (Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy etc…) but I’m still skeptical about Zack Snyder’s team up. I blame Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
We now have a full length official trailer to dissect and I have to admit, it’s pretty bad ass. My initial reaction? Let the Age of Heroes begin!
So let’s get the obvious out of the way. Zack Snyder is an incredible director and his action sequences are absolutely gorgeous. Make no mistake, Justice League will be stylish, action packed and fun as hell.
But I’m still worried about it. I’m worried about the storytelling. I’m worried about the sheer amount of plot threads to keep track of. I’m worried about the balance between the massive action beats and equally (if not infinitely more) crucial character moments.
Let’s start with the action:
- Aquaman steals the show.
- The Flash’s speed FX look amazing.
- One of the best sequences from BvS features Batman taking a part a room full of thugs. Now we get to Batman unleashed on alien invaders with all new toys including a Bat-Spider-Tank-Thing aka Nightcrawler.
- There are also plenty of
ChitauriParademons to beat up on which will be fun to watch. Especially in Snyder’s trademarked slow motion style.
- Wonder Woman kicks some ass because she’s Wonder Woman.
- Cyborg looks like a cool character with plenty of strength and abilities to play with.
- We even get to see a few shots of the team in action together. (Aquaman riding on top of the Batmobile being the best example of this.)
It all looks brilliant and I can’t wait to see every member of the Justice League fight back the forces of Apokolips… But what about the moments in between the big action sequences? Batman v Superman suffered because it had too many elements crammed into it’s running time. There were too many forced references and moments meant to foreshadow future events. This Justice League trailer alone is full of story lines. How will each of them contribute to ONE solid narrative? Will they get in each other’s way? Will the mistakes of BvS could come back to haunt DC and Warner Bros?
Apokolips, Parademons & A Motherbox
The mysterious Motherboxes will serve as the driving force in Justice League. The villain Steppenwolf and Darkseid’s Parademons are certainly after relics and the power they possess.
But first we have to establish what the Motherboxes really are, what they can do and why they are so important to the ruler of Apokolips.
Understandably, you don’t want to layout the entire plot in the first trailer but the preview did remind me that we have to spend time with these artifacts. You can’t rush through that.
Cyborg & Also… A Motherbox
Batman v Superman was about the clash between the titular characters. So naturally we also got force fed a clip of Cyborg’s creation thanks to a Motherbox. Is he holding the Motherbox that created him? Is he THE Motherbox?
We know the mysterious object is at the center of his origin. Zack Snyder has even gone on record calling his story the heart of the Justice League. This is a story line that will certainly eat up a lot of screen time.
Commissioner Gordon & Batman’s Dark History
This moment actually gives me a lot of hope for the future of DC’s extended universe. Batman has such a rich history already. In his first DCEU appearance, Commissioner Gordon touches upon it with one perfectly placed sentence:
“It’s good to see you playing well with others again.”
That single sentence is a beautiful example of economical storytelling. Gordon is more than likely hinting at the death of Robin at the hands of The Joker. He could also be referencing Batman’s clash with Superman. He could be implying both at the same time. The line also functions as a setup for Aquaman’s punchline.
If Justice League is full of moments like these, my worries will dissipate quickly.
Flashback. Victor Stone kicking ass in a football game before becoming Cyborg. Necessary? Sure. It’s important to show us the history of Justice League members.
When Marvel’s Avengers united, they had the luxury of solo films to set up their heroes. DC took a different approach and I’m happy they aren’t emulating Marvel beat for beat (somewhat?). The downside? They have to establish Cyborg, Aquaman and The Flash successfully in one movie. It makes you realize WHY they included the cameos in Batman v Superman. They were rushed but maybe they were absolutely necessary no matter how forced they felt.
These introductions can’t be rushed as part of a montage so how will these tangents take away from the central story line of Justice League? Or will they contribute to it and balance the story?
Atlantis, Mera & Another Motherbox
Here’s a tangent that makes the most sense. In the comics, there are three Motherboxes: One for the humans, one for the Amazonians (who will be thoroughly established in Wonder Woman this June) and one for the Atlanteans.
