Sunday 4 June 2017

How Wonder Woman totally vindicates Batman v. Superman

With Wonder Woman getting good reviews all over the place (except from Fox News who seem offended that the title character isn't American because reasons) and Batman v. Superman getting a post-mortem bashing in the process, I just wanted to throw out a ray of hope for people who liked BvS:

Wonder Woman's success totally vindicates the creative vision of BvS.

Seriously. I'm not kidding. I'm not being mean. This isn't going to end with me praising BvS with faint damnation. It also, to be frank, doesn't end with me changing my own poor opinion of BvS but I seriously believe this whole situation works out for everyone in a way a lot of people aren't considering.

First of all, if you liked BvS (and Man Of Steel and Suicide Squad) then nothing can change that, that's how you feel. Furthermore, those films did well so you can rest assured that you are a commercially viable audience and DC isn't going to stop making films like that any time soon. The creative visions of Zack Snyder and David Ayer will continue to be present in their films.

And there it is!

See, since DC got into the shared cinematic universe game one of the big distinctions they tried to make between their operation and Marvel's was that they wanted to give their directors more creative control. Now, I don't hold that all Marvel films are directed exactly the same or have a totally unified aesthetic but there is an obvious effort to present a similar tone and production design so that when characters from different ends of the MCU meet it doesn't look weird.

Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman has a very different feel to the other three existing DCEU movies but Suicide Squad also has a different feel to the two Snyder-led efforts, just not as pronounced. It was, perhaps, a mistake to lead with two films by the same director and then follow up with a third from a new director whose style was not quite as distinct from Snyder's as it could have been but this does all show that DC is willing to pursue very different creative visions even with characters who are going to meet up.

Long story short: everybody wins. If you liked the Snyder (and closely allied Ayer) approach, that isn't going away even if Warner takes the success of Wonder Woman to heart. Justice League and Gotham City Sirens will continue that approach because that's what their directors were employed to create: Zack Snyder's Justice League and David Ayer's Gotham City Sirens. Then down the line we get Joss Whedon's Batgirl and Matt Reeves' The Batman.

Now, the down side of this is that unlike Marvel the audience of any one film in the franchise will not go into any of the others with the reassurance they're going to like what they watch. For my part, though, I'm more than willing to take that risk for a more varied approach to these properties. 

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