What’s the difference between DC and Marvel films right now?
Well unless you really go at it and I mean really at it, most Marvel films tend to hold up pretty well under the microscope, even Iron Man 3 and the Thor’s.
DC on the other hand seem to be a cluster fuck of ideas thrown at the wall with no thought about how they are all going to fit together in the long run to tell a cohesive story that builds over a series of films.
Marvel have steadily crafted their films, whereas DC seem desperate to put a universe together and have ultimately missed the potential of the characters they have in their catalogue. Marvel were working with D-list characters, you know the ones that no one would buy when the company enteredbankruptcyin 1996/97, and have somehow become a media juggernaut on the back of them whilst the companies that own characters such as the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man just can’t seem to get it right.
So what’s the difference between DC and Marvel fans?
Marvel fans don’t give a shit about extended cuts, the bonus scenes on the retail releases are just bonus cuts. With or without them the films get to the same place even if there might have been some behind the scenes issues. Mickey Rourke states that much of his performance from Iron Man 2 ended up on thecutting room floor, and Thor: The Dark World’s director Alan Taylor stated that the film changed in post production. Whatever the issues the films tell there story without the need for extended cuts.
DC fans on the other hand seem to rely upon extended cuts to make sense of the film they have just watched, Batman V Superman being the obvious choice, if you can’t tell a coherent story over 2 hours then your clearly doing something very, very wrong. Fans are also apparently clamouring for an extended cut of Suicide Squad due to the amount of footage that featured in the trailers but was no where to be seen in the cinema release.
As it stands at the moment Marvel are literally taking a crowbar to DC at the cinema and there seems to be no end in sight to the blood in the water, Marvel are sitting pretty on the beach as the sharks circle DC’s punctured raft.
How the hell is the DCEU in crisis after only three films?
Some seem to think that Zack Snyder is to blame, he has after all directed Man Of Steel and Batman Vs Superman and is the Executive Producer on Suicide Squad. Sadly he is also credited as ‘Story By’ on the upcoming Wonder Woman, a film that apparently is in crisis according to one ‘supposed’ former Warner Bros. employee. Along with numerous sites reporting upon the apparent behind the scenes issues at Warner Bros.here’s one and here’s another. There are also a number of reports that Suicide Squad had various competing edits that left fans with, personally the best DCEU so far, a mess of a film.
So what the hell is going on, DC/Warner Bros. are working with some of the most recognisable characters in comic books but somehow don’t seem to be able to craft a film that isn’t full of plot holes, questionable dialogue or crappy editing.
Wonder Woman has a lot riding on it, yes we’ve had the surprising release of the Justice League trailer which presented us with some surprisingly light and funny dialogue. But Wonder Woman is the first superhero feature film to have a woman in the lead since Elektra in 2005 and we all know how well that one was received.
Sooner or later a comic book film is going to tank really big at the Box Office, like Fantastic Four big and it’s going to kill the current goodwill that comic book movies have with the wider cinema going audience. I’ve written previously about the tipping point regarding comic book related properties, here, and with DC’s recent announcement that the possible Booster Gold film wont be part of the DCEU it seems pretty clear that should Wonder Woman and Justice League not fair so well at the box office Warner Bros./DC’s slate of announced titles could get a lot smaller unlike Marvel’s which seems to add a new title every couple of months.
Is this do or die, make or break for the DCEU (DC Extended Universe), so far the films have failed to impress. Man Of Steel was a disappointing mess of ideas, Batman Vs Superman wellhereare my thoughts. The Squad has a lot riding on it especially after DC/Warner Bros. pulled the plug upon The Arrowverses fledgling Squad.
This fledgling Squad had hinted at Harley Quinn, Arrow has also featured versions of Katana and Captain Boomerang, though not as part of the Squad, and Deadshot as well as Amanda Waller and also included Bronze Tiger and Shrapnel in the team.
