Preston Mitchell | Staff Writer
If you saw “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” last weekend, you were probably disappointed. Sitting at a 28 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, it took the already mediocre “Man of Steel” and crammed several DC superheroes into its flawed universe. The result is an over-bloated, overlong and overly maudlin crossover that juggled too many plots on top of occasionally laugh-out-loud bad dialogue. All brought to you by the hack that is Zack Snyder (“Watchmen”).
While Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill say the film is for fans and not critics, receipts say otherwise. It grossed millions on opening night, but had the single worst Friday-to-Sunday drop for a superhero movie in North American box office history. Another movie with a 58 percent decline was last year’s “Fantastic Four.”
On those grounds, here are the only ways DC can fix its franchise:
First and foremost, it’s time to lighten things up. “Man of Steel” shot itself in the foot by darkening down Superman. In the comics, Batman and Superman are at odds because of their conflicting ideologies. However, Batman is now just as dark as Cavill’s Superman, and it makes the new movie bland because both heroes share similar portrayals. Since other characters barely crack a smile also, it dulls the overall atmosphere and makes matters flat.
Also, “Batman v. Superman” had too many easter eggs setting up future movies. Unlike “Deadpool,” which told one single story in the context of a franchise, Zack Snyder helmed a convoluted narrative with homages that felt out of place.
For example, the scene where the Flash ripples through time was absolutely random. Worse than that was Lex Luthor emailing videos of Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg to Wonder Woman. This scene was really ill-conceived because: 1) Luthor has no way of creating each character’s logo before they’re introduced and 2) it’s terrible storytelling to foreshadow the Justice League.
Honestly, the only tertiary character that worked was Wonder Woman, embodied perfectly by Gal Gadot. She made her dialogue palatable, wore the tiara well and I’m now looking forward to her solo adventure.
What can be learned from this film is that DC needs to start delivering on their titles. The movie is a two-and-a-half hour “Batman v. Superman” film where the leads only fight for 15 minutes. That’s a big problem, especially since Batman had legitimate reasons for hating on the Man of Steel.
Superman never gets a real motivation. He simply flies right in the middle of Batman fighting crime, tells him to stop fighting crime and flies into the air. Even though “Captain America: Civil War” isn’t released yet, the trailers clearly address why Cap and Iron Man are fighting. Zack Snyder can’t even do that right.
To be fair, DC can still redeem itself. The advantage that Marvel has is how it treats its characters seriously without sacrificing the fun that comes with the package; something DC needs to note. In the meantime, DC choosing talented directors like David Ayer (“End of Watch”) and James Wan (“Furious 7”) is a step in the right direction. Now please, guys, start delivering.
Featured Image: Courtesy | Warner Bros