What if DC Extended Universe (DCEU) was never intended to rival Marvel and its well-planned shared universe? It’s a thought every DC Fan ponders on at least once, which is pretty logical, provided Batman V Superman resulted in dismay and a massive setback for future films, and the consequences could have been different.
Things have well recuperated now, but its a permanently aching feeling to recall the lost opportunity Zack Snyder had with his films. And regardless of what you believe underwent during the production of Justice League, it is undeniable that the script was fundamentally unoriginal and disappointing.
That being said, I am only curious to see what he has done with his super vaunted director’s cut, and I am not very optimistic (4-hours duration is no joke to justify). With over a month left in its release on HBO Max, here are the 10 DC Extended Universe movies ranked from the worst to the best, including the newest entry I loved and immensely enjoyed.
10) Suicide Squad
After the debacle that was Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad had a lot to live up to. Its premise was interesting enough. The tone and colour palette more cheery, and the cast was great. Yet, it plummetted all expectations far worse than its predecessor.
The excessive reliance on style over substance didn’t leave room for gravitas. While the first act merely served as intros for every character (which becomes repetitive shortly), the rest lacked a plot and character development. The moment the gang united, the fun (whatever minuscule quantity it was until that point) melted away.
It was also pretty shameful for the film to lack any memorable moment, provided the cast’s calibre, notably the lead actors (Will Smith and Margot Robbie), who genuinely gave their best. Jared Leto’s Joker was also cut-short for a PG-13 rating, and whatever was saved of him didn’t feel appreciative enough.
The world disapproved of Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern, but in retrospect, even that film was substantially well-intended and well-written than this. “The worst of the worst”, they said. Who knew it was a meta-commentary on the film being one of the worst DC films of all time.
9) Justice League
In many ways, Justice League was like the first Avengers. And it made sense, for a) the same director helmed the films, and b) it is painfully tough to be inventive when the plot is about superheroes teaming up to save Earth from the extra-terrestrial. Still, the ultimate indifference in the quality of the films was jarring.
Despite the films had similar ingredients, which were:
- Sugar-coated narrative,
- Cheesy dialogues,
- Easily punchable bad guys (remember the Chitauri?),
- Overly-sexualised female characters;
The excessiveness of the said elements plunged the film from ever being good, considering the plot (remains the same for whichever version you support) was lacklustre. There were multiple perverted, low-angle shots of Gal Gadot that compelled you to condemn Whedon’s vision.
The dialogues continually crossed the line that separated cheesiness from cringe (“children…I work with children.”). And then there was Superman, who downgraded everything the league did against Steppenwolf, sparking an argument if all they had to do was to resurrect him and enjoy a snack while watching him singlehandedly beat everyone like a punching bag.
The CGI further rubbed salt in the wound by being entirely unacceptable (and immensely distracting) for a $300 million production. The inability to disguise Henry Cavill’s moustache was ridiculous, let alone render decent visual effects for the action scenes (the climax was unwatchable).
What worked, and made it a relatively better film than Suicide Squad, was the unignorable joy of seeing the league united, the brisk pacing (120-minutes duration), and somewhat decent performances.