Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Why Superman vs. Batman is Going to Suck
Second, this article isn't really about Batman vs. Superman--nay, cannot be about that film, for reasons soon to be revealed.
Over the Christmas break, I found myself, as many North Americans do, sitting in a theatre, watching the shitty pre-show, waiting for the lights to dim and the main attraction to begin. While I can usually tune the pedestrian trivia of the pre-show out, somehow an interviewer's inquiry punched through my Will Save against Ennui: "Which do you think is better? The Old Robocop, or the New Robocop?"
I hadn't been paying attention to the release date for this unnecessary remake of Verhoeven's ultra-violent satire from the '80s, but I didn't recall seeing the poster in the lobby, designating it as a film currently showing.
This is why I will never be in the pre-show. I would have replied, "How can I know? It's nearly baseless speculation to conjecture an answer to that question. On the one hand, I love the original Robocop, but that's a feeling based more in nostalgia than any rigourous estimation of its cinematic value. I watched one of the trailers for the New Robocop once, and mostly thought it looked like the plot had been updated, but the satire left behind. But based on a trailer, who could know? Based on a trailer, 47 Ronin looked like it would be fun." Based on a trailer, Burton's Sweeney Todd wasn't a musical.
Cursory surfing of fan sites or twitter-feeds has resulted in me seeing multiple posts on "Why Batman vs. Superman is going to suck." From Affleck's ostensible lack of talent (this, despite Argo and a number of other successes to the contrary) to Snyder's ruining of Superman in Man of Steel (Christopher Reeve killed Zod in Superman II back in the '80s, and was decidedly less shook-up about it - get over it), to Gal Gadot not being Amazonian enough to play Wonder Woman (really? if someone had shown you a photo of Hugh Jackman pre-X-men, what would we have predicted?), everyone has an opinion about why this film is going to blow.
And at this point, it's largely baseless speculation, just like asking which Robocop is better before anyone has seen the new one. I know, it's the thing the Internet does. But it's not what the Internet needs to do. There are countless classic SF works we could be looking at in anticipation of these films. But for every website helping neophytes to the DC universe by recommending they check out the Superman/Batman showdown in something like Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns, there are countless more regurgitating what Seth Green said, when Seth Green isn't an expert, just a fanboy with a bigger platform.
Consider Godzilla, one of the movies I'm most anticipating this year: when the ComicCon version of the first trailer was leaked, most sites just asked the question, "Do you think it's going to be any good?" while only a handful dug into Oppenheimer's famous quoting (or mis-quoting, depending on who you talk to) of the Bhagavad-Gita, which linked the trailer to the Trinity test, nuclear weapons, and therefore, the reason we have Godzilla in the first place.
In the meantime, for anyone wanting to read about the best showdowns between Superman and Batman, check out this link to get some homework for assessing previous teamups and showdowns between these two heroes. Then, instead of taking the Internet's word for it, go read those issues, so you might have something useful to contribute to the discussion when Batman vs. Superman is finally released.