Warner Bros. and DC Comics released a few minutes of footage from 2017's Justice League movie at Comic-Con, and I can't believe that after the misery of Batman v Superman they continued to ...
Wait, hold on, I'm being handed something.
Oh shit, really? It looks good? How the hell did that happen? If only someone where here to list what the footage did well!
They released it at all
There didn't need to be a leak, there wasn't angst over how it would be shown, the footage was just released on YouTube in high quality. Anyone could watch it and enjoy it, instead of the ridiculous situation that happened with the Suicide Squad footage from last year.
The film is still a year away, and the footage doesn't give us much information on the antagonist nor do we see many finished effects shots — there is no Superman at all, for instance — but the footage didn't need any whiz-bang moments to get the job done. Expectations were so low after Batman v Superman that they just needed to show something competent to win over fans, and this footage overachieves in that area.
The trailers and footage released for Batman v Superman were heavy with a side of weight, and scenes with Lex Luthor trying to chew the scenery as thoroughly as possible didn't do much to lighten the mood. Superhero films don't always need to be sunshine, but Batman v Superman made Christopher Nolan's Batman films look like a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper. Something had to give.
The Justice League footage has actual jokes and characters that don't seem like they're wearing the weight of the universe on their shoulders. The film version of Barry Allen is great so far, which is heartening news considering how high the bar has been set by the television version of the character.
Batman and Wonder Woman seem to have good chemistry. Aquaman is angry and violent without being campy. The jokes land, and the differences between the characters make me want to watch them interact a bit more, even without large effects scenes.
This has always been Marvel's ace in the hole; the party scene in Age of Ultron was just as thrilling as many of the battles because spending time with those characters is fun. Justice League shows off a bit of that dynamic, and it's great stuff.
David Goyer isn't writing it!
David Goyer is credited with writing the story and screenplay for Man of Steel, the story on Dark Knight Rises, and he was the writer on Batman v Superman. He's also credited with writing Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, which had all the coherence of a David Goyer film.
My point is, maybe putting Goyer on the bench for a bit and finding a writer who doesn't seem to hate these characters would be a good idea? These films are lumbering properties with many unseen hands likely giving notes on the scripts, but Goyer's writing credit has been a negative much more than it's been a plus on these films.
I watched the JL teaser— Susana Polo (@NerdGerhl) July 23, 2016
"I'm real when it's useful" is batman line that is actually a real good understanding of the character??????
The screenplay for Justice League is credited to Chris Terrio, who doesn't have many credits to his name, but writing the screenplay for Argo is certainly a mark in his favor. The situations and dialogue in the footage show a nice understanding of the characters and a better tone than the last few DC movies, which makes me hopeful that Terrio was a good choice for the script.
The focus is on Batman
Affleck's Batman was one of the best parts of Batman v Superman, even though the script had him more as the villain than the hero. But Affleck's thudding, growling performance as Bruce Wayne was interesting to watch, and his relationship with his butler-slash-IT-guy Alfred gave us some of the best dialogue of the film. This was a character who has seen some shit.
Our own Susana Polo wrote about that aspect of the character before, and it's pretty interesting. This is the first time Batman has, for lack of a better term, friends. And he's been doing the hero thing for a while.
"New York has Wall Street. San Francisco has techies, Los Angeles has Hollywood, New Orleans has Mardi Gras ... Gotham has a succession of costumed criminals of dubious sanity policed by a mysterious vigilante, and it has for decades," Polo wrote.
"Imagine what that kind of life would be for Bruce Wayne: no allies except those he trained himself," the piece continues. "No outside validation that anyone in the world but him would embark on such a crusade. Of course anyone else is going to be seen as a threat. He's been alone for years, and, judging by those trailers, that life has beaten him down rather effectively."
Having Bruce Wayne find these people after years of being on his own and asking for help is a nice detail, and it humanizes a character that was basically a bad guy in Badman v Superguy. It's a wise play.
On that note
We're speculating a lot based on a few minutes of footage, but what we've seen so far seems to be pretty good. Maybe it's safe to have a bit of hope about the film?