Ever wondered why Man of Steel and the Dark Knight trilogy were so grim and joyless? Well, it would seem that, according to Drew McWeeny of Hit Fix, that that Warner Bros. has applied an interesting policy when it comes to their upcoming slate of DC comic book movies. This policy can be summed up in just 2 words:
If this is true, then it in a nutshell explains why I’m generally not that into a lot of action properties: so many of them just take themselves way too seriously. I guess DC is really trying to distinguish themselves from Marvel’s movies, but going all grim and serious really isn’t the way to go. They’ve forgotten a very basic premise: that when people go to the movies, particularly action movies, they want to go out together with their friends and family and have FUN. Just pure, escapist fun. Yeah, it’s great when the characters are badass and the story is deep and compelling and all that good stuff, but all that means nothing if the films are boring or a bummer to watch. That has little to no replay value. People are more apt to come back to a movie they had fun watching. People like to laugh, what’s wrong with laughing occasionally between explosions?
The idea that superhero stories have to be all grim and grown-up, I just can’t take that pretentious crap seriously. When your stories involve crazy do-good freaks in funky tights beating up bad guys armed with a Weather Dominator, how dark and serious is it supposed to be? The genre is already kind of silly to start with, so I don’t see the harm in having a little levity thrown in. I actually think Squirrel Girl said it best: “Things were better when the comic book world was a place you wanted to escape to, not from.”
Everybody likes to laugh. What’s wrong with laughter? Man of Steel was desperately lacking in fun.
Seriously, though. I wouldn’t take a statement like that too seriously. It’s most likely just DC trying to differentiate their movie universe from Marvel’s. I mean, how can you make a movie about SHAZAM!, a story about a 12-year-old boy who is turned into a muscle bound Adonis by a wizard and who’s rogues’ gallery includes an intelligent ape and not have any jokes in it? I think that a dark, serious take on SHAZAM! would end up being more hilarious than it ever would be as a light hearted comedy.
This mentality has seemed to have seeped its’ way into the comics continuity as well;check out the murky and generally joyless New 52 titles, which are chock full of this “Look at how dark and grim and graphic and not funny and totally not for kids we are!!” attitude. It would seem that the DCAU/Brave and the Bold way of thinking is, for now, a thing of the past. The current mode of thinking at DC seems to be, “Can’t make these movies fun, lest we end up like Marvel”. And we think………