Hollywood has been running out of original ideas for films for some time now. Sequels upon sequels have hit the market with only a good handful of original films seeing life on the silver screen. This is perfectly encapsulated by one specific genre of films, and I feel it’s a safe bet that this genre in particular is going to crash in the near future. Cape films, a.k.a. Superhero movies, are becoming a saturated genre of films with 24 of them having been released since 2010. Hollyweird doesn’t seem like they intend to stop. Of course, if these films still manage to print money, why should they?
The reason I bring up the saturation is to illustrate the problem I have had with cape films as of late, especially for the ones in DC’s corner. Saturation of popular genres inevitably brings with them a flood of movies that never change their roster. The selection of characters is never changing, because they sell well. As such, here we have Batman and Superman again, fighting each other because the only thing Warner Brothers (W.B.) hasn’t tried yet is using an internet argument as the base for a plotline. Additionally, thanks to the teaser trailers revealing more than they should have, we know that Wonder Woman and Doomsday will be in the film. Doomsday looks relatively terrifying, and Wonder Woman is finally sporting her sword and shield, proudly displaying her warrior history. At the very least, she won’t just be relying on her bracers and her lasso, but it may be just more of the same. Hopefully she uses the blade for more than parrying.
The one thing I probably could live without the trailers revealing was the casting of Lex Luthor. He is a quirky, pathetic, non-bald Lex Luthor, played by Jesse Eisenberg. We’re in the digital age, so I suppose Mark Zuckerberg being the evil businessman of this era being is fairly apt. But as a villain of Lex’s caliber, it is completely unfitting. Lex is intimidating in terms of both power and presence. His animated counterparts have had voices that oozed villain, and always had a menacing look to them. The problem that the films have had with the character is they have never really found a good middle aged actor to play this role, and if the trailers are anything to go by, they are still failing. Just with a younger Lex.
The trailers W.B. put out for the film suffered from revealing too much information. Clichéd dialog appears when Wonder Woman is revealed; both Superman and Batman cannot believe Wonder Woman was impartial to this fight. “I thought she was with you?” they both say, puzzled. Perhaps more egregious of an offense is the fact that Batman was shown holding a gun in his mitts. In the minds of anyone who is a die-hard fan of “The Dark Knight”, W.B. has committed an act of sacrilege. Batman does not use firearms, for that is how his parents met their end. In case you missed these events, Batman’s film continuity is being rebooted yet again, so you will be brought up to speed.
To tie the final knot, Supes has to go to court. Superman was subpoenaed by the court to answer to a civil suit for compensation of property damage. Chief among the plaintiffs is Batman, who attests to the court that Superman’s temper tantrums from the previous film “Man of Steel” caused massive damage and loss of life. Superman and Batman both show up in court, dressed in professional clothing and carried briefcases with them. Both were ready to present their side to the court. This is where the trailers are actually brilliant, for they make you think you’re going to be seeing just another likely poorly written cape film, and then they do a bait and switch to show you the real meaning of the film’s title. Batman v. Superman was the name of the famous lawsuit, now used as reference by hundreds of law colleges the world over. The world now has another weapon against Superman: Litigation.
I must confess that I made up the preceding paragraph. The dull reality we get is that Superman and Lex are involved in a congressional hearing before some senators. I can’t believe I actually find a lawsuit court session to be a more entertaining prospect than what W.B. is actually offering. I can safely say I hope I am supremely wrong about every negative notion I have put forth, because we haven’t had a decent film with Superman in it since the days of Christopher Reeve. I recommend saving your money until sometime after the film is released this March, and then reading reviews to see if it actually is worth your time.