A week ago, I saw Wonder Woman in IMAX 3D. It was wonderful.
Five days ago, on a whim, I decided to see it again. This time, I went to a cheaper matinee with a standard 2D viewing. It was still wonderful.
Two days ago, I saw it again with a group of friends. It was still wonderful. And they all thought so, too.
Kids, if you have not made it out to your local cinema to catch the latest DC Extended Universe film, you need to go and do that as soon as you possibly can. Go tonight. Go tomorrow on some kind of extended lunch break. I don’t care when you go, just GO!
Because, holy crap, this movie is incredible.
This post is going to probably become longer than your average blog post. And, it’s likely, there will be spoilers. So, if you navigate away, I understand. But, I implore you… stick with it. Hear me out. I’ve got a lot to say. And I’ve been sitting on my opinions for a week in the hopes that I could somehow, appropriately form the right words.
Mostly, I just want to say, “Suck it, Marvel!”
But, at the same time, I don’t want to say that. I like the Marvel movies. They are nothing if not entertaining. But I don’t understand why, just because someone identifies as a Marvel, there can’t be room to see positives in the DC Comics films? I hear it all the time from people who only like a movie if Tony Stark is at least mentioned. They say the DC movies are terrible and there are no redeeming qualities.
I’m exaggerating. I hope. I’m sure that not all Marvel people automatically assume the worst about a DC movie. But it has seemed like, over the last two or four years, DC movies get nothing but crapped on. By critics and moviegoers alike.
In some ways, I get it. I really do. No movie is perfect. But just because a movie features the DC logo in front of the opening credits does not automatically make it a horrible film. Were there mistakes in Man of Steel? Yes. Were there mistakes in Batman v. Superman? Of course. Were there mistakes in Suicide Squad? Without question.
As I prepared myself to see Wonder Woman last week, I decided to rewatch Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. As I watched it, I made notes in my head about how I would have done it differently if someone had given me editing powers. I understand people’s complaints that there were too many attempts at setting up the cohesive DC Universe. There were references that people just didn’t get unless they were versed in DC Comics lore. Batman v. Superman would have been just fine if the powers that be had not spent so much energy trying to prepare us for Justice League. Mention there are others with powers, that’s fine. But did we really need to spend 20 minutes looking over Diana’s shoulder as she clicked on the files that showed us footage of Aquaman, Cyborg, and the Flash? Did we really need a dream sequence of the Flash coming back in time to warn Bruce about Superman in the future? Or another dream sequence of Batman in his Desert Storm gear taking down Superman’s soldiers and Parademons (creatures that no one at this point should know anything about)?
And then they released a special edition DVD with an extended cut. And that extended cut made the movie make a lot more sense. I’m sorry, but that’s the stuff you should have kept in the movie that was released in theaters. Don’t save the good stuff, the stuff that makes sense, for home video. Give that to the people who are paying admission for a night out. Leave the cameos of other superheroes for your extended cut.
That being said, the DC movies are not as horrible as the world believes. I know that puts me in a pretty pathetic minority. The world that Warner Bros. is building isn’t the idealistic one that comic fans may have been hoping for when a cinematic universe was barely even a concept. It’s dark and it’s gritty. But that’s okay, because it’s the story that these creators wanted to tell.
Think about it… If someone like Superman, an alien with practically limitless power, suddenly showed up, how would we view him? Some would see him as a hero. Others would view him as a threat. That makes Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman a couple of pretty realistic versions of the Superman narrative.
The story in Man of Steel was a good one. Sure, Superman’s fight with General Zod destroyed a good chunk of Metropolis and resulted in the loss of thousands upon thousands of fictional lives. But no one seemed to have a problem when The Avengers tore up most of Manhattan to stop their alien invasion. The story in Batman v. Superman was a good one (if you can look past the pointless cameos), even if the reason for Batman to fight Superman was something of a flimsy one. But was it really any different than what we got from Captain America: Civil War? Everyone loved that, though.
I might not have any excuses for Suicide Squad, though. That was just a mess. No conceivable story. Just move our characters from point A to point B to point C. It was like a video game made into a movie. Could have been so much better.
Geez, y’all… this post is already too long and I haven’t even started talking about Wonder Woman yet. Okay, I’ll make it a two-parter. But I’ll wrap this one up by saying Gal Gadot stole the show in Batman v. Superman. Hopes were high for her solo film. She delivered. As did everyone else in front of and behind the camera. Come back tomorrow for my actual Wonder Woman thoughts.