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‘Dawn of Justice’ Vs ‘Civil War’: The Battle of Hype

Posted on the 17 March 2016 by House Of Geekery @houseofgeekery

'Dawn of Justice' vs 'Civil War': The Battle of Hype

I expect to wake up only to find that what is happening is some kind of beautiful nerd dream. Not only are the two biggest heroes of the DC universe about to duke it out in a massive blockbuster movie, but the two biggest Marvel heroes are doing the same a month later! Batman vs Superman! Iron Man vs Captain America! It's like every nerd in the world is being karmically rewarded for the years of bullying we endured for our collective dorky Wolverine tee and action figure collection.

But as these two massive films draw near and their marketing departments go into overdrive, we're taking a step back to consider which one we're more hyped for. Let's start with the characters.

Putting Batman into a movie is one way to get us excited. Between Adam West, Michael Keaton and Christian Bale we've had some amazing versions of the character on our screens. He's such a draw card for viewers that he's as well known and loved by movie-goers as he his comic book readers. One could even say that out of the entire history of comic book superheroes, Batman is the one who has best transcended the medium and established himself as a pop-culture icon. You could easily find Batman fans who have never picked up a comic book, developing their love and knowledge of the character through cinema, television and video games. This is a new take on the role as far as movies are concerned. He's an older, harder man with a reputation to match. Ben Affleck is a great casting choice, having enough gravitas and menace in his performances to make it work (and shut up already about Daredevil - he was the best part of a terrible movie and the director should be blamed).

The trailers for Dawn of Justice have not been working in the movie's favour. They're slow, poorly paced and showcase some pretty cringe worthy dialogue (is Lex seriously going to talk like that?). The final trailer did give us a taste of Batman in action, neatly destroying a room of thugs, both something about it looked familiar...

...as in it looks exactly like the massively popular Batman video game series that we've all been enjoying the past few years. Between that and the moments lifted from Frank Miller's 'The Dark Knight Returns' we're left wondering if we're going to see anything original. Part of the joy in seeing a new Batman in the cinema is seeing the different approach they're going to take, instead what we seem to have is a mish mash of already proven versions. This also includes the alternate universe Soviet version for some reason.

Then there's Henry Cavill's Superman. Man of Steel divided fans straight down the middle. I landed on the 'meh' camp, finding it needlessly gritty, inconsistent and pretentious. Cavill was a pretty solid Superman, being both powerful and humble. Happy to see him back.

‘Dawn of Justice’ vs ‘Civil War’: The Battle of Hype

It is good to finally see a modern film version of Wonder Woman though, we're not complaining about that. Gal Gadot looks fantastic for the part. We're also curious about Jason Mamoa as Aquaman but it doesn't look as though he's getting much of a role. Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor...I don't know what he's going for with the character but I don't like it. Lex should be dignified, powerful - a villain who could become the president. Plus there's Ezra Miller as The Flash, which feels like a stupid idea because we have a Flash who we all love. He's on TV. Use him.

Plus there's that thing that was revealed in the new Lego sets:

This is an escalation of ideas and story threads that have been laid down in previous films. Cap feels responsible for what's happened to Bucky and his loyalty to his friend will get in the way of his role as a hero. Iron Man has already put himself at odds with his team-mates after his actions in Age of Ultron and lines were already being drawn in the sand.

But what's happened previously isn't going to matter when the fists start flying and the laser eyes are heating up the screen - each film as to stand alone. Who knows what may happen?

Maybe they'll come up with a good reason to have Batman and Superman fight, something that will put the fate of the world in balance. Some ideological viewpoint that pits them against each other. According to all sources thus far the conflict is prompted by Bruce Wayne having a dream that Superman will become a god-like figure on Earth, leading Batman to head out to stop him. Hang about...a guy gets into dangerous, destructive and unnecessary conflicts because he had a bad dream?

Then there's Chris Evans. The actor has said in the past that he's ready to step away from appearing in movies to focus on a career as a director. He has gone back on this statement a few times, saying that he'll keep working under his Marvel contract through Infinity War, but that may be misinformation to keep the story a surprise. In the comics both Bucky Barnes and Sam 'Falcon' Wilson have taken up the mantle of Captain America so there is a possibility of Steve Rogers being a casualty in his fight.

Let's look at where we stand. Dawn of Justice feels like an attempt to catch up to the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise before the superhero movie bubble bursts. The stakes are low and we're going to see a huge number of characters fighting for screen time. Civil War in the culmination of a long running series built over more than half a dozen films. It features versions of characters we know and love facing a challenge with an unpredictable outcome. At the end of the day we're absolutely more hyped for Captain America: Civil War.


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