Clearly DC/Warner Bros. think they have a dynamite script on their hands to effectively tell The Arrowverse to pull the plug upon these recurring characters but the signs have not been great so far. There has definitely been a feeling that the cast have had fun whilst making the film, tattooing each other, with SKWAD and other behind the scenes antics including Jared Leto staying in character as The Joker, sending ‘gifts’ to his cast mates including live rats to Margot Robbie, but now reports have started to surface that there are/weretwo competing edits. And at the time of writing the film has a Rotten Tomatoes score of29%and imdb has it at 7.7 out of 10, based on 16543 reviews/opinions even though the film hasn’t been released worldwide yet.
As always I’ll go in with an open mind but the trailers that were released during the films promotion were uneven in tone making it unclear what sort of film we will be getting and I draw particular issue with the sexualisation of Harley Quinn during one trailer where it appears an entire airforce base stands around and watches her get dressed. Part 2: After
The film you get is far from the one that the trailers lead you to believe you are going to get, The Jokers prominence in the advertising leads you to believe that he is the main antagonist, sadly he’s a secondary character at best. Leto is fine in the role but it’s nothing special personally and the behind the scenes antics must have seriously got on the tits of everyone involved given the 20ish minutes of screen time The Joker has.
I found the tone of the film to be very uneven, obviously given either the character or the actors prominence then it wasn’t exactly a no brainer that Deadshot and Harley were going to be the most significant members of the group. They command the majority of the screen time for the group but everyone gets a moment or line that allows them to shine. Except Slipknot, which is a shame as I really like Adam Beach, he was great inSmoke Signals and Flags of Our Fathers.
But that is the issue with the advertising, no clear indication of what the film is really about which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in this day and age where trailers give away the majority of the plot and usually a big twist or reveal. As I’ve said the trailers lead you to believe that the film is about one thing but then it’s about something completely different and we are used to scenes featuring in trailers that don’t make the final cut but in the case of the SKWAD the majority of the trailers fail to make the film or are edited to within an inch of their lives.
The soundtrack is littered with rap, pop and classic rock tunes that play over huge chunks of the film, pretty much every character has song that plays over their introduction and becomes incessantly more annoying as the film progresses. As does the constant slow motion, I’m pretty certain that modern blockbusters would be about 10-15 minutes shorter if scenes played at their regular speed.
It’s not all doom and gloom, it’s just that the film is so ‘meh’, so much wasted promise. It’s loud and brash and has moments of pure joy, Will Smith is clearly having a blast playing a badass and I love the ‘gangster’ feel to Killer Croc from Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje along with Diablo’s barrio street thug turn from Jay Hernandez but for the love of god will someone please tell me why studios keep putting Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang) in stuff.
In the run up to the film it was also unclear where this film would fit in with Man of Steel and Batman V Superman, for anyone wondering, it is post BvS with a few flashbacks thrown in. The Batman scenes personally just add confusion to how long Batman has been active or inactive for his appearance in BvS to be such a surprise to Clark Kent, especially in light of director David Ayer stating that each member of the SKWAD has a personal vendetta against The Bat, only two of the villains are seen interacting with Batman and one is apprehended by The Flash (Ezra Millar). I hope that boy gets a solo feature as he’s been in as many films as Batfleck at this point.
Another aspect that I really liked was the Dirty Dozen/Magnificent Seven not everyone survives to the end, though in this case their are obvious exceptions to this. Some we know going in are obviously going to survive through star power alone, whilst others are apparently going to be getting their ownsolo featureand others you think are going to survive don’t.
DC/Warner Bros. have got to pull their act together, Marvel are leaving them for dust. Whilst the MCU isn’t exactly perfect and doesn’t always flow fluidly it still holds together after a decade whereas the DCEU is a car crash of forced continuity and ideas after only three films. Whilst Suicide Squad didn’t suck it didn’t live up to the hype, that same hype that supposedly had studio executives giving BvS a standing ovation and signing Affleck on for a multi-picture deal with a shit load of creative control going forward. But for the love of god someone please show Zack Snyder the door or maybe Harley’s oversized mallet now that Harley Quinn Smith has her baseball bat.