I am gonna jump on the bandwagon of hate for the new DC movie universe or “DC Extended Universe” as its called. Why? To establish the problems, so future installments, and unavoidable reboots, may avoid these issues.
I will first point out what I belive to be the flaws of the DC Extended Universe, then I will compare DC movies with Marvel movies, and then I will give suggestions for improvement and damage control. Just so I just dont become a complainer, but also a constructive problem solver. We can all bitch, but that won´t fix.
NB! There will be spoilers, mostly from DC Extended Universe.
The problems of the new DC cinematic universe
The main problem I have with the new DC movie universe is that they took all the parts of the established DC world, put it in a box then, threw it out again to change it up. Change is all well and good, but they changed it up BADLY. In the prossess of whatever idea they had, they removed the charm of the established characters and they removed the sympathy.
Fine, “everybody loves” the “anyone can die” fad that came with Game of Thrones (2011) (I hate it), then why couldnt they just have killed of the original Jimmy? The good naive photographer. BAM, dead.
No they had to make him completely new, with a untold backstory. What happens then is that I dont care. I dont know this Jimmy Olsen. I know the original one, not whomever that guy was.
I have observed a reaction by the people wanting to like the DC Extended Universe on this. They try to say “That wasnt really Jimmy Olsen” or “That wasnt really Lex Luthor. Its his son”. But it probably was both those characters, cuz everything is different in this new DC Extended Universe. And its not for the better.
Same with the Man of Steel (2013) thing. They changed up the elements. Everything happens in strange new ways. The result is, we dont know them, but they think we will like them cuz they are named after the original ones. But I dont care for the new Lane. I dont care for the new Superman. One can´t just change characters characteristics and backstory and expect us to still know them.
Another problem with these DC Extended Universe movies are that they try to cram in too many things in one film. They cant keep focus.
Best example may be Batman vs Superman. It wasnt really Batman vs Superman – Dawn of Justice, but more like Batman vs Superman vs Lex Luthor vs GiantOrc – the Death of Superman with special guest star EVERYONE IN DC COMICS.
And I am amazed that there are fanboys out there claiming its “smart”. Its not smart, its mind numbing. You can see they tried to be smart… I guess.
Too much is going on, and the “complexity” that the DC movies wants to have is but a percentage between over the top action scenes. Here I would like to mention Man of Steel.
Man of Steel (2013) wanted to portray Clark Kent/Superman has this dark character. But all we got was a mopey guy, with some real anger issues. For most of the movie is goes around like a drifter, doing nothing heroic. Not even random “save the cat” moments is seen. Just him looking gloomly at things, trying to find himself.
That would have been okay, if we still felt that he was good. But not only is there no scenes of kindness and understand, but we do see the polar opposite. An almost psychopathic Superman destroying an assholes truck just because he can.
We needed to see Superman do some good, but I guess that wouldnt be “dark” enough? “Complex” enough? Yes, it would! As Man of Steel is portrayed he is an unsympathetic emo asshole we (at least I) feel nothing for. That´s not complex. Complexed would be him struggling by both doing good and bad things. Saving a cat and destroying a truck. Not really knowing what to do. As I remember he did one good deed. That was to save a busload of children in a memory from his childhood. The rest of the time he glooms and destroys. He destroys trucks and he destroys cities.
That is one of the things Batman vs Superman does a hell of a lot better. It shows Superman being Superman. He saves people. He does good.
But then New DC movie universe fans may say “But that is the point! To show how a god can be indifferent. To show the destruction that such power could bring. You are just too dumb to understand it.”
Well there already is a character like that. He is called Mr Manhattan. And I did not see enough full frontal nudity to belive Superman was him.
Let´s compare DC Extended Universe with Marvel Cinematic Universe
(or; Is AndyAce83 a Marvel fan boy?)
