Sunday, July 24, 2016

First 'Justice League' footage is fun, fangasm goodness

Did I just see that director Zack Snyder — not to mention DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. — show fans they actually know how to have fun with superhero films?

Yes indeed!

DCE rolled out the first footage of "Justice League" at the San Diego Comic-Con this weekend. It is two minutes and 45 seconds of pure fangasm goodness.

And all I can say is wow — as in wow, that teaser trailer is so (mostly) engrossing and entertaining that I have no other words. I was so pumped after seeing the footage late Saturday night I had a hard time sleeping after I saw it.

Don't take my word for it; go check it out for yourself! But make sure you come back here for Cary's Comics Craze's nearly second-by-second reaction and breakdown.

• The beginning is nothing special, — boring ol' DC superhero movies again. But pay attention as Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) tells the townspeople he knows of a man who regularly brings fish to them and he needs to "talk to this man."

• 0:22-0:23 — That look from Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry! Talk about intense. It. Is. On!

• 0:32 — Wayne is looking for warriors. And man, Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman is one hot warrior!

And if you remember from "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," she's a badass on the battle field.

But guess what? That's just a glimmer of what Diana Prince can do!

Look for a review soon of the Comic-Con "Wonder Woman" trailer, which is just as exciting and promising as this "Justice League" footage. (Also, CCC still plans on doing a review of the "Ultimated Edition" of "BvS" as my free time allows — better late than never, I say!) 

• 0:37 — This the best shot in the entire trailer: Aquaman facing a massive wall of water. So cinematic!

• 0:43 — Wayne: "I'm building an alliance to defend us." Yup, the billionaire is recruiting the Justice League.

• 0:48 — "Barry Allen. Bruce Wayne."

Notice the Flash costume on the table at the far right of the screen. We see the right cuff in the foreground at the 1:18 mark. Is that the Suicide Squad logo on one of the computer screens?

• 0:55 — Allen's response to Wayne's blunt introduction is hysterical— and spot on: "You say that like it explains why there's a stranger sitting in the dark in in my house in my second-favorite chair."

For me, this interchange between Allen and Wayne (and the one from 1:44 through 2:08) shows what's in store in "Justice League." Affleck wasn't just giving reporters the company line when he said his character has a Robin-like relationship with Ezra Miller's quirky and nerdy Allen/the Flash. This should be a fun relationship to watch develop.

Gotta say this: I'm very pleased to see Miller shave off his puberty-boy mustache and the hairstylists control his super-curly hair. That look just didn't work in the Knightmare-within-a-nightmare scene in "BvS." That made me grimace at Snyder/Miller's take on the speedster. Much improved! Thank you.

• 1:06 - 1:11 — Aquaman doesn't play around!

• 1:15 — Wayne (about the possibility of Curry joining the Jusice League): "Probably more less."
Prince: "He said no."
Wayne (with a humorous nod and expression of confirmation from Affleck): "He said no."

Even more important than the Wayne/Batman and Allen/the Flash dynamic is the working relationship between Wayne and Prince/Wonder Woman. They will be great foils for each other. Then if DCE can make Henry Cavill's Superman much less stoic, let the actor bring his offscreen charm to the big screen and make Superman the moral center of DC's cinematic universe, the Big Three could be great to watch.

Yeah, but I can't see Aquaman playing nice with Batman. Possibly for most of the film.

• 1:44-2:08 — Wayne to Allen (who just grabbed his Batarang out of the air as if it were no problem): "So you're fast."
Allen: "That feels like an oversimplification."
"I'm putting together a team of people with special abilities. I believe an enemy is coming —"
"Stop right there. I'm in."
"You are? Just like that?"
Allen (looking thoughtfully, as if figuring out how to explain himself): "I need … friends."

• 2:08 — Allen (about the Batarang): "Can I keep this?"

• 2:12-2:17 — Great close-ups of Wonder Woman, Cyborg and the Flash!

Gotta say actor Ray Fisher in the Cyborg armor is impressive; he looks like he came straight out of the NEW TEEN TITANS series drawn and co-created by George Perez.

Now, let's hope the script makes Victor Stone useful enough so it doesn't seem like he simply is filling out the Justice League's racial quota. That has been a problem I've seen regularly in the various DC animated movies.

• 2:20 — Cyborg: "I heard about you. Didn't think you were real."
Batman: "I'm real when it's useful."

And the best line of the trailer comes at the very end: "Arthur Curry, I hear you can talk to fish."

I'm going to call it now: "Suicide Squad" and "Justice League" will prove DC/Warner Bros. can get on the fun wagon while being ultra-serious about superhero movies. About time! Just saying.

Grade: A-

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