New Video Essay Explains Why DCEU Action Scenes Are Worse Than The MCU’s
Nerdwriter is back with his latest video essay, and this one places the DC Extended Universe under the microscope to ask the question: why are its action scenes often bloated and confusing?
Justice League and Man of Steel are cited as the two biggest offenders, though Batman V Superman isn’t without its faults, either. All of this is then contrasted with the Marvel Cinematic Universe which, generally speaking, tends to do a pretty good job of keeping its audience invested even when the CG action becomes a little overwhelming – Thor: The Dark World notwithstanding.
But why, exactly? Why is the DCEU unable to match Marvel’s superhero franchise in the action department? Nerdwriter argues that the shortcomings of the Warner Bros. juggernaut can be whittled down to three things: stylized (and therefore unrealistic) coloring, the overuse of super-slow motion, and ridiculous virtual camera moves, like the panning/zoom shot in Batman V Superman that switches the perspective from Doomsday to the Caped Crusader without giving the audience much time to adjust.
The laws of physics – or lack thereof – are also cited as a big concern, as “too often the physics in DC movies just don’t matter.” Or, worse, the camera is doing something so inconceivable that the action just feels weightless. Here’s looking at you, Man of Steel.
Moreover, Nerdwriter’s in-depth video essay contends that every DC character is reduced to a “blunt instrument” more often than not, and the ways in which each film is shot means that it’s difficult for audience members to gauge just how powerful their on-screen heroes really are.
And finally, there’s also the issue with those little character moments peppered between each action scene. In the MCU, viewers are treated to a light-hearted joke or some line of dialogue that brings a sense of personality to the on-screen carnage, while the DCEU typically calls on a cliché like “son of a bitch” or “o-right.”
Perhaps Warner Bros. can still turn things around, though? Word is the studio plans to rebrand its DC Extended Universe at next month’s San Diego Comic-Con, so it seems not all is lost.