Ever since Marvel’s well deserved success with building a movie universe, DC had finally realized it should get into the game as well. And that resulted in Green Lantern, which everyone promptly forgot and are the better for it.
Then DC announced Man Of Steel and that Zach Snyder was attached and hate began forming all over the interwebs. Now this is not new, I recall the anguished cries over Tim “Beetlejuice” Burton and Michael “Mr Mom” Keaton even being close to Batman, but then the movie came out, it was great, and Geeks learned their lesson of prejudging. I was not impressed with 300 or Watchmen, but was interested to see what Zach would do. And when Man Of Steel was completely excellent, I figured the same lesson of prejudging would be rehashed yet again.
But instead, the haters dug in and kept hating. And this silly cycle continued even onto Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad, only now ending at Wonder Woman.
I knew this was going to happen with Wonder Woman. Even through it is the same tone and real world feel and themes of the other DC movies, and has the dreaded Zach Snyder writing the Story and Producing.
So why is Wonder Woman different with the ever dwindling haters?
First we have to look at the roots of the hate.
Some people are just afraid of change. While most Geeks were clamouring for Comic Book Movies to be taken more seriously, and very much got their wish with The Dark Knight, that quickly changed. But after Iron Man got released, some Geeks glommed onto the bit lighter tone of the Marvel movies, which over time became increasingly more jokey. And a certain segment of Geekdom fell in love with this and demanded the same of DC movies. When we saw Captain America Civil War, some of the audience laughed all through it. Peggy Carter dies. Laughter. War Machine paralyzed. Laughter. Iron Man’s parents killed. Laughter. It was a very weird experience and told volumes about how some viewed the Marvel films.
With Batman V Superman, Zach Snyder wanted to make a serious drama, and with screenwriters Chris Terrio and David Goyer, they did. The story they crafted, spanning decades of comics and related material, treated people to an intelligent character study. While some Geeks did not like the way Superman and Batman were portrayed, and I can understand this criticism, it was not without precedent. Same with those who did not like the real world atmosphere.
But for the vast majority of the Geek haters, it just comes down to fear. This is a newer, fresher, today version of these classic characters, who have been made newer, fresher and today many times over the decades. Instead of embracing it, they rebelled, and some quite often acted like spoiled toddlers.
Batman V Superman redefined superheroes movies forever, and that is an excellent turning point for the genre.
A quote from Joss Whedon sums up this situation so well
“There is never progress without hateful, reactionary blowback.”
Geeks who live like this are sad. They probably think Jor-El in Superman The Movie should have been wearing a headband. I just wish they would grow up, accept progress, and stop yelling at the clouds.
A few in the entertainment industry are simply jealous. Dan Slott, who has been writing Spiderman for several years now, has constantly attacked Batman V Superman. I have read a handful of his comics and was not impressed at all, and this was before his rantings on twitter about BvS. Methinks Slott knows Batman V Superman will be considered a classic forever and forever, while his work will be bargain bin fodder. So instead of learning and improving, he just attacks and attacks. At one point Slott promised on New Years 2016 to stop going off on Batman V Superman, but that did not last long. He even stated he would come back as a ghost to mock the movie.
Other creators have taken shots at the DC movies, with increasing levels of silliness. When they complain about Lois and Clark in a bathtub, but ignore them in bed in Superman II, or that Batman dared to kill, but conveniently forget all the death in Batman 89, they show their intellectual dishonesty. The list of what they complain about goes on and on, ignores logic and history, and shows how much The Lady Doth Protest Too Much.
A whole bunch of “movie reviewers” are complete cowards. These unprofessional and uneducated “journalists” spend so much time writing clickbait “reviews” that just trash Zach Snyder and almost everything DC, all because they know that small segment of Geeks will scramble over to them. Reading these people is just plain torture. It becomes very obvious many do not pay attention to what they are watching, or know anything about anything.
The late great Roger Ebert produced reviews, that even if I did not agree with him sometimes, were crafted with thought and wisdom and understanding of what a film was. Ebert taught classes where he would go through Citizen Kane frame by frame, analyzing every part of it. I am not going to say Ebert would like the DC movies, but I would love to see his reviews of them. They would be honest and interesting, unlike the haters of today.
When the Wonder Woman “reviews” came out, the trolls praised the movie and ignored, downplayed, or trashed Zach Snyder’s contributions as Story writer and Producer. All for the mighty clicks from the ever shrinking hater audience. The above tweet was sent out, then deleted, by one “critic.”
Some of these “critics” started changing their tunes over the last year, mainly when Batman V Superman did gangbusters, the Extended Edition on dvd and blu ray sold massively, and Suicide Squad hit theatres and became a huge success. The DC movies made money. Tons of money. From the theatre. From the dvds. And from the merchandise. I have met sooooo many people who really do not go online that much, who loved these films. And they eye roll when I tell them about the hate. My neighbours kids and her friends, a Costco employee I chatted with, and my father, just to name a few, all loved Batman V Superman. One of the neighbours kids friend, a preteen girl, told me she cried at the Martha moment and when Superman died, wanted to know how Superman will come back, and can’t wait for Wonder Woman. And this girl is a future Geek and maybe future Geek writer/artist. The culture war has been won by DC. The movies have been accepted and embraced and loved by the general public of Muggles.
These “critics” have seen which way the wind was blowing and promptly changed course. Slowly, begrudgingly, praising the DC films, moving inch by inch towards where the public is, all for the almighty click. Scott Mendelson of Forbes was into this early on. These people will probably announce next year that they were always big fans of the DC movies right from the start. They have no faith in their beliefs and should not be given attention.
Which brings me back to Wonder Woman. This is not the first female superhero movie, but it is WONDER WOMAN. One of the most well known comic characters of all time. And we have been waiting forever and ever for this movie. The public anticipation is massive. These “reviewers” know that in order to not appear misogynistic, they have to treat Wonder Woman fairly. And with this fairness came massive positive reviews for a DC movie.
They ignored Snyder’s work on the film, which the amazing director Patty Jenkins always acknowledged. They pretended that so many of the themes and concepts and ideas in Wonder Woman were not present in Batman V Superman, despite the obvious truths they are. The haters bellow about Pa Kent’s speech to young Clark in Man Of Steel, but when the same things are said by Queen Hippolyta to Princess Diana, not a word of criticism. They scream when Superman and Batman kill, but no mention when Wonder Woman does it. And when Superman and Batman connect through their shared humanity in the brilliant Martha moment, howls of protest. But when Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor connect through their humanity just before the final battle, no mockery comes up. The list goes on and on and on.
There is only one difference between the two films to explain this attitude away. Zach Snyder did not direct Wonder Woman.
So it received a fair shake.
And because Wonder Woman is a truly sensational movie, it got sensational reviews.
Which is something all the DC movies deserved.
…is currently reading the BUFFY SEASON NINE COMICS!!!!!!!!