Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has received a lot of push-back since its announcement. First, people didn’t like the concept. “Why would Batman and Superman fight? Superman would totally destroy Batman?” Then there was the casting decisions, specifically Ben Affleck as Batman and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Then there’s the complaints of it being overly grimdark compared to Marvel movies. Thanks to the trailers, most of those complaints have since been settled, but created a new one: “They ruined everything.”
Upon watching the newest trailer, many have complained that the whole thing is just a condensed outline of the movie. We get the first act: Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, and Lex Luthor all shaking hands. Superman is a hero. Batman is a vigilante. Luthor is a crazy billionaire. Bruce Wayne dislikes Superman. Clark Kent dislikes Batman. Lex Luthor hates both.
We get the second act: tensions rise until Batman and Superman come to blows. Luthor has likely fed this fire, hoping both heroes will take each other out, but he’s also using the corpse of Zod to develop his own countermeasure. Classic military industrialist villain.
Then the third act: Doomsday. Luthor either clones or mutates Zod to create Doomsday, causing Batman and Superman to set aside their differences to team up against a new threat. Also, Wonder Woman.
So there you have it. Completely spoiled, right?
Maybe. Maybe not.
It’s important to note the context of what’s happening here compared to other movie trailers. The 3rd Man of Steel trailer also outlined the major plot points of Man of Steel (and even included what many people would consider spoilers). Obviously that was a divisive movie, but it wasn’t because the 3rd trailer “ruined” everything. The recent (much more popular) Captain America: Civil War trailer also did the same thing. Why is this different? The fact that Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman all team up isn’t much of a spoiler, because we have 2 Justice League movies on the way. The fuss is over the reveal of Doomsday.
Didn’t we already know this, though? We knew everyone would team up against a big villain at the end and we knew Luthor was messing around with Zod’s corpse. This isn’t some out of left field twist. It was on the top of everyone’s fan theory list, and reported (multiple times) by most outlets.
So, no, it’s not really that much of a spoiler. But does it confirm the plot and ruin the movie? Considering the script has received endless praise from almost everyone involved in the film, I would imagine the actual film is a little more nuanced than the 3 minutes we saw in the last trailer. We can easily assume everyone makes nice and lives on to fight again in Justice League Part 1, so this story was always in the telling, and not in some sort of a brain melting twist.
But is the above 3 act outline everyone’s reading into really the movie we’re getting? There’s a lot of assumptions that have to be made in order to come to that conclusion, the biggest of which is that the trailer is in chronological order.
Superman doesn’t like Batman, and Batman doesn’t like Superman. Why? We see that Bruce Wayne witnessed the destruction of Metropolis during the Superman/Zod fight, and that Clark Kent disapproves of what he sees as the trampling of civil liberties by Batman, but is that enough for them to declare war on each other? Is Bruce Wayne that dense, and Clark Kent that quick to violence? The first act needs more of a catalyst than Lex Luthor egging them on from the sidelines.
Considering there is zero context around any of the Doomsday scenes, there is absolutely no indication of when in the movie he shows up. So, I propose an alternate chronology.
Act 1: Doomsday. Yes. Lex has been working on Doomsday off screen since shortly after the end of Man of Steel. Doomsday is not a very compelling character, he’s basically just a destructive force of nature. AKA, not the best 3rd act villain. He is a great first act villain, though. Especially if he shows up defeated by Superman, but at a cost (again). This is the catalyst that causes many people (including Batman) to turn against him, leading to the second act, which is Batman vs Superman, leaving us open for a mystery 3rd act featuring the team up.
Although it may feel like we’ve seen “everything” for this movie, there’s a lot we know will show up, but there’s no context in the trailer to fill in the blanks. Where’s Vic Stone/Cyborg? Is there an Aquaman cameo? This movie will be the foundation of the whole DC shared universe, does it do anything to setup future movies, specifically Justice League? The third act is the place for all of this.
Or, maybe it is as straight forward as it appears in the trailer. Either way, it’s fairly simplistic thinking to assume that DC/WB would just give everything away like that. This trailer should be making people ask “if this is what they’re willing to show us, what are they keeping under wraps for a reveal on the big screen?”
Check out the trailer again and let us know what you think? Is everything as straight forward as it appears?
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