Releasing these online over the weekend of Star Wars Celebration was stupid. Releasing them after the Star Wars trailer was dumber still. Because while the Star Wars clips gave us moments of hope that what’s coming will not suck, and could even possibly transcend anything JJ Abrams has done before, the other two seem determined to rub our worst fears in our faces.
Okay, so here’s Batman v Superman:
Let me just make it crystal clear where I’m coming from, because there is a lot of misunderstanding out there about the fan reaction to this. I like Man of Steel. I like more Zack Snyder movies than I dislike. I was happy with the idea of a Batman vs. Superman movie.
I don’t like the thought of Ben Affleck as Batman, and I never have. I like even less the notion that we’re doing Dark Knight Returns with a Bruce who is not old enough to have earned that story. I do like that Aquaman takes his cues from the bearded, hook-handed version, but you can’t just throw him into Dark Knight Returns willy-nilly. As yet, I have no opinion of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.
One of the things I liked about Man of Steel is that the influence of Christopher Nolan appeared to be grounding Snyder a bit more in a realistic world, versus so many of his previous attempts to replicate comic panels exactly. Sans Nolan influence, this is already looking like a step back. Also moving backwards? Superheroes who kill. Like most of you, I wasn’t really down with the General Zod neck-snap, but I’m okay with it, if it’s what sells Superman on never killing again. However, Batman is supposed to be more rigidly anti-killing than Superman, and he seems here to have a flying vehicle loaded with guns and explosives. Me no like that. And Affleck’s “mechanized” voice? Silly.
And did we REALLY hear Holly Hunter make the Jurassic Park Jeff Goldblum argument?
Watch this, then try to watch the original again with a straight face.
And then there’s Fantastic 4. Again, I have zero problems with Michael B. Jordan being colorblind-cast, but Jamie Bell just proves again that he is super-wrong as the Thing. “The muscle”? REALLY? And the usual meek Jamie Bell fake American accent? NOT RIGHT.
Then we have Dr. Doom, looking like Imhotep from the recent Mummy franchise, and looking again like the Marvel universe’s main bad guy got screwed once again, because obviously having an evil dictator as a villain is so impossible to do.
I don’t WANT to hate either movie. I’ll be seeing both anyway to write about, and would rather enjoy myself than not. But if all the stuff I’m mentioning as objections is somehow totally okay in context, I have yet to be reassured.
Luke Y. Thompson has been writing professionally about movies and pop-culture since 1999, and has also been an actor in some extremely cheap culty and horror movies you will probably never hear much about (he is nonetheless mostly proud of them, as he met his wife on one). As editor of The Robot's Voice since 2012, he can take the blame for the majority of the site's content, all of which he creates because he loves you very, very much. (Although he loves nachos more. Sorry.)
Prior to TRV, Luke wrote for publications that include the New Times LA, Los Angeles CityBeat, E! Online, OC Weekly, Geekweek, GeekChicDaily, The L.A. Times, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, and Nerdist