The way Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice should have ended was with me returning my reclined AMC theater chair to its upright position and standing to my feet to applaud. In case it isn’t obvious that is not what happened. What ended up happening was I stood up (after I realized there were no post credit scenes), made my way to the exit, and thought to myself, “Well I guess they got that out-of-the-way…”. Wait, what?
Yup, that’s what “that” movie felt like. A set up and we all were the patsies. Did I not just watch the throw down of the century? Or rather what should have been the fight of the century. What we got was this…
Instead of this…
I don’t know. There was so much set up to launch the DCEU in this movie, and they built it on the weakest adaption of a great comic; Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns”. I just do not know you guys. How did this happen? They assembled the worlds finest and came away with diddle squat. Zack Snyder and writer David Goyer, pardon my language, pooped the bed on this one. It makes me worry about the state of the entire DCEU.
In the latest outing (BvS) they gave us a schizophrenic Lex Luthor who set a plan in motion to use Batman to kill the god Superman. They forgot one tiny detail though. Why in the Holy %$&# does Lex want the dark knight Batman to kill Superman!?! What happened to Bats and Supes fighting for grander reasons!?! Then there’s Doomsday and the odd blood brothers ritual Lex does to create him from a dead Zod who is given freely to him by the government? Also why is Lex tracking meta humans (note: that’s what they call people with powers in the DC comics)? When did Wonder Woman become a spy traipsing around looking for an old photo that looks like a news paper clipping? She could just kick Lex in the neck and take it; never saw her as the bashful type. Why did Batman wake up from a dream to only wake up from a dream? For one Batman has never been one to bite on the whole “visions” thing. And btw, anyone could have played Bruce Wayne since the action scenes mimicked shot for shot from “Batman: Arkham Night” video game did all the work (You suck Ben Affleck! In everything!). Oh yeah Batman and Superman kill people now and this does not help the story! This is the launching point from which the DCEU wants to grow. No, has to grow, because like the first Superman movie BvS is now earth prime.
Sigh, I could sit here and go on about all that went wrong with this movie, but that is only the tip of the iceberg looking to sink the DCEU Titanic. The real danger lies in their frantic and misguided notion of keeping up with the Joneses.
The Dark Knight trilogy was the biggest comic based theatrical success for WB in some time. The only problem was once again they created a self-contained world while DC comics presented a unified world in the books. This has been their standard practice when it came to their movies. Now the climate of super hero movies has changed and fans want the movies to reflect what they are reading. And I’m sure creators do as well since it can drive sales numbers for their books. So DC is now tasked with following suit without looking like a copy cat. Let’s be honest, the big two (Marvel/DC) have been copying each other since the golden age and that’s not about to change anytime soon. So what does one do? Try to find what works and run it in to the ground.
The Dark Knight trilogy was dark in tone and grossed millions, ergo every DC movie shall now be dark. We’ve found our niche! Said the WB execs. Lol…idk if that’s exactly what they said but it seems like it. In doing this they have painted themselves into a corner. Dark Superman, dark Wonder Woman, dark Flash, etc. People like the dark tone of Batman maybe because it should be? To pigeon-hole all your characters through such a dark filter leaves their images changed completely from what people loved of them. And we are starting to see the effects of that real quick. The WB has called for reshoots to “funny” up the much-anticipated “Suicide Squad” (allegedly), and are looking to add more creative voices to the producer side of the upcoming Justice League movies and most likely others. This could be a good thing, but it can also be very bad. It can be good if these changes and personal additions help create useful avenues to really unleash the potential of the DCEU, or it can be bad having multiple chefs in the kitchen cooking with the wrong recipe. I hope it’s the former because I love comics and this is a great time to be alive.
But don’t get it twisted Warner Bros/DC movie goers will be less forgiving than comic book fans when it comes to reboots, rebirths, retellings, and multiple universes.
With the full schedule out for every superhero movie, DC and Warner Bros have some stiff competition in the coming years. Not so much from Fox, who’s got a mess on their hands as well (FF, X-men, and Wolverine), but now Sony has joined the Marvel/Disney camp to guide future Spider-Man movies (uproar of applause). Well in all fairness Deadpool is the only bright spot for Fox if they don’t Fox it up in the sequel. So a little advice for the DCEU. You have gotten fans use to a certain standard with 70 plus years with your comic books, so don’t let hollywood screw it up. Believe in what you have to offer, and take the time and care to deliver it right. What it boils down to is that you present the characters as they’ve always been (or close enough to it) and don’t stress on reinventing the wheel. Batman v Superman should have been just that and nothing else. Then you follow-up with a Justice League movie to intro the now bigger world opened by your two main stars. After that you hit them with the solo films to make your extending branches, so now each movie has a foundation and can be seen in their own unique light.
Just follow the lead of the CW’s Flash, your animated films, and gone to soon tv cartoons: JLA, JLA: Unlimited, Teen Titans, and Young Justice. They got it right.