Now that I’ve finally got around to re-watching Wonder Woman and writing up a review to slot safely between Suicide Squad and Justice League, it’s finally time to rank ALL SIX WORLDS OF DC MOVIES!
Which, to be honest, compared to the ‘Ranking All 20 Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies’, doesn’t sound quite so impressive. But still, it’ll be fun, and the list will obviously grow with the release of Shazam!, Wonder Woman 1984, Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) and The Batman.
#6. SUICIDE SQUAD
When I first saw this movie, I actually enjoyed it. Oh, how times change. Upon repeat viewing (of the extended cut, this time around), I realised this film is ruddy awful.
The proximity to Dawn of Justice‘s release at the time must have coloured my opinion, because watching this film on its own highlights that it’s poorly paced and poorly written, with terrible characters and an absolutely awful villain. Yet another CGI mess comes to terrorise our heroes – why? And why Enchantress’ brother of all people? Who’s greenlighting this nonsense?!
And then, on top of all of that, the film also somehow manages to be really boring. The first fifteen minutes are fun, but after that, this film is a huge slog.
Like Suicide Squad, my opinion on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has also changed since I wrote my review. Originally, I hated it. I thought it was one of the worst superhero films I’d ever seen when it should have been one of the best.
In hindsight though, it’s not that bad. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a bad film. Poorly written and poorly executed with a clear contrast between what Zack Snyder had planned and what Warner Bros. wanted, I won’t argue that the film doesn’t suck. Because it does.
But there’s still some enjoyment to be had out of it. Ben Affleck is a terrific Batman, and his action sequences are excellent. Similarly, the film, while poorly executed, is quite thoughtful, and is overall a fascinating attempt at doing superheroes a different way.
#4. WONDER WOMAN
Wonder Woman is objectively a better film that the next few entries, and when I started formatting this article, I originally put it higher. But to be honest with you, I’d rather rewatch the next few films than Wonder Woman.
It’s a (mostly) solid movie, don’t get me wrong, and the chemistry between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine is perhaps the best in this whole series. However, it seems to lose some of its heart in the second half of the movie, and once again ends with the hero facing off against a grey CGI monstrosity.
Still, watching Diana grow from the naive young child on Themyscira into the war-weary hero we see in later films is a delight and an excellent bit of character work. Plus Steve Trevor may be the most heroic character to be seen in the series so far.
#3. JUSTICE LEAGUE
Yeah, yeah, I know. Justice League shouldn’t beat Wonder Woman. But you know what? This is my blog, so deal with it.
Because Justice League may not be an example of excellent film making, but after the dour times that came with Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, it was nice to see something that was actually fun. And I don’t mean fun like Wonder Woman, because a lot of that movie is just her calling everyone a knobhead for understanding how war works. I mean actually fun. The characters are fun. Their interactions are fun. The situations are fun.
With a clear mix of Zack Snyder’s eye for design and action and Joss Whedon’s questionable but jovial glossing over, this is a decent popcorn flick, if nothing else.
Just like Aquaman has rocketed to the top of the box office, so too has it rocketed to the upper end of my list.
This movie is just a big load of comic-book nonsense, and I love it. Is it intelligent? Not really. Is it high-quality storytelling? Eh. But it does have a whole lot of heart, and some powerful emotional beats. The framing of the film as the love story of Aquaman’s parents is genius, and the cinematography and special effects are stunningly gorgeous.
Furthermore, while I ragged on the music in my review, hearing it play at work (a cinema) after the film has finished has really turned me around on the score. There are some awkward beats (both in the score and the film itself) but overall, it’s fantastic.
#1. MAN OF STEEL
But while Aquaman is great, it still doesn’t top Man of Steel, the first, and in my opinion, the best, Worlds of DC movie. Hailing from a time when the DCEU was non-existent, Man of Steel was more concerned with telling a solid, down-to-Earth Superman story than it was messily building an expanded universe.
In Henry Cavill, we got a different Superman than the campy days of Christopher Reeve, and in Michael Shannon, we got one of the best cinematic supervillains of the past few decades.
This film is intense and filled with passion. Like Aquaman, it has some stellar visuals and the soundtrack is easily the best of the lot.
It’s a testament to Zack Snyder’s skill as a director, something that I and many others should remember when raging about the likes of Dawn of Justice. Because the man may not entirely ‘get’ these characters, but he can make a damn beautiful movie.