5 Things Warner Bros. Can Learn From CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR After BATMAN v SUPERMAN

5 Things Warner Bros. Can Learn From CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR After BATMAN v SUPERMAN

5 Things Warner Bros. Can Learn From CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR After BATMAN v SUPERMAN

I loved Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but there's no denying that it's a very flawed movie. Plus, after seeing Captain America: Civil War, it's clear Warner Bros. need to take some cues from Marvel Studios...


I gave Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 4* in my review and even wrote a feature listing all the reasons you should have ignored the critics over opening weekend and still seen it, so I'm by no means anti-DC or a Marvel shill (I will however expect my cheque to arrive on time this month, Mr. Feige). However, I can't deny that it was deeply flawed, especially after seeing Captain America: Civil War.

Despite being two very different movies, the similarities between them are obvious, and when putting Batman v Superman side by side with Civil War, it quickly becomes apparent that there's a lot Warner Bros. can learn from them moving forward. It's obviously too late to fix Dawn of Justice, but Marvel's first Phase 3 movie should be used as an example of how to make a great comic book movie.

So, what you'll find here is an in-depth look at all of the things that Marvel's Distinguished Competition can learn from Civil War as they look to salvage the story which was started by Man of Steel and Batman v Superman and will continue into Justice League next November. In other words, this is what Marvel got right and Warner Bros. most definitely did not, so they need to pay close attention... 

5. The Best Way To Introduce New Heroes


While there's no denying that Batman v Superman handled Wonder Woman's introduction fairly well, she still didn't really have a very satisfying story arc, and the movie really could have made do without her. The same could be said for Spider-Man of course, but as an introduction to what we should expect from Marvel's take on the wall-crawler, it worked, whereas Wonder Woman's movie taking place in World War I means her next appearance won't build off what we've already seen.

Despite having a small amount of screentime, Black Panther was taken on a journey in Civil War and left in a very different place to when the movie started, and while the same could be said for Wonder Woman now that she's stepping out of the shadows to be a hero, we never truly get to know her.

Of course, Batman v Superman's biggest problem was the cameo appearances from other members of the soon to be formed Justice League. Shown off via video clips on Lex Luthor's computer (where they had weirdly all been assigned character appropriate logos), the heroes were made to look like the stars of a rather poorly made web series, and Warner Bros. definitely needs to look at Civil War and other Marvel movies for tips on how best to introduce moviegoers to a new character via cameo. 

4. Keep Your Director (And Writer) In Check


If Chris Terrio's script was long enough for Zack Snyder to go off and shoot a four hour movie, it should have been clear to Warner Bros. that it needed one final going over before the cameras started rolling. The filmmaker simply shot too much, hence why such big chunk of the movie ended up being cut - the fact that something as big as that Steppenwolf reveal ended up on the cutting room floor is baffling  -and the first hour feels almost like a clip show as we jump from scene to scene.

While that three hour extended cut could end up being a masterpiece, only a small percentage of those who saw Batman v Superman in theaters will be tracking that down, so the damage has already been done. Compare this to everything we've heard from Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and it's clear that they worked closely together to ensure that the script was 100% ready to make a cohesive movie before the cameras started rolling.

The writers have said over and over that very little of what they wrote wasn't shot because the Russos like to have a solid idea of what they're going to film, trimming the fat beforehand. With Ben Affleck brought in to executive produce Justice League and fine tune the script, it could be that Warner Bros. are already learning. 

3. Give Your Villain Clearer Motivations


Before we go any further, let me just say that I actually loved Jesse Eisenberg's take on Lex Luthor. However, the character as he appeared in Batman v Superman was deeply flawed and while I guess I can accept that he somehow figured out the secret identities of the two titular heroes off camera, some context there would have been nice.

So too would a better explanation of his hatred for Superman and why he thought it would be a good idea to create an uncontrollable monster who would make his dream of a dead Man of Steel come true, but end up causing even more destruction that the hero's battle with General Zod ever did. While there are certainly ways to make sense of Lex's plans while rewatching the movie, you pretty much have to force them to, and that's not right.

Civil War on the other hand tells a much more linear story with Zemo, providing him with a more concrete reason for his hatred of The Avengers and even giving him something which realistically explains how and why he can manipulate Captain America and Iron Man into fighting. Yes, it too sometimes relies a little too much on coincidences, but the fact is that his motivations ultimately make much more sense and he comes out of this movie very much on the path to becoming Baron Zemo. Lex just shaves his head. 

2. Don't Be Afraid To Have Fun


One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to the criticisms aimed at Batman v Superman is the fact that it's frequently said that the movie isn't "fun." I'm not sure about most of you guys, but I was sitting there with a massive grin on my face for most of it, whether it was because of Batman taking down a bunch of thugs, the fight between the Dark Knight and Man of Steel, or the epic battle against (the horribly CGI'd) Doomsday.

However, it's true that Batman v Superman is a light on levity, and as serious as Civil War gets, it still has some fun. Wisecracks when Batman was trying to murder Superman may have been a little much, but it would have been a smart move to have the Trinity communicate a little more during that fight against Doomsday, and the perfect place to let these guys make some digs at each other. Instead, they all go to work in silence and end up feeling like three separate heroes fighting the villain rather than a cohesive unit.

Batman v Superman is definitely a fun movie in many respects, but there's no denying that Warner Bros. needs to borrow some of the humour which makes Marvel's movies so popular moving forward because their very serious and glum approach to adapting this material clearly isn't working for them, something we've seen on two occasions now. 

1. Treat Female Characters With A Little More Respect


The way Batman v Superman treats its female characters isn't a major problem, but it's definitely an issue. Lois Lane is a damsel in distress not once, but twice, and even Clark's mother (her name is Martha, in case you somehow missed that) is dragged into a similar role in the final act. Despite the badass fight with Doomsday, up until that point, even Wonder Woman feels like she's just there to look sexy and is portrayed as not being clever enough to decrypt a file...she needs Batman's help instead.

Civil War on the other hand handles the likes of Black Widow and Scarlet Witch in a far more satisfying manner, and even minor supporting players like Sharon Carter and Aunt May fare pretty well here. With Lois Lane set to return in Justice League, her becoming a hostage or needing to be saved by Superman once again absolutely shouldn't happen, and hopefully Wonder Woman is going to be the start of Warner Bros. showing that they can handle female heroes every bit as well as their male ones.

Marvel Studios may be guilty of not giving Black Widow her own movie, but there's no denying that they've still provided her and their other female characters (even the majority of love interests) with well developed story arcs in their movies rather than just leaving them there in need of being saved. 

Do you agree with these points? Do you have any of your own you'd like to add? As always, head to the comments section below to let us know! 

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