Marvel v DC Movies
“I feel like Batman and Superman are transcendent of superhero movies in a way, because they’re Batman and Superman. They’re not just, like, the flavor of the week Ant-Man—not to be mean, but whatever it is. What is the next Blank-Man?” said Zack Snyder, director of Man of Steel, Watchman, and 300, in a recent interview.
This quote really had me laughing. You know, any Batman or Superman movie really should outdo any of the “flavor of the week” movies that Marvel has put out, but a Batman AND Superman movie really should.
So, why has Marvel built a superhero movie powerhouse while DC’s films have been hit or, more often, miss? The exec over at DC have probably been pulling their hair out trying to get why Marvel can make a Honey I Shrunk the Kids-ant-riding superhero movie that kick’s Man of Steel’s sorry butt into the Phantom Zone (where it should stay).
The answer is stupidly simple.
It’s not the actors. I mean, look at who they got to play Superman. You can’t go wrong with Henry Cavill, yet that movie was still awful!
Was it the special effects or film quality? No, the movies have been pretty visually appealing.
It’s all in the writing. DC’s movies focus on esthetics, not content. They’ve filled their movies with special effects and drama instead of characterization and plot structure. The shock and awe factors only get a movie so far, as we saw with the Star Wars Prequels. DC keeps making George Lucas’s mistakes.
Stories don’t have to be overly complicated to be intricate. Marvel’s movies like Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, etc. have pretty simple storylines, but they are packed with good characters, humor, action (ok, sometimes they have gone a bit overboard with the action, but they’ve compensated in other ways), fun, and just the plain old superhero feel that made us read comics in the first place. DC’s movies have been very dark and dramatic just for that shock and awe factor instead of making the audience genuinely feel something for the characters or story.
A good writer can make even the most boring subject interesting. Marvel’s “flavor of the week” reflects that. I mean, if you can make me, a diehard DC fan, love a minor Marvel character’s movie but hate the last Superman flick, there’s something desperately wrong.
To DC and Zack Snyder: Don’t be George Lucas. Get past the epicness of the subject matter, and get back to the heart of what made us fall in love with your heroes.