Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in theaters this coming Friday but it has already received some... interesting reviews. Those being that it currently holds a 38% approval rating on rotten tomatoes and that is insane. Even though Man of Steel did not receive the critical praise everyone was hoping for, its still pretty surprising to see the first cinematic pairing of DC's most famous franchises clashing do this poorly. But why or how is that possible? Well, there could be a number of reasons in my opinion.
Was it the advertising?
The first trailer of Batman v Superman was released after San Diego Comic Con last year and it was pretty good. It showed some good parts, didn't give away too much of the plot and it had some good conflict between our two heroes. It was a near perfect trailer that was enough to get any comic book fan hyped up... until the second trailer was released a few months later. The second trailer made the dire mistake of revealing that classic Superman villain, Doomsday was going to be in the film. This could have been the film's "OMG" big surprise moment for the audience and the trailer just ruined that for us.
Not only did this ruin a potentially good twist, but it also downplayed the entire premise of the movie. The film was hyped up as the movie to pit Batman and Superman against each other in a epic one-on-one battle. However, revealing that Doomsday is in the movie completely takes away from that premise because we now know that Batman and Superman will set aside their differences to fight a common enemy. Yeah, we kind of knew they were going to do this anyway but the trailer still told us how they were going to do that and why. It simply gave away way too much. The third trailer that was released tried to fix this problem by showing more action and back and forth between Superman and Batman but the damage was already done.
Does it have something to do with how DC is making their films?
What makes the Marvel Cinematic Universe so great is that it is now so great and diverse that there is a little something for everyone to enjoy. The movies offer family-friendly fun with the adventures of the popular Marvel heroes including from the Avengers to the Guardians of the Galaxy while the Netflix shows offer more mature content that fit the stories of the street level heroes like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. While the MCU isn't perfect, there is plenty for any comic book fan to enjoy. Unfortunately, that is not the case for the DC Cinematic Universe.
Man of Steel tried way too hard to be a Batman film. I know some hardcore Superman fans really enjoyed that movie and that's fine, more power to you but it seemed way to dark and gritty to be a Superman film and a lot of Superman fans would agree as well. There was no color to the movie, a lot of the acting was very dull and wooden and some scenes legitimately made no sense. The whole point of Johnathan Kent's death was to show Clark that even with all his powers, he still couldn't save him. This film completely ruins that important lesson for Superman. Even the released picture of the new Aquaman played by Jason Mamoa looks to be too dark and gritty.
Superhero movies should only be dark and broody if the original source material allows it. That's why the original Dark Knight trilogy worked so well... well, the first two movies at least. Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder need to learn that some superhero movies need to be fun, colorful and even kind of funny, not always dark, gritty and broody. That's one of the main reasons that the MCU works so well because they portray their heroes in a correct light, whether that be fun and bright or dark and gritty. Hopefully the DC Cinematic Universe can turn it around because even though I'm not a huge DC fan, I still would like to see the DCCU be just as successful as the MCU.
Are DC blowing their load too early?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe, believe it or not, started all the way back in 2008 and nobody thought it would be as big as is it today. However, ever since the first Avengers film, they have building a certain tension in the relationship between Iron Man and Captain America. Even though they have been teammates and even friends for years, they do still butt heads every once in a while. This will make Captain America: Civil War all the more interesting because Marvel has been building up this relationship for almost five years. Unfortunately, it seems that DC might be rushing into this idea way too quickly.
We are only into the second film of the DC Cinematic Universe and they are already cramming way too many ideas and characters into one movie. Not only are we already getting Superman and Batman in the same movie already but we're also going to be introduced to the villains Lex Luthor and Doomsday while also being introduced to other heroes like Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg. That's seven new characters we are being introduced to in one movie. I can understand why they wouldn't want to give Batman his own movie yet so soon after the Dark Knight trilogy but introducing the other characters just seems a little too unnecessary.
The reason the Avengers worked so well was because there was five long years of build up and excitement because all those great heroes have yet to share the screen together in such a glorious way. DC seems to just want to run straight into the idea with little build up and that might hurt them. It is too early to determine the future of the DCCU but if they keep this up then they might not make it to the Justice League movie and that would be a travesty.