Forget the amazing batworld crafted by Chris Nolan, because Zack Snyder and his team of associated dinguses are dragging DC back to the neon nonsense of the nineties. Yes, the latest trailer for BatmanwithoutBatman is out, and while it’s David Ayer at the helm (who doesn’t have a glowing CV, but Fury was alright), it’s got Snyder’s grubby paw marks all over it after all he’s the guy DC chose (for some unclear reason) to steer their films towards Justice League: Quest For Similar Profits To Marvel.
Before Suicide Squad hits we’ve got Snyder’s colour-drained, slow-mo nonsense Batman VS Superman to “look forward to”, or “endure” if you prefer (which I do), and there’s plenty of signs in this trailer that Snyder and DC are looking to create a brand, a feel for their films. Unfortunately it’s a naff Man of Steel-y feely.
However, as previously stated, this film sees a reemergence of excessive neon use, along with campy costumes and sparkly explosions. This might well be Ayer and his team trying to fight back some of the oppressive Snyderisms, and splash a bit of life into the affair, which I guess I support; but it’s colour-washed neon, and still looks crap. The oppressive “style” of Snyder isn’t the biggest problem the film faces, though we are faced with a lot of characters, most of whom the average cinema-goer won’t know. It’s the same problem faced by Captain America: Civil War, how do you make me care about these characters who are all competing for screen time?
The trailer makes a good stab at filling us in on who is in the squad. It seems clear that Will Smith’s Deadshot is going to be a major player, and carry some of the film’s heart as we’ve seen him with his family and, well, he’s Will Smith. The usually pretty bad Jai Courtney actually looks good on this evidence, as he seems have been given license to go full Nick Cage-crazy as Captain Boomerang (I neither know nor care who that is). Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, perhaps best (and less tongue twistingly) known as Mr Eko (from off of Lost) looks alright as Killer Croc, a character I know more about but he’s not that interesting really. He’s just a mancrocodile thing, which is cool compared to these other losers, but he’s not exactly the most complex of Batman’s Rogues Gallery. Also in the film are Magic Sword Girl, Magic Emo Smoke Girl, Tattoos McFirehands, and some other people who have guns. See? Overstuffed, like a bulging turkey. And I’ve but even got to the biggest pair yet.
Now, with the above statement ‘ biggest pair yet’ I was referencing The Joker and Harley Quinn, but you could be forgiven for thinking I meant the latter’s boobs because the film is putting tits and ass front and centre. This is my biggest problem with the trailer, Quinn is very scantily clad (as are most other female characters) ending the trailer bending over in her short shorts. And yet she is surrounded by fully-clothed blokes, including Killer Croc who usually goes about in only his pants. This is the same, lazy sexploitation that Snyder brings to everything he does and, for me, this cheapens Harley Quinn and the whole film. The trailer also appears to confirm that the film is creating an origin story where Quinn is transformed by The Joker using toxic waste, which is far less interesting that the original origin where she tries to psychiatrically evaluate Joker, but ends up falling in love with him and choosing to be a villain.
And then there’s the Joker himself, who isn’t a part of the squad and might be the film’s chief antagonist. Or he might not, I don’t know I’m just going off the trailer. Jared Leto is faced with a tough, tough task in following Heath Ledger. This is a new universe and a new Joker, but it’s going to be hard to forget that performance, which deservingly won Ledger an Oscar. I’m not mad keen on the new look, but I’m open to embracing a new direction. My gut feeling is that it won’t be an iconic Joker, but Leto is a very talented actor so it’ll probably be good. The trailer also gives us a very quick look at some weird baddie things and a fountain of colours, but there’s no big plot reveal which is good as I don’t really want to know the plot beyond the simple premise that some villains are forced to play hero, and The Joker is there. Bosh.
There is plenty here to get excited about. The problem is that I’m just not. The trailer makes clever use of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody to enhance the chaotic, fun feel that Ayer is going for, and the song’s line “Nothing really matters to me” chimes well with the idea of the Suicide Squad. This is a good trailer, but it feels like a good trailer for a bad film. I hope I’m proved wrong, but for now I’m still not getting hype.