Ranking the DC Extended Universe Films

Ranking the DC Extended Universe Films

So with the hotly anticipated Wonder Woman being released in cinemas in less than two weeks, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on the three instalments in the DC Extended Universe thus far, ranking them from my least favourite to my favourite. For many, that it is a difficult task, as the critical reception for all three films have been mixed to downright poor. Despite the fact that all the films so far have turned a healthy profit for Warner Bros, the reviews are less than desirable for the franchise. With positive early reactions for Wonder Woman, let’s hope that the Amazon warrior can be the turning point that DC desires. But for now, let’s take a look back on the DCEU so far…

SPOILERS AHEAD

  1. Suicide Squad (2016)

Suicide Squad is one of those films that when I first saw it, I enjoyed it as a fun action film with some standout performances by Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Will Smith as Deadshot and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller (Also Jai Courtney as Boomerang was the most pleasant surprise). However, I’ve watched this film about seven times now in the past year, and I’ve come to the conclusion it is a complete mess. The narrative is so fragmented, with there being no sense of flow that progresses the story. Instead, we are treated to two hours of forced in popular music, underdeveloped characters (for the most part), and one of the worst villains in a superhero film (Enchantress). Furthermore, I didn’t care for Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker. He nailed the laugh that is emblematic of the iconic villain, yet his performance didn’t disturb me or affect me like Heath Ledger did before. I’m a fan of Director David Ayer’s previous work, such as the excellent Fury (2014), yet this was a major step down for him. There’s potential in some of the scenes, such as Deadshot’s display of his masterful marksman skills at the shooting range, and some impressive action set pieces. Yet the narrative is discombobulated to an absurd degree, with an overall bland team, leaving audiences incredibly disappointed. (4/10)

  1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Batman v Superman was arguably the most anticipated film of all time for a number of fans. The idea of these two masters of comic book entertainment clashing on the big screen for the first time sparked a ubiquitous sense of excitement amongst us. And when the film was released, there was a sense of dread that loomed over DC. Everyone seemed to hate this film, calling it a huge disappointment. And whilst not perfect, this film isn’t that bad. Ben Affleck crafts the best on screen Bruce Wayne/Batman in my opinion, conveying the tortured soul of Batman that we’ve never really explored before. The action is outstanding; with Batman’s nightmare sequences fighting Superman’s soldiers is one of the best scenes of 2016. The actual fight between the two titular characters was incredible. Whilst the whole ‘Martha’ thing is undoubtedly one of the elements that received the most hate, I saw it as a realisation from Batman on the importance of family, preventing him from becoming morally irredeemable. Wonder Woman was a fantastic surprise, and Jeremy Irons provided some genuine comedic lines as Alfred. Yes Lex Luthor was an abysmal villain, Lois Lane was intergalactically stupid and Doomsday was completely wasted, but Batman v Superman proved to me that there was a universe here for these characters to crossover, building my excitement for the many instalments to come in the cinematic universe. (7/10)

  1. Man of Steel (2013)

I genuinely don’t understand why this film is only in the 50s on the Rotten Tomato scale. Not only does Man of Steel contain visually breath-taking action, emotionally driven performances and a surprisingly complex villain in the form of General Zod, the film presents the origin story of Superman in a completely refreshing and invigorating tone. Seeing as Superman is an archetypal hero, it can be considered a difficult task to make him a layered and thought provoking character, yet I felt the film challenged those expectations. Zack Snyder certainly is a visual Director, and that is a great asset to the character of Superman. The flying sequences are a thing of beauty, as are the battle sequences (The Smallville battle being a highlight). It’s intriguing to see the fall of Krypton, as is the relationship between Clark Kent and his two fathers, presenting two contrasting ideologies each with their own genuine merits and drawbacks. Like the ‘Martha’ revelation in Batman v Superman, the element of Man of Steel that criticism seems to illuminate to a considerable degree is the collateral damage caused to Metropolis at the film’s climax. However, I would argue that there was no choice for Superman, other to fight Zod in the urban city, instead of letting Zod destroy Earth. Moreover, this plot point allowed for motivations for Batman to hate Superman in the next film, providing explanation for the event’s place in the film. Overall, Man of Steel is a flat out underrated film which deserved far more praise than it received. (9/10)

 

Thanks for reading everyone

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