It can be incredibly difficult to get a feel for the “critical consensus” for a new film, if there even is such a thing. But, online review aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic do their best to provide their readers with a general idea of the quality of a film, which I have discussed at length before. Today, I’d like to show a crystal clear example of why another metric, the User Ratings from IMDB.com, borders on absolute uselessness. Put bluntly, the site does not require that a person giving a rating has even seen the movie. The result is blatant vote-brigading, either artificially elevating a substandard film through the sheer size of the fanbase of its underlying intellectual property, or unjustly punishing a film for its perceived transgressions that are unrelated to the quality of the filmmaking. In the former case, we’ll look at Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and in the later, the more recent A Dog’s Purpose.
It is no secret that the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has darker ambitions than its brightly colored and quip-filled Marvel counterpart. Since the DCEU is late to the shared universe party, they are tasked with differentiating themselves, and if Man of Steel and the teaser trailer for the follow-up Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are any indication, they want to skew more serious and dramatic. This is fine, as Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy leaned more realistic and was a success. But, this strategy could be quite dangerous if applied across the board (including Man of Steel, 13 DCEU films are in various stages of planning). While a single film can focus on the darker aspects of the world, I feel like the weight or power of such a choice is diminished by each successive trip to that well. With that in mind, I looked to the new Batman v Superman trailer with the question: is there ever going to be any fun at all in the DCEU?