I love that "cinematic universes" are becoming a thing now. Because Marvel tried something new and absolutely killed it, every franchise needs to have one now. Personally, I think it is a trend that will be exhausted very shortly if everyone tries it at once. However, that is a post for another time. The point is, these big universes are a big commitment for viewers and for studios, and the only reason Marvel is doing so well is because they earned it. Plus, they took us by surprise a little bit. Now, it is a self-sustaining thing, because Marvel makes great movies, and everyone knows that about them. DC is now trying to get off their butts and compete with them, and I want them to succeed. I really do, because I love superhero movies. However, nothing I have seen has convinced me that they will succeed.
Batman and Superman... again.
To start things off! The fact that DC is kicking this thing off with a Superman movie, followed by a Batman/Superman crossover (just because it's too soon to do a full-blown solo Batman reboot), just tells me that they are not confident in their ability to make a great movie that stands by itself. Marvel started with superheroes that, whether you admit it or not, were not common household names before 2008. Yes, they did not have the rights to their A-list characters, so perhaps it was out of necessity more than anything else. But regardless, they built their franchise off of great movies rather than well-known characters. As far as DC goes, they had already made five Superman movies and eight Batman movies (Yes, I am counting 1966 Batman, shut up). They do not really have a great track record with making good movies about other superheroes, and they do not even have a perfect track record with just those two. I would like to see DC prove that they can make a great superhero movie, without the name Batman or Superman to sell tickets. After that, I will gladly watch these two punch their brains out, no complaints here. It just comes across to me that they are just throwing their best, and overrused, cards on the table at once in an effort to catch up, rather than doing it right.
Man of Steel though?
Man of Steel gets a lot of crap, but it is a perfectly fine movie. It has some great action. It has a great cast, and it does the character of Superman really well. I do not really like the character of Superman that much, but that is my own personal preference. Man of Steel is a good movie that probably deserves to have one or two sequels. That is it though. I walked out of the theater excited to see an awesome Superman trilogy further down the road. I did not walk out of there excited at the beginnings of a DC Cinematic Universe. That is really the problem here, they have announced a lineup of TEN MOVIES all stemming from one, just perfectly fine Superman movie. Ultimately, if they are really going to start a big universe at this point, Batman v Superman needs to just knock it out of the park.
But will it knock it out of the park?
When I watch the trailers for Batman v Superman, I see about the same kind of things that I said about Man of Steel. It looks like a perfectly fine movie. It does not look like the next great superhero movie to enter the theaters. I realize you cannot base things like this off of promotional stuff, so there could be a lot of hope. The cast looks really good, and the action looks really good. The trailers just fall flat though. The movie really needs to have a strong story driving it. I mean a self-contained story that makes it a great movie in itself. It cannot be a bunch of teasers for future movies. And when I watch the trailers, I see Batman and Superman beating each other up, with a Wonder Woman cameo, all just as an excuse to have a Justice League movie later on.
And as a last point, it is just so heavy looking. I love dark movies, but it just looks needlessly depressing. Both trailers just have so much pounding rock music, scowling faces, and nighttime. It almost reminds me of when I was younger and my older siblings and parents would start arguing over something stupid. It just makes me want to go in my room and cry because no one is getting along. It is just dark for the sake of being dark. There does not seem to be a thought-provoking reason for it to be a dark movie.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice... this was literally the best idea in the board room?
Nothing more needs to be said here.
Ultimately, I think Batman v Superman could be a really good movie. It is just that nothing has shown me that it is a bold new movie ready to kick off a really original, cinematic universe. At best, it looks like a good one-shot movie. Now, I would love to be blown off my feet in this movie. If I walk out of the theater a fully converted DC fanboy, I will be happy. It is just at this point, I am very tentative about the whole thing. So here's to you DC.