I ride for video games and their eccentricities and unique forms of storytelling. I mean, I’ve played approximately 25 hours of Rocket League within the past week, admittedly a game without storytelling conventions unless you count my Lebron-like struggle against a Season 3 Grand Champion (I actually beat someone who had that label). So it’s only natural for me to instantaneously compare other mediums to my favorite, and in doing so, let me talk a little about robot dinosaurs.
That’s not a typo, I meant to say robot dinosaurs… though it’s misleading. Horizon Zero Dawn, the best Playstation exclusive since The Last of Us, is filled to the brim with mechs that resemble dinosaur-like creatures, but it also knows how to make a hero. The protagonist, Aloy, despite having a ridiculously on-the-nose name is filled with heart and determination. She is the outsider that inspires and brings together the troops. She is as much a symbol as she is a person. She relies on the bonds she forms with others. The game is about her determination, not only to figure out her robot dinosaur problem, but also to find out about her ancestors and strive for growth of character.
There is a mystical island in Wonder Woman and even though it’s not filled with robot dinosaurs (sequel idea?) it’s still important in signifying this movie’s willingness to protect it’s stance that people are, in fact, good. A stance that Diana Prince, played by Gal Gadot, will not concede. Nor should she, especially after staring into the icy blue eyes of real life angel Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine.
Wonder Woman is a great film, and specifically because it is allowed room for Diana and Steve to derive meaning from their relationship. It finds love, not just between the two of them but specifically Diana’s love for mankind is well developed throughout. She is proven right in her conviction. The movie took balls to make, and that’s what I love about it. To make a war film about one of DC’s main characters and the beautiful Steve Trevor was incredibly smart and retroactively makes their universe better. Where past movies have been lazy, Wonder Woman strives for great character acting, a unique soundtrack, a color palette that actually makes it away from the TSA line in Atlanta, and a very well setup relationship between the protagonists.
Wonder Woman raises the bar, much like Logan, only it also works as a template. We’ll never see another Logan, which is fine, but there is no reason why other DC properties can’t build off of Wonder Woman’s successes. This movie is a new age Iron Man but it might be better and if not it is definitely different, which is definitely better.
Give me suffocating depths in Aquaman. Make it strive for horror elements largely based around the mystery of what hides in our deepest trenches. The ocean is horrifying, so let’s act like it. The Flash needs to be lighthearted. Sam Raimi is in consideration to direct, which seems like a match made in heaven as Spiderman 2 nails the tone of what flash should be. I’ll be honest, I have zero affiliation with Cyborg, just do away with the cgi, it ruins the Justice League trailer… I was gonna say for me, but it ruins it for everyone.
The Batman seems to be in good hands with Matt Reeves. I am in the camp that believes The Planet of the Apes trilogy is the best since The Dark Knight trilogy and I’m not wrong about that. Honestly though, just make it atmospheric and build through character and The Batman should be fine. Also, they should strive for their own feel and stop relying on Christopher Nolan’s archetypes of how to build a superhero movie. No one can do Nolan better than Nolan.
The point is though, DC has positioned itself to make good movies in the future and regain some lost credibility. They formed a template that is better than most movies from it’s competition by relying on the wonderful direction of Patty Jenkins and her team. Now keep the ball moving and find other young, thirsty director that would jump at the chance to make a film with DC characters. Also Wonder Woman 2 should have robot dinosaurs in it and it should be directed by Guillermo Del Toro. Be honest, what reputable Hollywood exec wouldn’t green-light that project. Where you at Geoff Johns?