It’s no secret that the DCEU has had some growing pains, to say the least. They didn’t exactly hit the ground running with the divisive and critically panned Man of Steel. In spite of that, Henry Cavill looked amazing in the suit, the special effects and overall design were just dandy, and Zack Snyder was an accomplished director with great appreciation for the source material.
Batman V Superman didn’t fair much better, continuing the complaint of it being too dark with the characters acting against type. Although, giving credit where credit is due, it did give us the flawless, big-screen debut of Wonder Woman, so I guess it had some saving grace. Unfortunately, she may likely have been the only good thing in the film.
I guess we don’t have to mention the poor response to Justice League, even though it did make some money and has many fans defending the film or at least campaigning for Zack Snyder’s director’s cut. Once again, WW was the best thing about the movie, although Jason Mamoa as Aquaman is a close second. I can’t wait for James Wan’s Aquaman to hit movie theaters. If the trailer is any indication, we’re in for a treat. Long regarded as an inferior character, it’s time Aquaman shows us what he’s made of - and I think he just might.
I may be in the minority here, but I actually really liked Suicide Squad. Even though it got somewhat bad reviews, it performed well enough to warrant a sequel and a couple of spinoffs. I trust the powers that be to iron out some of the wrinkles and receive redemption for the first one.
So, what went wrong with the DCEU?
DC has some of the greatest superheroes and stories ever created in comic books and all of fiction. These stories were created by some of the greatest artists and writers of the past century. With a long, rich history comes many ups and downs, triumphs and failures. As many successes are to be celebrated, there will also be a flub here and there. It doesn’t matter how you fall, but rather how you stand up.
When it comes to redemption, nobody does it better than DC. After trying to ride out criticism and fan disappointment from its first few films, Wonder Woman’s solo movie came along and was near perfection; it performed well and was positively received. Easily the best of the DC flicks of the past decade, I think that the movie deserves to stand in its own and carry out its tenure. It’s unlikely there would be a Wonder Woman 3, but I wouldn’t complain if there was. I think they just need to keep Wonder Woman in her own lane and let the films stand on their own. It will stand the test of time better without the obligatory cameos and crossovers that do little more than distract and remind us of the not-so-great parts of the DCEU. I say keep them all separate and let them stand on their own merit.
Moving forward, I think it would be in their best interest to start with something of a clean slate, especially now that Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill are no longer attached. It would seem strange to have Gal Gadot as the only original member of the trilogy continuing on. They could essentially Rebirth their films the way they did their comics. Believe it or not, fans like good movies with good stories and character development.
Until then, we have Wonder Woman and Aquaman to lead the way for some new DC movies in the planning stages. I’m sure care will be taken to put care into these movies. Shazam looks amazing by all accounts.
I suppose we’ll have to wait and see what the future will look like. Just remember: When things look down, you can only look up! Up, up, and away!
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