Here’s a Question for All of You

Two movies with very similar premises are coming out this year.

Both are about extremely popular, flagship, “good guy” superheroes ending up on the opposite side of a major conflict, a conflict that will inevitably end with them coming to blows before reconciling in the face of a larger threat.

Both movies are going to be incredibly long, for a superhero movie.

They’re both introducing a ton of new characters in an effort to set up for new movies (DC: Batman, the Flash, Wonder Woman. Marvel: Like, seriously, basically everybody but Thor and the Hulk are in it).

The directors for both movies are taking the movie extremely seriously.

(Okay, yeah, that second link is just to images from “Batman v. Superman”, but come on, the brightest color on that whole page is Superman’s blue suit).

So why does “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” look like it’s terrible and “Captain America: Civil War” look like it will be amazing?

I don’t know how either movie ACTUALLY is. “Civil War”, of course, isn’t even out yet. “Batman v. Superman”‘s gotten terrible reviews, but I haven’t seen it and going by comments sections there seems to be a small but notable following of people who loved the movie. So who knows?

I’m just going by the stuff that’s come out pre-movie for each. It’s not just me who noticed this. The AV Club wrote an advance article bemoaning how bad they knew “Batman v. Superman”  would be (they panned it). And yet, despite having nearly the same premise and theoretically the same potential pitfalls, I can’t deny that I’m extremely excited for “Civil War” and getting more excited with each trailer, whereas I could have told you “Batman v. Superman” was going to get panned months ago.

So the question is: Why? Why does Marvel’s film look so good and DC’s look so bad? Is it the lighter tone of the trailers (Eh, maybe, but “Civil War” hasn’t been THAT lighthearted)? Is it the fact that Marvel has a long and established track record (Perhaps, but I don’t think so in my case, or at least not consciously). Is it that the movie looks so dark (But what about “The Dark Knight”)? Is it that the directors for the Marvel film are actually really good and Zack Snyder is terrible (that doesn’t really explain the trailers though, or not entirely)?

I dunno. I guess it could be any or all of those things, but I’m not so sure. Any ideas?

  • Foxfier

    Disagreement: part of why I wasn’t optimistic about DC’s movie in the first place is because they are introducing everybody at once; Marvel’s Civil War isn’t introducing anybody, they were already introduced in other movies.

    The Avengers movies have a track record of managing to be serious while staying true to the characters; I still don’t know who the heck that annoying twerp in the BvS intro is supposed to be, and I can’t imagine why anyone would listen to someone so obviously trying to screw with them. He’d make an awesome Riddler, but…. (from stuff I’ve read elsewhere, I guess that’s supposed to be Lex Luthor)

    The Superman franchise has a recent history best summed up as “hey let’s edit ‘The American Way’ out of his classic tagline.”

    Contrast with how the early word that they’d be remaking Captain America as a veteran of the GWoT and the fans blew up– and they listened.

    Batman has a somewhat similar problem– he’s already dark, yeah; but the movies of late have…well, Ledger’s Joker is a good example. He was scary, sure, but where are the jokes? At no point did he do stuff that was actually just ridiculous, he was would’ve fit into a horror movie just fine.

    K, if they were beer lines, the Avenger’s path movies right now would be one that has a wide range of products, from a nice hard apple cider (Guardians of the Galaxy) through decent versions of standards. They at least seem to be focused on making a drink that a decent sized but not even majority level group will really, really REALLY like, rather than either a beer that will be OK for pretty much everybody (Say, a Miller or Bud) or that people will drink as a statement. (Hipster’s PBR*)

    DC’s is one of those brands whose market share seems to be obsessed with reaching toxic levels of hops to show that it’s not a beer, it’s an IPA.

    * PBR is my dad’s favorite beer. He’s still annoyed at the price jump about five years back when it became the hipster beer.

    • Anthony M

      Civil War is introducing the Black Panther and Spider-Man, plus a villain in Crossbones.

      • Foxfier

        Alright, so two supporting characters and a villain– still not introducing both title characters and incidentally the entire universe.

  • Foxfier

    BvS acts like it’s got something to prove; CA:CW acts like it’s trying to tell a story.

  • I’m optimistic about “Civil War” primarily based not on the other Marvel movies in general, but on one movie in specific: “The Winter Soldier.”

    TWS accomplished an EXTREMELY difficult task. It was a movie about all the grey moral ambiguity of the modern era while somehow still capturing the almost naive moral uprightness of Captain America himself. It’s hard, but they did it beautifully – and the same creative team is behind Civil War, which has an equally difficult task.

    BTW, everyone always talks about how hard it is to tell a good Superman story. To which my response is that the best Superman movie I’ve ever seen… was called “The Winter Soldier.” That’s how you do it right.