As a result, we’re obviously going to spend an extended amount of time underwater discovering Aquaman’s world. These sequences are going to be amazing but, again, I’m worried about rushing cool moments like this in order to fit in ALL THE OTHER STUFF.
Dr. Henry Allen AKA The Flash’s Dad
The Flash’s tangent sees him visiting his father in prison. Framed for the murder of Barry’s mother, Nora, Dr. Henry Allen will have a huge influence on The Flash’s character. It’s a critical and emotional arc that I’m hoping isn’t glossed over.
Wonder Woman: The Leader
If Wonder Woman is as good as I hope it will be, she’ll be the best developed character in Justice League. As the only hero with a solo film (other than the deceased Man of Steel) she’ll be well positioned to take center stage. I think Warner Bros has done an amazing job establishing Wonder Woman so far. It makes me question whether a solo Batman, Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg films would have made Justice League that much better. Too late now. The Justice League train has officially left the station.
The Great War
This sequence looks amazing! Presumably, this is set in the past when the forces of Apokolips first attacked/invaded Earth. Amazon warriors, fighters from Atlantis and humans will undoubtedly unite to stop the invasion. It’s a fantastic way to set up Apokolips, The Motherboxes and the triple alliance that will be renewed in the present. However, that’s a lot of history to cover in a short sequence. (Prologue?) Will there be enough time to do it… Justice? (I was bound to make that pun eventually.)
Steppenwolf & Darkseid
Don’t forget! This film has villains too! The main baddie in Justice League is Steppenwolf. We’ll have to meet him and DCEU big bad Darkseid too. (Read: I hope) DC needs enough time to establish these villains and set the stakes for their confrontation with the Justice League.
Batman: The Recruiter
At the center of it all is Batman. Cyborg may be the heart of Justice League but Batman is the heart of the DCEU. At least, from a narrative perspective.
We’ll follow Batman as he travels around the world to recruit Aquaman, The Flash and (maybe?) Cyborg.
But here’s the thing: Thanks to the Comic Con trailer released last year, we already know that Aquaman initially turns him down. So he’ll have to meet Arthur Curry, get turned down, then something has to happen to change his mind and THEN Aquaman signs up.
That’s just ONE story line.
My main concern here is the way the film is structured. Is this a Justice League movie? Or is this a Justice League origin story? Origin stories spend two thirds of their running time establishing characters and their dynamics. Then you get a big action sequence and you’re out.
We’ve already seen a ton of flashbacks not too mention an incredible amount of mythology and plot threads that have to be established.
Above all that, Zack Snyder has to create an interesting team dynamic. How will the Justice League interact with one another. How will they fight together? What kind of cool team up moments will we see? These are all questions that take time to answer.
Will there be enough?
Lois Lane (She’s still THE KEY right?)
Oh right! Lois Lane is in this too! What has she been up to? She’ll most likely have a minor role… Or a major one? We’ve already learned that she’s the key thanks to The Flash’s appearance in BvS. The answer to that question can’t be rushed.
I really hope we get a pay off to the big Flash cameo in Batman v Superman. Although, I suspect, it won’t be explained until Justice League 2.
Where Is Superman?
Speaking of Lois Lane… Where is Superman? He’s obviously coming back… eventually? Will it be in the final moments of the film? Will he be resurrected just in time to save the world? Will Lois Lane be the key to his resurrection? What if he comes back to life as a villain for the Justice League to overcome? The Flash did warn Bruce to fear ‘him’. Is Superman him? Who is HIM? HIM!!!!!!!!
Breaking down this trailer hasn’t helped ease my concerns. I’m afraid there is simply too much story to tell. I don’t want a rushed Justice League movie. I want something amazing that sets up future films without sacrificing the most important element of the film: The Story.
The wait will be long but we still have Wonder Woman to look forward to in June. That film has the potential to be the true turning point for the franchise. Something we all thought Suicide Squad would accomplish last year. Let’s hope 2017 is the year the DCEU gets it right.