Thursday, July 11, 2013

Marvel movies trump DC movies

So last night I went to see Man of Steel. In Gold Class, nonetheless, because I'm fancy like that. And I enjoyed it, despite the fact that it nearly made my ear drums explode. But today? The more I think about it, the more I have problems with it. Because there were so many things that just DIDN'T. MAKE. SENSE. And, after talking about various things with Kim via email, I figured that I'd try and put some of my thoughts into a blog post.

Warning: remainder of post may contain spoilers.

So y'all know that I loves me a superhero movie. I will watch pretty much any superhero movie, including Green Lantern. But without exception, I love the Marvel movies about a thousand times more than any DC movie. And I think what it boils down to is this: Marvel has embraced the fact that superhero movies are inherently silly in many ways. I mean, radioactive spider bites or magical hammers or gamma radiation poisoning giving you superpowers are pretty dumb when you think about it. Marvel has embraced the fact that the concepts are a bit silly, and they ensure that the scripts contain elements of that silliness.

And the thing about this is that it adds a sense of realism. Life isn't all serious all the time, no matter how dire the circumstances. And it's these moments of silliness that give the Marvel movies their heart, and that help the audience relate to the characters. Sure, not everyone is a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist (sorry, Kim. I know how much you hate that line now), but everyone can join the dots on Tony calling Hawkeye "Legolas" or saying "I'm a huge fan of the way you turn into an enormous green rage monster". Even when they're characters with huge responsibilities, they're still human and still entertaining to watch.

In contrast, the DC movies are all about the seriousness, all flash and no depth. While Henry Cavill may be all kinds of hot, the script writing in Man of Steel is such that there's nothing to make the character of Superman (or Clark Kent/Kal-El, if you will) appealing to the audience. He constantly talks about being a citizen of earth, but his actions don't reflect it. In fact, there seemed to be numerous moments where they were comparing Superman to Jesus, and that was just bizarre.
I kept thinking of Edna in The Incredibles: "NO CAPES". Also, source.

Much like in The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man, the final battle of Man of Steel takes place in the city centre. Unlike the aforementioned Marvel movies, Superman's role is to defend mankind, not Metropolis. So having the fight continue in Metropolis after a certain point is ridiculous. The entire fight was painful to watch, because Superman shows no regard for the damage he's causing, no acknowledgement of the fact that thousands of people are dying as a direct result of his actions.

Instead, we get the destruction of the better part of the entire city centre and Superman causing damage to multiple buildings while flying along pummelling the crap out of his enemy, only to end with a death that could have taken place much earlier in the piece. And when he lands, the people emerge from the rubble of Metropolis to be all "OMG, Superman totally saved us! Well, some of us at least."

The only human he raises a finger to save is Lois Lane. Even Jonathan Kent dies in a way that Superman/Clark could have prevented. A way, I should add, that trumps even Dawson's Creek to win the title of "Worst Death Ever".

Similarly, Batman displays little interest in the people of Gotham or the destruction he causes in the course of defeating his various foes, despite Bruce Wayne's philanthropic works. Perhaps as a businessman, he instead focuses on the fact that any damage caused will likely lead to new projects for Wayne Enterprises? Watchmen was built almost entirely around Doctor Manhattan and his giant blue wiener. And Green Lantern was more interested in showing off than anything else for a large proportion of the film.
Just get on with it, Hal. Also, source.

In contrast, the people of New York rally behind Spiderman to help him defeat Lizard. The Avengers - while they do destroy a decent chunk of New York in the process of fighting off the Chitauri - ensure that a perimeter is established, limiting the damage as much as possible. They also work to evacuate as many civilians as possible minimising the injuries and casualties. Similar things can be said of almost all the recent Marvel movies - the majority of the major fight scenes take place in such a way that civilian casualties and damage are kept to a minimum. The heroes are all flawed, despite their powers. There's witty banter throughout the fight scenes, and constant character development throughout the course of the films.

Plus, Superman's latest outfit bears a striking resemblance to bubble wrap. At least he's not wearing his undies on the outside any more??

Have you seen Man of Steel? What did you think of the final battle? What's your take on the Marvel movies versus the DC movies? And - perhaps most importantly - am I the only one who thinks his outfit looks like it's made of bubble wrap??????

K xx


  1. I actually like the tone of DC movies just fine. There's room for the seriousness and the silly, and I like both.

    My problems with this movie were all nit-picky stuff, but there was a lot of it. I started listing them out to JD and his eyes honestly glazed over. He said nobody pays attention to details like that, so I'm probably the only person bothered by it.

    I wanted to like the movie, and every time I felt like I was settling into a good groove, ready to enjoy it, something else little and stupid would pop up and make me mad. By the end and the "I just think he's kinda hot" (because we all think with our ovaries... I don't care that she's Supergirl. I hated that line.) line I was ready to throat-punch the whole movie.

    1. I think that's part of my problem with the DC movies - I enjoy it while I'm watching it, but once it's finished, I can't help but focus on the nit-picky stuff. The Marvel movies, on the other hand, I'm too busy focusing on "OMG, this line was hilarious" or "This scene was acted so brilliantly" or "Holy crap, this thing tied into this thing, which tied into that thing from the other Marvel movie!". They're the masters of continuity.

      And yeah, that line was really freaking stupid.

  2. I know I've said I don't want to see MoS, but I kinda do now, just to use it as a drinking game. Drink every time they tell instead of showing. Drink every time someone says or does something unintentionally funny.

    Maybe it's just my dislike of DC in general making me a little biased, but I just can't get behind their films. I would pay good money to see a Wonder Woman film, but only if it was helmed by someone who knows how to make a superhero movie that isn't trying to be a Superhero Movie. Other than that, anything DC related... I'll enjoy it while I'm watching it, but about half an hour after I get out of the cinema (so I guess they do their job in that respect) the cons start outweighing the pros, and then I just start to get annoyed. Over all, the reason I'm not a fan of DC is because I just can't connect with the characters.

    Also, let's be honest. Clark Kent is flying around in Kryptonian underwear. That's worse than Ms Marvel's old bodysuit getup, and they're comparable power wise. At least Carol has a proper suit now, Clark hasn't graduated to that stage of heroics yet.

    1. He's in underwear made of bubble wrap. Awesome. Also, it would make a spectacular drinking game. I demand that you vlog it if you do invent such a thing.

  3. I forgot to say this earlier, but the Jesus-comparison stuff got under my skin, too. I know superheroes are symbols for deity, but this movie pushed it to a weird place.

    1. It was so ridiculously over the top, push it in your face. It just grated so much.

  4. The noise! It really was ridiculously loud - I spent at least half of the movie wincing.

    I wish they'd spent more money on a decent script but it seems as though any extra money went towards knocking down more buildings. It's as though someone asked: "Should we turn this plot into a seamless sequence of inter-related events that make for a satisfying movie or should we just get special effects to knock down another city block?" and everyone else gave the wrong answer every single time.

    Honestly, this Clark Kent seemed like a total, driftless loser. And yes, the whole Jesus/saviour of mankind analogy was slathered on a bit strong there.

    Also: Lois Lane running about doing reporter stuff in those heels. Are they serious? They put her in a smart looking pant-suit and then whack on heels and make her run across fields or broken-down cities. It drove me crazy.

    1. YES. To all the things, but especially the sound. I was very tempted to press the little Gold Class call button and be all "Hey, I'm paying a fortune to be here, can you turn it down a notch??", but then figured it was just me being a grumpy old lady.


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