While I do consider myself a huge MCU fanboy I have to admit they do have a “safe formula” for their productions. While ever since Phase 3 they have taken more and more risk with each film they still kept it within their formula. Marvel films still have a bad habit of having weak villains and predictable story arcs. They keep their films family friendly and full of humor that mostly works for a large age range. However here is what made the DCEU films different in my opinion.
I enjoyed Snyder’s work on Man of Steel and I was fairly excited for Batman V Superman. While I still believe it should have been Man of Steel 2 with Batman in as a secondary player I still was curious to see these two share the screen together. Batman V Superman is very much a divided film among audiences and fans. Snyder got heat for disappointing the masses with his Man of Steel sequel. I saw the film in a theater and in my first viewing, I was disappointed with what I saw. However with each viewing, especially with the director cut, I appreciate the film for what it was trying to be. I think a part of the backlash was how we are given an idea of what a superhero film should be thanks to Marvel. Snyder, in my opinion, was trying to treat a comic book property as you would treat it as a legit film by someone who viewed it beyond as a superhero film. This is why he brought on board Chris Terro who is an Oscar winner.
By taking a look at the film we get a very gritty and dark world. Snyder is able to make the grittiest moments in this world look beautiful. He also gave us mutt layered plot and incorporated a rich history for the newly introduced characters. We got a sense of how long Batman had been around and the amount of pain he had endured during 20 years of donning the cowl.
However even with a great visual look and rich characters the film still fell short of impressing audiences and critics. I think part of the reason was the masses boils to the film’s runtime and what ended up on the editing floor. The director cut version of Batman V Superman is far more enjoyable to watch and a more balanced film. I give credit to Snyder for what he was trying to do with his films for the DCEU. He wanted to break away from the usual superhero film formula and go into a new direction. Any filmmaker who wants to do something new will always get some respect from their viewers. While his films aren’t beloved by the masses they agree it has its distinct look and feel and can be recognized very quickly as a DC film.
Snyder thought he could treat these films as something beyond a comic book movie. He tried to bring a new flavor to this genre of films. And for that, I honestly believe that with him leaving the DCEU we lost something special. While his attempts didn’t work they were still noble. Hopefully, they will inspire the future filmmakers of the DCEU to take risks and treat these films as something more than just another superhero film.