Justice League Trailer One – Analysis

On March 25th, 2017 the first trailer for DC’s JUSTICE LEAGUE was released.  Have a look below and join me after the jump for some analysis of the trailer itself.

Overall, this trailer works well at teasing audience of the popcorn thrill-ride to come.  It lands punches, auditory and editorial. And it at least presents a decent look at the heroes we are all wanting to see.  Nothing really about the plot, but it is the first trailer so we can give it a pass.

The opening sequence follows the now standard Chris Nolan/Syncopy formula – insert shots, hard-cut-in before quickly fading to black, from one sequence over a swelling tone and ending with disembodied, cryptic voiceover line.  That leads into a 30 second sequence of re-introducing the heroes (notably assuming that we already know Wonder Woman).  At 1:05, the trailer kicks into gear and delivers the goods in three distinct sections ending at the title screen:

  • 1:05 – Initial and individual badassery
  • 1:28 – Levity, both in the “I’m rich” joke and the metaness of the music choice (see below)
  • 1:38 – “My turn” which leads to all of the heroes working together
  • 2:05 – Title screen

The pacing is quick, gives you just enough of a taste of each of the characters to be interested, and jumps right into the title sequence in a tight two minutes.  Normally I would think that runtime a bit long for a first trailer, but when balancing 5 heroes, it is an impressive feat.  And the tag at the end lands just right – reminding the audience they will have fun at this movie (a point DC needs to stress given their last two entries).

By way of conclusion, I want to examine three elements briefly that standout about this trailer:

  1. Song Choice – It is a campy choice to play up their DGR-ed version of “Come Together.”  On the nose doesn’t begin to describe it.  At least they avoided the double whammy by going with White Stripes’ under-utilized “The Hardest Button to Button” rather than “7 Nation Army.”  Clearly they are putting all their eggs in the pop music basket and hoping for the kind of momentum Suicide Squad got for it.
  2. The Football Shot – Every shot in this trailer seems to fit together EXCEPT for one at 1:43.  In the middle of a series of intense shots of heroes fighting the alien enemies, we cut to a guy running with a football.  I understand what this is a reference to and where it will likely fit in the story, but it does not BEGIN to work at this moment in the trailer.
  3. Aesthetics – Clearly DC learned from their mistakes in Suicide Squad and are removing ALL of the saturation from this film (*sarcasm*).  Doubling-down on the desaturated and dark color palette, this oddly means the brightest things on screen (the things which our eye is naturally drawn towards first) are Cyborg’s eye and Gal Gadot’s skin. Concerning.
  4. Lack of Superman – Unsurprising but still notable that they can cut around it.  Hopefully a good sign.

That’s it!  You can expect the next trailer to drop sometime around, say…June.  Probably attached to the Wonder Woman release.  Until then, let me know what you thought about this trailer – whether it will keep you interested in the DCEU or if it nailed the coffin shut on what has thus far been a trainwreck.  Thanks for joining me and keep on the lookout for more trailer analysis here at ART OF THE TRAILER.


About Tyler D. Welch

Filmmaker, Storyteller, Scholar View all posts by Tyler D. Welch

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