Leave a Comment
Warner Bros has been making DC Comics movies for nearly 30 years (mainly about Batman and Superman), but starting in summer 2013, they followed in Marvel's footsteps and kicked off their own cinematic universe featuring heroes and villains from all corners of the DC world. Three and a half years later, this franchise is three movies deep, with two more on the way in 2017. Although the DCEU has been financially successful for the most part, reception to the movies has ranged from mixed to negative. Obviously opinions will differ on how much of a success or failure the DCEU has been so far, but one fan seems to have pinpointed the main problem with the franchise from the first three movies: the characters.
YouTuber Patrick (H) Willems recently posted an in-depth video that explains why he believes that currently, the DCEU doesn't have any "well-defined characters," i.e. individuals with proper motivation, growth and personality. In his eyes, the reason the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become so wildly successful is because Marvel took the time to build "interesting, fully-formed characters that audiences cared about." To Patrick, the DCEU hasn't done that yet.
From there, Patrick provides comparisons on how the MCU and DCEU handled character development, like comparing the respective hero's journeys of Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man and Henry Cavill's Superman in their origin movies. The most important element is the choices these characters make that define their transition into becoming heroes. Or in Batman's case in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the way he realizes that Superman isn't a threat and that he shouldn't be killing bad guys. Overall, the DC character growths haven't been as compelling as the Marvel ones. Ironically, even though he considers it the worst movie of the DCEU, Patrick states in his video that Suicide Squad has the more interesting characters, specifically Deadshot and Harley Quinn. Unfortunately, the arcs of those two and their fellow teammates still don't quite measure up.
While the content of the video is subject to debate (I personally don't agree with with his views on Superman's development in Man of Steel), the DCEU is in a rough spot at the moment. None of their movies have been critical acclaimed yet, and other complaints have included choppy editing, plot holes and darker tones. Again, this all boils down to personal tastes, but hopefully 2017 will be the year that things pick up for the DCEU. The franchise may have a good grasp on commercial performance, but they need a bigger win when it comes to critical reception.