2012 is going to be another year in which we get four big comic book movies, and two of the four have all officially debuted their teaser trailers.
So now that we know how The Amazing Spider-Man, and The Dark Knight Rises look onscreen, it's time for another installment of our DC vs. Marvel movie trailer showdown segment, where we will attempt to answer: which one of these superhero films currently looks like the king of summer 2012?
For the purposes of this breakdown, we'll post each of the respective trailers below, with a quick look at the pros and cons of each. Once we've done some analysis of each trailer, we'll bring it all home and discuss which film looks the best - based on the brief amount of footage shown in the trailers.
We'll examine the trailers in the order of their release, starting with The Dark Knight Rises.
[NOTE: This showdown originally included The Avengers, since the first footage leaked on the Net. We've been told by the studio that the leaked footage was actually a post-credit "button" in the Marvel Movie tradition, and that an official trailer is still in the works. So while we're disappointed to leave Marvel's team-up event out, at least we have a new Avengers trailer to look forward to!]
In the meantime... on with round 2 of our DC vs. Marvel movie trailer showdown!
In the third and last installment of Chris Nolan's Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight faces his greatest nemesis yet in the form of Tom Hardy's Bane, an adversary who may be more than a match for Batman - mentally, psychologically, and physically.
PROS: This teaser trailer certainly succeeds in conveying the grandeur of Nolan's concluding chapter to Batman's origin story. The sweeping shot of Gotham crumbling; the epic (if not a cheesy) nature of Gordon's speech; the air of melodrama carried by the music; and finally, that brief shot of a haggard and scare-looking Batman backing away from the oncoming hulking form of Bane. Yeah, this one has "grand finale" written all over it.
CONS: The trailer is almost a little too grand. There is a line somewhere between drama that moves one's emotions, and drama that entertains in the way that telenovelas do. In many ways Nolan's Batman film have been the "anti-comic-book movies," with their focus on gritty realism as opposed to the heightened drama of most superhero movie fare. I'd hate to see Dark Knight Rises buck that trend and up the black sheep in the bunch.
In this re-imagining of the Spider-Man mythos, Peter Parker is a boy struggling with the loss of his parents, the demands of school - and of course, the everyday struggles of being a New York City teenager. Life only gets more complicated when Peter is bitten by a genetically-enhanced spider and gains new abilities he could never dream of. But the miracle of modern science that creates a hero, also condemns a man to villainy, and Peter learns the hard way that with great power comes...well, you know the rest ;-).
PROS: Director Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer) has always stated his intention to re-imagine Spider-Man according to a more grounded, gritty, and realistic vision. Well, he certainly seems to have achieved that goal. Andrew Garfield certainly appears to be going for a much deeper and brooding version of Peter Parker - and appears to be carrying that load, to boot. Finally, the end POV wall-crawling sequence was pretty cool, and definitely offered a different sort of experience from the Sam Raimi films. If nothing else, ASM justifies its existence as a reboot that will actually offer a fresh perspective.
CONS: Some fans don't want to have their beloved characters "re-imagined," and there is certainly going to be backlash about how this movie is trying to "go all Dark Knight on us" with its gritty, darker tone (apparently that's a bad thing). Speaking of "dark": that footage in the trailer has a pretty dark color palette in a lot of parts, which is always a concern for a 3D movie. While the outcry about Spider-Man "being British" is just silly (aren't actors supposed to play people they aren't?), Garfield is sure to also catch flack for looking like "Emo Parker" in this trailer. Where is that trademark Spidey wit and banter? Finally: this was a bit too withholding in terms of the Spidey and Lizard shots. But color us curious.
And The Winner Is...
It's The Dark Knight Rises for the win. Right now the word for Amazing Spider-Man is "ambitious." An updated, modern version of the character's story. A redesigned costume. Mechanical web-shooters. A retelling of the origin story so soon after Raimi's films. 3D. And (GASP) an older-than-high-school British actor playing Peter P.
But putting all those gripes aside, Marc Webb's reboot is either going to fly high or fall flat on its face. Kind of like Spider-Man.
Not so for The Dark Knight Rises. Despite my own gripes about the trailer, it still implies that Nolan will finish this thing out in grand, epic, possibly jaw-dropping fashion. I still don't think it was the best it could've been, but TDKR's trailer has me suddenly psyched to see this movie, to the point where I've been running around chanting "Bane! Bane! MATALO! MATALO!" for days now. And I'm not even sure that's what they're saying.
Which trailer was your favorite? Let us know in the comments.
The Amazing Spider-Man swings in on July 3, 2012.
The Dark Knight Rises in theaters on July 20, 2012.