You may think I am a marvel “fan boy” just because I prefer the marvel movies? Hell no! I love Batman (1989) Batman Returns (1992), even Batman Forever (1995) and I dont hate Batman and Robin (1997). I love The Dark Knight (2008). I love the Reeve´s Superman movies. In retrospect (after watching Man of Steel) I can appreciate Superman Returns (2006) too.
Its not a DC vs Marvel thing. Its just BAD movies. They are. They really, really are.
I am amazed that people defend those movies. They lack charm, they lack plot, characters, any sense really. In fact I loved BvS compared to Man of Steel cuz Superman did at least to do some good there. The plot still made no sense but at least Superman was SUPERMAN.
The argument I often get when I talk about the problems with this new DC franchise is that DC is darker than Marvel. And darker always equals smarter, to some. But DC isnt always dark.
Although I prefer the darker versions of DC there has been lots of campy DC versions to. Like the Batman TV show from 1960s. The movie is awful, in my opinion. Campy nonsense. Batman fighting a shark bomb from a helicopter is what I remember.
We also have the Batman: Brave and the Bold show. And the old Reeve Superman movies were colorful, with lots of comedy.
Same goes with Marvel. Although they have been very lighthearted, there has been lots of dark elements too. Like the death of Gwen Stacey in Spiderman. I still remeber that from reading it as a kid. Gwen died, and Spiderman becomes angry. He goes to his friend, and the son of the man who killed Gwen, who I think had a drug habit. The friend is on his feet begging Peter Parker for help, but Peter Parker turns a could shoulder.
Amazing! I wish THAT would have been the story from the new Spiderman movies. But no… “Just bland, lets cram, all we can”– type movie.
BvS is far better than Man of Steel. And it has its moments. I saw elements I liked, but then I also saw a giant orc thing and a plot that didnt make sense.
Its better that a movie sucks completely than a movie that taunts with great moments combined with utter idiocy. BvS should have been rewritten LOTS. I dont know how hard it could be to do that? Writing is the cheap part.
Why don´t the scriptwriters do a better job? Perhaps I should find the BvS script and see how it was? Perhaps it would have been better than whatever I saw.
I liked Afflecks Bruce Wayne. I didnt mind the eccentric (again) Lex Luthor. What I minded was the stupidity of the plot.
I am not a “fanboy”, I just stat my opinion. I voice a very real concern that for the next decade we are gonna get sub-par DC related movies cuz they decided (come hell and high tides) to continue a DC film universe that is very flawed.
One can compare any movie with any other movie based on certain elements. One can also compare certain movies with other certain movies based on genre.
Although one can´t compare DC Superhero movies with Marvel Superhero on style alone (which I dont) and say “DC is dark therefor boring. Marvel is colorful therefor fun”. That is not what I am saying.
But as superhero movies go, we can compare them on certain elements. I.e Plot. The plot of the DC movies do not make sense. Characters motivation is unexplained, they do stuff for no reason. Take BvS. The core of the movie was suppose to be Batman fighting Superman, right? This is the “main story”. And what were their motivation for doing this?
Superman gets this “elaborate” (but not smart) staging from Luthor and Batman… For some reason? He had a axe to grind? It was very unclear. And then the BIG resolution is that Superman says his mothers name. That isnt clever. And then the giant orc comes, right? Why? Why was doomsday there? Luthor created him, right? Why? Reason?
I think Lex says something like “If man can´t kill God then the devil may”. Fine, but didnt he create Doomsday, during the battle between B and S? I think so. I cant remember, I only seen the movie once. Then WHY? Why did he create Doomsday, while his first plot still where in action?
Here is the problem: BvS crams TOO many things into the same movie. The doomsday or “death of Superman” plot should have been its OWN SEPARATE MOVIE. But no… Cram it in at the end.
Then we can compare it to Marvel movies. I would perhaps use The Avengers: Age of Ultron. A movie I also just seen once.
That movie, to me, didnt either make much sense. Ultron appears and then he wants to destroy humanity. He has a monolog, and then he goes on a killing-spree.
