My Video Essay On The MCU in the lead up to Infinity War
I recently watched all of the MCU movies back to back in chronological order for the first time. My eyes were opened to exactly what makes them so good and why every other shared universe film franchise seems to fail. Seeing Thor and Thor The Dark World for the first time allowed me to make subtle connections between the collection that I had previously missed when watching the films theatrically and the reason for their success became glaringly apparent.
Failing To Replicate
DC recently tried to mimic Marvel’s success with Justice League, however, upon its release it was met with harsh reviews by critics and at this moment it is struggling at the Box office. But why? On paper, it shares several similarities with the Avengers.
They are both a super-powered group lead by a human Billionaire who seeks to stop the destruction of the Earth at the hands of an otherworldly being wielding a mystical weapon of mass destruction.
However, where they differ clearly isn’t that apparent to many. Especially Warner Brothers.
Over the past two years we have heard many rumours about Warner Brothers trying to brutally alter the production of Justice League and when watching the film, the disjointed plot and reshoots stand out more than Henry Cavils photoshopped mouth. Bringing in Joss Whedon, Director Of The Avengers, seemed like a smart move but not even The acclaimed filmmaker was able to save the production.
This, in my opinion, was due to studio interference.
DC Changing Their Movies
Dc have begun to retroactively alter the look of the Batman V Superman, brightening it up to appear similar in aesthetic to Iron Man and the ilk. Recent streams on iTunes have shown that Warner Brothers have drastically altered the look and feel of the film and it all feels like everything is going a bit, George Lucas.
This production alteration method has carried over to Justice League and when we compare the first trailers films to the final cut it’s obvious that a lot of scenes were reshot in daylight to appear brighter. It’s only upon analysis of this that you realise that DC and similar shared universe franchises have no idea what they are doing.
The fact of the matter is, the Marvel Movies aren’t critically and commercially successful because they have quips and are bright. It’s because they have a consistent tone throughout the films and focus on character development above all else. DC has already shown through The Dark Knight trilogy that they can make films that are dark, grounded and not child-friendly and still turn a huge profit so it seems baffling that they want to shy away from this in order to offer an inferior carbon copy of their competitors.
Make Mine Marvel?
Honestly, I don’t find the Marvel films that funny and the fact that I can see everything that is going on in a scene doesn’t make them any more endearing. Whilst Batman V Superman had problems it still felt all part of one piece and vision and whilst there were issues, overall I felt the film did a great job of painting how the world would react in fear to a Superhuman visitor.
DC took a gamble and whilst it didn’t pay off due to their restrictions of the runtime theatrically, upon release on home video as an extended cut, many seemed to appreciate the film more.
Switch over to Suicide Squad and Justice League, where the back peddling began. These films are a mess. Designed by committee they aim to please too many people and in doing so please none. There is no consistent vision and the dynamics of the movies jump from one foot to the other trying to impress an audience that will most likely end up bored.
Watching the Marvel Movies concurrently made me realise that you could stop Iron Man 1, switch the disc over and begin watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier and tonally nothing would seem amiss. They all appear to be part of the same vision and could easily happen within the same space. DC can’t even keep this consistency scene to scene, let alone movie to movie and it’s the main reason that fans have no idea what is going on.
Justice League Snyder Cut?
Looking back at Justice League I would rather have a full Snyder Cut with a Junkie XL in all its grandiose and flawed beauty than a mash-up between an X-Men and Avengers films.
Not everything has to be bright and colourful and not everything should be. DC fans such as myself gravitate towards the publisher because of their dark nature, there always feels like there is something lurking in the shadows there. so it’s disappointing that what I love about their universe is being dismantled in favour of an aesthetic that the characters aren’t built for.
Gone are the days when films were made one by one, missing is the care and attention put into each release, replaced with a slate that is solely there to excite fanboys. It’s style over substance, leaping with nowhere to land, putting the cart before the horse and planning to fail. Movie studios need to realise that in order to have a shared universe, they have to build one first, not have one before construction has even begun. If I want to watch a Marvel movie, I’ll watch a Marvel movie and that’s why everything simply pales in comparison.