A bit of a prediction for the forthcoming year with the much anticipated film Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice; it’s going to be pants. I feel like all of the good work done by Christopher Nolan with the Batman series will come undone. To be honest it started to unravel a little with The Dark Knight Rises (2012) but the untimely death of Heath Ledger was always going to be difficult to overcome as he had delivered a performance which dominated not only a film but a series of films, and in terms of the genre of Superhero movies he showed just how far they can go. But having closed them off and started afresh (although Nolan is still producing) Zack Snyder will finally bring together arguably the biggest names of all:
I read the 2003 comic Batman: Hush a few years ago in an attempt to scrub up on my knowledge of all things Batman but didn’t enjoy it at all. The reason why? The crossover between Batman and Superman. The two are absolutely fine on their own, there’s no need to combine them although it’s definitely an idea worth exploring and it’s something that had to be done eventually. For me, this is just a money spinner following Marvel’s success with The Avengers and with fat Ben Affleck and the unbelievably wooden Henry Cavill I have very low expectations. Luckily it won’t matter too much, for 2 reasons:
- Warner Bros are ploughing far too much money into this for 1 film to ruin it. They have had to stand up to the might of Marvel and it’s only right that Batman & Superman lead the charge, but Man of Steel (2013) was just no good, it was over the top and had very little personality. The one thing going for it was that it looked great, that’s always a guarantee for a Zack Snyder comic book adaptation and sometimes that is just enough. There are enough idiots around to continue buying a ticket to see these films (me included) and the merchandise (me less so) and that will be enough for them to finance another batch of films.
- There are tons of comic book movies released every year these days from DC, Marvel and cheap imitations, so much so that a poor showing (even a double whammy) will not make the same impact as the ill-fated Joel Schumacher era of Batman. At that time Batman was the only significant superhero in Hollywood and 1 bad film was nearly enough to ruin a whole host of successful careers, just ask George Clooney.
Further on from the first point, it’s not Batman vs. Superman which excites me this year, it’s really all about Suicide Squad.
I think it’s going to be a similar story in that it won’t be a particularly mature film. It’s a silly idea putting a bunch of baddies together to save the world. Heath Ledger’s Joker and The Dark Knight storyline drew close comparisons to real-life drama and acts of terrorism, but this will be much more comic book shtick. Forgive me if I expect to see a few ‘Bop”s, ‘Bash’es ‘Boing”s along the way but I do think the creepy slasher moments Jared Leto’s Joker will undoubtedly produce onscreen will only add to the already iconic, much parodied body of work put together by Ledger and before him Jack Nicholson. I fully expect him to live up to the hype and I reckon they’ll be enough surprises in the film to make me keep going back for more. Like Watchmen (2009) does. I don’t think it will be great, but I’m predicting a solid 7 out of 10 showing. Crap but with tasty bits. Like eating a McDonalds.
Something I’m looking forward to finally seeing work is a comic book adaptation on television. Arrow and The Flash has been ok, probably better than I expected but it still very much feels like it is ‘made-for-TV’ or as we used to call it ‘straight-to-video’. Gotham was awful but following the excellent Agent Carter series from Marvel (sorry for mentioning them again but they are the experts now) I’m actually just waiting for a Batman Begins moment on the small screen. That’s all we need, a bit of a nothing happening, nothing to see here type series, very dark, mysterious but keeping you on the edge of your seat. A character with a history in comic books but not much on the silver screen. Something that takes itself very seriously. Preacher?
No, definitely not.
Looks like I’ll just have to wait until 2017.