Civil War v. Dawn of Justice: Trailer Breakdown

With massive trailers for both Captain America: Civil War and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice dropping these past few weeks, it was only a matter of time before I got to putting each superhero trailer beside each other and comparing them. Each offering up both positives, and sadly some negatives as well, as to how their respective films may turn out next Spring, these two trailers without a doubt kick some ass. Whether or not one film reigns supreme in the box-office next year, here are just of my thoughts on what makes these trailers so memorable...and not so memorable.

The Trinity is finally here!
Just because I'm more of a Marvel fan over DC, as I grew up loving Spider-Man, X-Men, and eventually got into all the Avengers, I'm just going to start with the Civil War trailer. The better trailer in my opinion, the newest addition to the acclaimed Marvel Cinematic Universe pits a weary Captain America (Chris Evans) against his once-ally Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), in a battle of brutal politics and punches. Set after the events of the last Avengers film, with the team disbanded and Captain America aka Steve Rogers continuing on his personal quest to find his lost friend, Bucky Barnes, this sequel pits us on the political side of things, taking a stab at the heart of what makes a hero a hero. At the center of said politics, Rogers ignites a feud with fellow Avenger, Tony Stark, as he is forced to protect Bucky at all costs.


Looking to be quite politically-fueled, just as the last Captain America sequel was, Civil War holds a certain mystery and seriousness to it, which is one of the things that makes it a much better preview of the film than DC's latest. While I'll cover that a bit later, Civil War managed to show us everything and nothing, as it teased a major battle and even a few new faces, without giving up a whole lot of the story. While we know the film won't use the same plot as the Civil War comic, where we saw a similar feud between heroes over a certain "superhero registration act", this film looks to be very closely compact and centered around Captain America's inner struggle, where it should be. One of the many things that makes this trailer so interesting has to be how elusive -- yet highly informative -- it is.


Um...where's the rest of Team Iron Man?
Moving over to the other end of the spectrum, we have the much-anticipated Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. While this massive superhero flick has already released a few teasers and one decent trailer already, I chose to focus on the film's most recent preview. A slightly less in-tune trailer than its previous one, the most recent preview offers up a bit more insight into the basic plot of the film. Spawning from the catastrophic events that unfolded in Man of Steel, Dawn of Justice drops us into yet another politically-fueled flick, as we see the government arguing over whether Henry Cavill's Superman is a deadly alien threat or a devoted hero. Tossing newcomer to DC Ben Affleck into the mix as the Caped Crusader, a somewhat-forced feud begins to brew between two of the biggest comic-book heroes ever.


While it may appear to be as politically-fueled as Civil War, in the end, Dawn of Justice looks to be just another action-heavy, money-grabber for the fans. While Civil War will most likely be just that as well in some ways, gearing up for the much-anticipated Infinity War in 2018, I felt a less unified feeling as I watched this trailer. Tossing us a few outstretched scenes of Affleck's Bruce Wayne and Cavill's Clark Kent conversing, and Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor and his dastardly plans as the film's villain, this trailer attempted to sell us on a film we already wanted to go see. Fearing that it might pull a Terminator: Genisys, and blow a big spoiler in our faces, Dawn of Justice may have revealed a lot, but nothing we couldn't handle (mostly).



That brings up the reason why I believe the trailer for Civil War was far superior to that of Dawn of Justice. While these may only be teasers as to what the films may actually entail, I felt that Civil War succeeded in establishing more unity in their preview, as well as more suspense. With Dawn of Justice, we got to see many things that would've been better just to hold off on showing, like the meeting between Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne, or the reveal of the film's other big bad (Doomsday, I presume?). Marvel, however, remained very conservative with their trailer, possibly because it was the first one for the film so far. Who knows, they might do the same thing that Dawn of Justice did in their next trailer. But for now, Marvel succeeded in not giving us too much to chew on, at the same time utilizing its established franchise to fuel the film's hype.

These reveals were spectacular in their own right...
but which one was better?

Speaking of established franchises, while DC may be at a bit of a disadvantage, given that the only film in their new Extended Universe is 2013's Man of Steel, Dawn of Justice does have the potential of kicking of a darker, more violent franchise than Marvel's. With films such as Justice League and a number of solo films on the horizon, DC has the opportunity to make major upgrades to their previous live-action film outings (which have solely included numerous Batman and Superman reincarnations...oh, and that awful Green Lantern). While it'll take a while to see DC stand equally against Marvel Studios' multi-film franchise, one of the things that makes a film such as Dawn of Justice worth it is the potential to spark a new age of superhero films. Hoping that DC's latest is more than just big-budget thrills with little substance, franchise-building could be something that DC could excel at, given that Dawn of Justice does well.

While I enjoyed this scene, why not just save it for the film?
Or just make this the whole trailer?
While I may be more excited for Marvel's next outing with Civil War -- as it continues a great trilogy of Captain America-centric films, while also bringing both Black Panther and Spider-Man to the screen in a place where they should be -- DC's Batman v. Superman has the potential to be great as well. Whether you enjoyed the political tone of Civil War, or hated the overstretched trailer for Dawn of Justice, we can all agree comic-book and superhero fans alike will dine with the gods of epic filmmaking come Spring 2016.


Now that I'm finished complained over trailers like an ignorant fanboy, what did you think of these two trailers? Did I gloss over anything that you either really hated or really liked about them? Let me know which film you're more excited for in the comment section below. And, don't worry, I'll surely be obsessing over these films and more once we enter the new year.


Up for more superhero speculation? Well, in this gracious time of film studios dropping massive trailers all over the place, 20th Century Fox just recently revealed the first trailer from X-Men: Apocalypse...and might I say, it's glorious. Stay tuned this week for a far more in-depth breakdown than this one, as well as a review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, sometime after opening night, of course.    

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