The very first Superman film with Christopher Reeve was a true film worth cheering about; great performances, newly developed flying effects and a story that allowed the humanity of the greatest superhero of all time to be brought to life. Fast forward to 2013 with Henry Carvill and his emo Superman in the new Man Of Steel reboot; the event is no longer an event. Films these days are made as if they were all parts of better films, trailers for sequels or trailers for other franchises made by the same or different companies.
After hearing that the originally titled Man Of Steel 2 movie was being converted into a VS. film featuring Batman, I knew that the “Event” was truly gone. Thou crossovers in comic books within the same company are nothing new, it’s a bit more tricky to do something like that on the sliver screen. Perhaps the reservation amongst the many that I have about two iconic DC Comic characters is that they are designed to be complete opposites. Sure, a couple of hours of Superman and Batman talking smack to each other would be fine in a Shane Black kind of way. With Christopher Nolan and Zack Synder in charge, Batman vs. Superman will continue the trend The Dark Knight Trilogy inspired by making superhero movies look like Michael Mann films but shot in near darkness without much emotion from the characters.
Superhero films are not meant completely to be reflections of the world we live in; on a basic level Superman represents the hope and resilience of humanity, while Batman represents its’ grey area. Depending on who writes the characters their medium of choice these representations can be switched or they can be add-ons. To grind Superman’s hopefulness to a pulp in place of the cynical aura of Batman causes the films to feel and look the same. Copy and pasting a character onto another would work better if they could come up with a more original character; copy and pasting Batman into Superman is not taking it in a new direction, nor will it make for a worthwhile effort for to see it on the sliver screen in the next two years.
Honestly…even if they were to make superhero films of the quality of the original 1978 Superman, where else could the genre truly go that would actually make it a worthwhile event? Hollywood has already pushed the envelope in making a colorful up-tempo superhero film and with turning a superhero film into a crime drama. You can’t really do Young “Insert Superhero here” as you pretty much know how the story ends and you risk getting fandoms upset when you screw with the actual history of the original comic book; the first part, knowing the story ends, was the reason I didn’t really care for Smallville (which to me was Degrassi meets Superman).
A light-blub just went off in my head:
What if instead of trying to make a serious superhero movie, we could actually make (thou this is a personal opinion of mine) a good superhero movie? Explosions, brooding and people hitting each other minus the zap-boom-bap does not a good movie make. Especially in the case of a character as dark and complex as Batman, the lean towards a more murky setting overwhelms any sort of plot a screenwriter can give; it’s like putting a Windows 7 theme over Windows 8 and calling it Windows 7.
Let’s try this:
Would you like to know that your young son or daughter grew up with a Superman who believed in eye for an eye over a legal means of justice?
Would you like to know that your young son or daughter grew up with a Batman who is supposed to be a charming yet darkly complex individual and now is written to appear as if would take his own life if it thrilled him?
Yet another reason these films are no longer “event” cinema; we don’t care about the greatest audience that superheroes have: the men and women of the world who still carrying their innocence.