Image: Warner Bros.
Reviewing a superhero movie basically just comes down to comparisons. “Captain America: Civil War is brilliant, but not quite as brilliant as The Winter Soldier.” “Spider-Man: Homecoming was good, but it was no Spider-Man 2.” “How awesome is it that Logan was even better than X-Men: Days of Future Past?”
It’s quite helpful in Justice League‘s case, as there are so many comparisons to be made. And perplexingly, DC’s supergroup movie doesn’t just invite them but encourages them as the movie goes along, blatantly and immodestly stealing from any successful superhero movie it can think of in a vain effort to win the critical and fan love that has seemed to come so naturally to the Avengers, X-Men, and Spider-Man series but been unattainable for DC since the Dark Knight era.
Continue reading →
Photo: Warner Bros.
Ever since Marvel Studios gave its serious mission statement for a connected universe with Iron Man eight years ago, DC has been playing catch-up. Admittedly, The Dark Knight remains possibly the greatest superhero movie made and The Dark Knight Rises is impressive in its own right, but garbage like The Spirit, Jonah Hex, and Green Lantern still practically ruined the comic behemoth’s name.
By the time Man of Steel arrived on the scene to launch DC’s own connected universe of characters in 2013, all of Marvel’s heroes had already assembled for the first Avengers movie, making the character who’s faster than a speeding bullet feel very late to the scene indeed.
With plans already laid out for eleven more movies over the next five years, DC is making up for lost time with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, a sequel to Man of Steel. And a Batman movie in its own right. And an introduction to future Justice Leaguers like Wonder Woman and Aquaman. And a reflective indictment of superheroic violence. As well as a mindless endorsement of superheroic violence. Plus, Kevin Costner. Continue reading →
Photo: Warner Bros.
Movie adaptations of ‘60s TV are old hat these days. The last quarter-century has seen dozens of movies made from properties as different as The Flintstones and The Fugitive. And within those, ‘60s TV spy adaptations are arguably the most worn-out genre of all.
Between The Mod Squad, Get Smart, Wild Wild West, The Avengers (the 1998 caper starring Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman), I Spy, and five Mission: Impossibles, audiences have had nearly every famous property repackaged and retrofitted for modern consumption.
If another is to stand a chance, it needs to differentiate itself from both its predecessor and its modern-day peers. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. knows this — but knowing the perfect thing to do isn’t the same thing as perfectly pulling it off. Continue reading →