I find myself to be a Zack Snyder apologist, I guess. I still have yet to see the Dawn of the Dead remake but I sorta like 300 and honestly love Watchmen. The owl movie was…not terrible. Just strange, is all; but it did have great visuals. And then there’s the wild card of the catalogue: Sucker Punch. I don’t love it, nor do I hate it, and I respect what Snyder was trying to do with that movie while understanding that it doesn’t quite stick the landing.
Regardless, the new Man of Steel trailer is up and, let me tell you, it gave me the chills. Regardless of your feelings towards Snyder, you have to admit that this looks fairly impressive. Full trailer and some personal thoughts after the jump…
It looks like it has all the right ingredients: Well-shot action, a distinct sense of character, and the general iconography of the character. Also worth noting is the Terrence Malick inspired visual style, and regular readers know that I have strong fondness for Malick. I’ve seen a few people raising issues with apparent handheld camera and lens-flare techniques, but I never found them too egregious. As I said in my Star Trek Into Darkness piece, I’ve never had a lens-flare problem with the exception of the Total Recall remake, and it wasn’t as bad in this trailer as it was there. As for the handheld, I didn’t notice it too much. I mean, it’s there, but it’s not as bad as something truly horrendous like Battle: Los Angeles.
I also love the use of music. It’s nice to get some traditional, orchestral, choir stuff going on after the overused Inception BRRRRRM laid waste to 90% of trailers for over 2 years (as it will most likely continue to do so). It gives everything a very huge, epic sense of scope. To me, the most important part of a trailer is the music, which can be a defining factor in giving me the chills (Example: Where the Wild Things Are, my favorite movie trailer of all time). This trailer does it with spades.
As for Zack Snyder: Is he a good fit for Superman? Well, a Snyder movie is only as good as the script he’s working with, and thankfully the talented Christopher Nolan is behind the writing duties. I mean, I wasn’t a fan of The Dark Knight Rises, but I’m not in the ridiculously shifted anti-Nolan camp that the likes of Devin Faraci has fostered (Who I still like very much and respect as a writer). Nolan is still a masterful writer/director, and to me, The Dark Knight Rises was his one fluke in a full-list of good-to-great films. His smart storytelling mixed with Snyder’s visual grandeur seems like a solid mixture.
If there’s one thing I am worried about, it’s the premise, which has Superman being rejected by Earth society and trying to be accepted. I don’t want the script to over-do the whole “Thank you for saving that bus full of orphans, Superman! But you’re an alien dude, so we should all REJECT YOU! EVERYONE RIOT!” It’s a plot-point I’ve never found realistic in anything. The two exceptions were The Dark Knight because they asked legitimate questions of vigilantism, and the original Spider-Man movies because they weren’t grounded too much in reality and you could buy J. Jonah Jameson as a prick. But with Man of Steel, with the Malick-esque, almost hyper-real cinematography, and the overly serious tone, it may not be a good fit.
The other red flag is David S. Goyer, who is co-writing with Nolan. Sure, he helped write The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, but he was also responsible for the widely forgotten horror movie The Unborn, as well as the batshit script for Call of Duty: Black Ops II‘s campaign. I hope there’s less of him in the writing credits and more of Nolan’s touches.
Regardless, I’m leaning more on the positive than the negative. Consider me excited for 2013, Supes!