Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is now in theaters, and the film successfully paved the way for the long-awaited Justice League movie, as well as the greater DC Extended Universe. However, Batman v Superman isn’t perfect. While I enjoyed the movie and believe that the critics have been far too harsh, I can’t deny that it has some serious issues as a film. But these flaws can easily be fixed in future installments.
It already looks like 2017’s Justice League will be at least somewhat of an improvement. The tone will be lighter than Batman v Superman, which should make it more accessible to the general audience. Also, the script will be written entirely by Chris Terrio; on Batman v Superman, both he and David S. Goyer were credited with writing the screenplay.
Below, I list seven more ways Justice League can improve upon Batman v Superman.
[Warning: The Following Contains SPOILERS From Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.]
Better Editing and Pacing
One of the most frequent complaints about Batman v Superman is that both the editing and pacing are off. And I agree. The first 30 minutes or so were particularly jarring in terms of editing; a sequence of scenes will show, but they don’t flow together very well. Meanwhile, I was a bit bored for much of the film’s first half, since it dragged and wasn’t as captivating as it should’ve been.
Both of these things can be remedied in Justice League. Zack Snyder still needs to find the perfect balance between engaging character development and stunning action sequences, and perhaps third time’s the charm here. Also, Justice League should have a better flow of scenes. Maybe a new film editor can be hired?
Hopefully, Snyder and co. will learn from their mistakes on Batman v Superman and build upon their strengths with Justice League.
More Focused Storyline
Another issue with Batman v Superman is the storyline. The plot was mostly unfocused and borderline incoherent. But to be fair, this shouldn’t be too surprising. The film continues the story begun by Man of Steel, heavily focuses on expanding the DC Universe, and tries to be a character-driven superhero epic, all at the same time. The mediocre editing didn’t help any. Essentially, the movie bit off a little more than it could chew.
But now that much of the heavy-lifting in creating this universe is done, and we’ve met many of the characters, this can lead to Justice League having a more focused plot. Keep the emphasis on character development and interactions, and don’t focus so much on set-up. And don’t include more characters than you can handle in one movie.
Give Justice League a more streamlined storyline that can easily be followed by general audiences, and you’re good to go.
Reduce Lois Lane’s Role
I like Amy Adams’ Lois Lane. She’s smart, she’s tough, and she has good chemistry with Henry Cavill’s Superman. However, some of the story decisions they’d made with the character, in both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, are questionable. They set her up as a strong female lead, but by the film’s end, she’s reduced to a damsel in distress who has to be saved by Superman – several times, actually.
As much as I like the character, I think it’s best if Lois has a smaller role in Justice League. Don’t involve her in the final act again, don’t make her a damsel in distress, and don’t have her take up screentime that should be devoted to the heroes. A few scenes are fine, but only if they make sense within the film’s context.
Ultimately, if they can’t give Lois a compelling story arc, then she shouldn’t be a huge emphasis in Justice League at all.
Make Batman More Likable
While Ben Affleck’s Batman is easily one of the best things about Dawn of Justice, this portrayal isn’t quite perfect. This Batman showed no remorse killing criminals (mostly in collateral damage from the Batmobile, but still), and for much of the film, he was depicted as a straight-up antagonist to Superman. But by the film’s end, it appeared Batman is changing his ways. Through Superman’s sacrifice, Bruce Wayne realized that men are still good. Superman inspired Batman to come back from an utterly dark point in his life, reminding him what it means to be a hero.
So, going into Justice League, it’s important for the more heroic side of Batman to be front and center. Have him be the hero we all know and love, rising above the tragedies that he’s experienced. That will make it easier for the audience to root for him. Oh, and Batman completely refraining from killing would be nice.
(On a side note, I’ve been a bigger fan of Batman from the beginning. But during the big fight in Batman v Superman, I was rooting for Superman to win. So, that should tell you something.)
So, let’s see a more likable, heroic Batman in Justice League. Still keep him as a dark and complex character, but not to the point of being a pseudo-villain.
More Wonder Woman
I think we can all agree that Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is easily one of the best parts of Batman v Superman. Even with her limited screentime, the film proved to be a worthy debut for the heroine, and she easily stole the show in the Trinity’s showdown with Doomsday. Of course, Wonder Woman will be back in Justice League, shortly after headlining her own film next year.
Wonder Woman is pretty much guaranteed to play a key role in Justice League, as she should. It’s clear that audiences love her so far, and especially if the Wonder Woman film is a big hit, it wouldn’t hurt to really beef up her part in Justice League. It’ll be another way for that movie to build upon the current strengths of the DC Extended Universe.
Quite frankly, the more Wonder Woman in the DCEU, the better.
Let Superman Embrace His Destiny, Once and For All
In both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, Superman accepted his role as Earth’s savior with some reluctance and uncertainty. Even when he would succeed in saving others, instances such as Lex Luthor’s bombing of the US Capitol lead to his questioning whether Superman is truly necessary. Ultimately, by the film’s end, Superman embraces his destiny in his fight with Doomsday, declaring, “This is my world.”
After Superman’s inevitable resurrection in Justice League, the character should have no hesitance, no uncertainty whatsoever. He’s a hero beloved by many. He saved the world twice in a row. And he even gave his life to protect mankind. So, it’s time that Kal-El should show absolute confidence as a hero and, ultimately, the leader of the Justice League, bringing him closer to being the Superman we all know and love.
Don’t Reveal Too Much in the Trailers
While Batman v Superman had some awesome trailers, in retrospect, they featured many of the movie’s most memorable moments. Of course, much of the actual plot was kept under wraps, like Superman’s death and exactly why he fights Batman. But money shots such as Robin’s costume, the Trinity and the Batman/Superman battle were first seen in the trailers.
For Justice League, they shouldn’t blow their load by putting every other money shot in the trailers. They would more more exciting to experience first in the theater. Warner Bros. should go back to marketing campaigns like The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel; trailers that contained great footage and teases, but didn’t show too much.
Hopefully, WB will tweak its marketing strategy for Justice League and return to a slightly more secretive campaign.
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