It’s clear that I have a small obsession with trailers of any kind. Like newborn babies, they are brimming with possibility and offer glimpses of brilliance. This year’s crop from San Diego Comic-Con are ripe with humor, adventure, CGI and those tremulous sonic tuba farts that resonate in your chest and crank up the thrill-factor.
Since Comic-con is all about the synergy of entertainment, spectacle and marketing, so let’s see how the biggest movie trailers stack up against each other. Check out my grades for the previews for Wonder Woman, King Arthur: Legend of The Sword and more…
I openly admit to being partial to Marvel Studios, however DC Entertainment earns my respect and a ticket sale or two for going where Kevin Feige and Co. refuses to no matter how much we tweet, blog and beg: they are building a franchise around a superheroine. After many false starts on the big and small screen, Wonder Woman lives. The trailer above is cram-jammed with methodical and impressive slo-mo shots that lend importance and gravity to every whip of Diana’s Lasso of Truth and thrust of her sword, romance between stars Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, and a glimpse of Diana’s home that inspires full-on Xena feels.
Though I question the decision to keep our heroine in her classic unitard, if mortal goddess Beyonce can continuously slay in one, then I guess Zeus' offspring can too. More importantly, the trailer is as epic as needs to be even with the cheesy weapons, while maintaining the darker, slightly overwrought DC aesthetic. The action in DC movies is always a little grandiose to be outright cool, and Wonder Woman might be the same, but we're long overdue to see a hero break some glass ceilings and crack a few skulls. Grade: B+
Can you make a period action-adventure film about one of the greatest heroes in British and entertainment history feel modern? If you’re director Guy Ritchie, you’re damn sure going to try. The first thing that strikes you about the King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword trailer is that it's not the stuffy, historically accurate British film you'd expect. Charlie Hunnam’s street-wise Arthur dons a fresh high-and-tight haircut that Justin Timberlake and fashion-forward hipsters have been rockin’ for years.
With non-linear storytelling and rapid-fire transitions, this move is capital-D Different, and I was both thrown and enthralled by the choice. The unique perspectives and details of the trailer are innovative, and yet it maintains a spectacular scale fans would want from King Arthur epic (though it may have swiped some Lord Of The Rings B-roll for those battle sequences).
If the film is as cool as the trailer, this could be a fanboy classic...or the confusing scourge inspiring detailed fanboy blogs and The Big Bang Theory jokes for years to come. Grade: A-
A rich businessman with a secret identity travels the globe to recruit people to battle mysterious, powerful enemy from far away. If you think I’m describing the premise of Marvel’s The Avengers or a scene ripped directly out of Captain America: Civil War, you’re right! It’s also what happens in the first seconds of DC’s Justice League trailer. Despite the shredding rock music and quippy dialogue from Ezra Miller’s The Flash, the clip is as expected as Batman’s gravelly baritone. Jason Momoa’s brooding Aquaman is a beautimous and bright spot of this otherwise been-there-done-that preview. Arthur Curry is as unpredictably volatile as a tsunami, and I dig it. Despite the fact that the clip above is designed to sell Justice League, I’m putting all my hopes and feels on Aquaman’s origin film in 2018.
I also hope Curry’s natural habitat will rust The Flash’s bizarrely restrictive costume that looks like a fashion hybrid between Iron Man’s flight suit and the red Power Ranger’s work clothes. How can anyone break the sound barrier in something so heavy and restrictive? It makes less sense than Wonder Woman's armored bathing suit.
It’s unfair to compare Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen to that of The CW’s played by Grant Gustin since we’re only offered a glimpse, and yet it’s impossible not to. I’ll take my Barry Allen clad in leather, sweater vests and adorkableness, thanks. It’s pretty telling that during the Justice League trailer, I was thinking about everything but. Grade: C-
Photo Credit: dailysuperhero.com