A little less than a year after debuting the teaser at Comic-Con, DC has released the theatrical trailer for Justice League. DC is doubling down on its’ commitment to Zack Snyder as he once again takes the director’s chair after the less than stellar response to Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The trailer opens with Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) riding a horse through the icy fjords of Scandinavia only to arrive at a small fishing village that is harboring Arthur Curry AKA Aquaman. Then there’s a quick shot of Dr. Silas Stone, played by Joe Morton, about to encounter what looks like a Parademon, as one of the Mother Boxes starts shaking in a corner of the house. From there we get a scene of Wonder Woman asking Bruce to help her form the Justice League, which really just serves for them to spout expository dialogue about the rest of the members as we get shots of them in action or saying quippy dialogue.
This trailer gives us our first real introduction to Cyborg, played by Ray Fisher, and he gets most of the big action in the trailer, blasting a tank out of the way with an Iron Man like palm laser, and flying like Iron Man as well. Unlike his most recognizable incarnation in the animated Teen Titans series, this Cyborg is almost completely machine save for about two-thirds of his face. The machinery itself looks like the production team for Transformers built an Iron Man suit. Cyborg doesn’t get a lot of dialogue and looks fairly serious the whole time, at one point carrying a Mother Box.
There’s a little more of the first meeting between Batman and The Flash, AKA Barry Allen, that was in the teaser trailer. Here he shows off a lot more of his powers including using the speed force to good effect. There’s another good shot where Barry dodges multiple shots from a Parademon several feet away. It’s a unique take on showing The Flash’s powers that stand apart from the CW TV show. His suit on the other hand has a lot of layered metal, kind of like the Cyborg, and it makes The Flash, always portrayed as a slim character, look bulky. Perhaps a bit corny but one of the better lines comes when Barry asks Bruce what it is his powers are, Bruce responding “I’m rich.” in perfect deadpan.
There’s a big montage of action shots, Wonder Woman evading Parademons and possibly Steppenwolf, here played by Ciaràn Hinds. Cyborg gets to fly some more and look stern. Aquaman has a good moment parting the sea and we also get a flash of his home Atlantis.
J.K. Simmons makes his debut as Commissioner Jim Gordon, looking like he jumped off the comic page but at the same time I can’t help but see him as a cosplaying J. Jonah Jameson.
The money shot here is definitely the last one where Aquaman is riding the front of a speeding Batmobile only to launch himself into a trio of Parademons.
While there’s plenty to like in this trailer there’s also plenty that makes me uneasy. The dialogue is rough at times and seems to be trying too hard to be witty. Snyder can’t help but heap on lots of his trademark slowmo action, something he’s used to pad out action before. All of DC’s trailers have been good so far but the movies have not measured up and I have little reason to believe this will be different. This and Wonder Woman will be a real test of whether the DCEU has standing or whether it will collapse due to low quality.