And then the avengers start battling him in grandiose battle sequences. I didnt like Age of Ultron much… But, unlike BvS… Its lighthearted tone makes it more entertaining. The style of the movie, makes the nonsensical plot easier to swallow.
So this in an example of how the style of Marvel movies works better as a superhero movie, than this new series of DC movies.
Since DC movies are more “dark”, “serious”, “heavily themed” then it also DEMANDS better SCRIPTS, PLOTS, CHARACTERS etc.
But they dont. And that is the problem. Nolan´s Batman, was good, not just because it was dark and heavily themed alone, but because they were WRITTEN WELL.
I prefer the campyness of Marvel. At best I get depressed by DC, at worst I get bored and suicidal. I remember watching Man of Steel and wishing I was in one of those 1000 crumbling buildings. hahahahoooo… But seriously… New DC movies suck. I still have hopes for Suicide Squad though. Not watched it yet… Gonna wait for the 4 hour edition ;-)
How can we fix this?
If I was creatively in charge of this new film series, I would have decided to do a soft reboot. Ignore Man of Steel, and perhaps also BvS. How? I dont know.
Make a Sandman cameo and reveal it was “all a dream”. This is how the DC universe would have been if a emo dreamed it. Perhaps add that there may have been some real prophetic parts in those dream (have the events reoccur in the new movies, only better.
Keep the stupid parts away (like giant orcs and lex luthor being an idiot) and keep the great parts (like Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent having a real problem with each others philosophies).
Yeah! That sounds brilliant. Have Dream come in and retcon. Being that the character is a DC character it could work. REBOOT. Superman lives. He is not a emo. Lane is not a cardbord box character, but a bitchy besserwisser journalist fighting to get her voice across in this new media landscape where important voices are drowned by PEWDIEPIE.
So it was all a dream. It was Bruce Wayne´s dream based on events before. That is that Superman really fought Zod. But he took the fight to the nevada dessert (as he should). But Zod destroyed metropolis, but NOT with the help of Superman.
So the evidence of how kryptonians could destroy the earth is still in the continuity. And Bruce Wayne can still be afraid of Supermans power.
Zod may have gotten killed, but NOT directly by superman or atleast superman had to do it for the sake of humanity, not a family in a corner.
Lex Luthor is a megalomaniac but NOT a joker without the makeup. He did not create a orc thing. He just stays in the background, paving way for criminals all over the world. He only cares about money and power. On the surface he is nice. Very concerned about nature, and wants to help in nature disasters he created etc. He wants to rule the world as he feels he is entitled. “He is the smartest man on earth, why do only stupid people rule”, he thinks.
So we want Superman to be dark. Fine. But lets make him completely good non the less. But lets explore that he cant be many places at once. He has god like powers, but he isnt every present. He is bound by is body and time.
I have this scene where he is with Lane. She knows he is Superman, but since Man of Steel is a dream, she learned this over some time.
They have an argument as she smokes. Cuz she should smoke. She is stressed out constantly. Daily Planet is not doing well, and her latest piece… perhaps on Lex Luthor was refused as she didnt have the evidence or something. She bitches to him about something mundane. Could it be he didnt do the dishes?
As she does that Superman hears 3 pleads for help 2 children are in mortal danger in Metropolis. She bitches, he knows he cant save them. He just knows they need help. So in a fit of frustration he does what many would do, and would usually be harmless. He hits is hand on the table. But since he has super strength the entire table gets smashed. Lane gets scared, but so does Superman.
Yeah… It was aaaaalll a dream. Thanks Sandman. You saved the DC universe. He is the true hero.
I would describe the new DC movies as having “prosopagnosia”. Its the disorder where you see the familiar faces, but the emotions are not awoken by it. Like seeing your daughter but not feeling that she is your daughter. Its a real condition. Same her. I know its suppose to be Superman, but I dont feel anything. I dont know him. Its not really Superman.
Less is MORE! It should be written on the door of the scriptwriter room of DC film universe.