The DCEU Movies Ranked

Written by Nick Staniforth

Braving the waters of the comic book universe once again this week, Warner Bros have supposedly turned back the tide and managed to deliver a superhero story that is getting unanimous praise for embracing its bonkers premise and surfing it to the shore of success. If you haven’t twigged yet, what with all the water puns, I am of course referring to Aquaman, the latest chapter of the DC universe starring Jason Momoa, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Ludi Lin, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman and Randall Park.

As of today, the man born of land and sea has made his way into cinemas, but following his release, where does the half-Atlantean sit among  Warner Bros. other highly debated efforts? Here be the rankin’ of the entire DCEU films so far that’ll no doubt cause some waves.


 

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Suicide Squad

It’s almost fitting that James Gunn has been tasked with a sequel to the film Warner Bros were keen to make their own Guardians of the Galaxy. Rough around the edges and filled with its own team of misfits, Suicide Squad had all the potential to be the outside contender that could straighten up the impending array of entries that were in the pipeline – instead, it almost ran the damn thing off the road.

A slung-together script, reshoots aiming to lighten the mood following the near-fatal feedback of Dawn of Justice (more on that later), and one of the shortest performances of The Joker ever caught on film, Suicide Squad was a slog of a viewing experience if it wasn’t for some key players that saved the day.

Margot Robbie and Will Smith as Harley Quinn and Deadshot reignite the chemistry they had in Focus, with the likes of Jay Hernandez’s El Diablo, Karen Fukuhara’s Katana and Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang conjuring some compelling performances, but the outcome is still a visually murky slog that even with an impending sequel, is an instalment that rarely gets revisited.

 

 

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Justice League

Die-hard DC fans can hashtag the crap out of a campaign to release the Snyder Cut until the Parademons come home, but there’s no denying that the finished product of the Justice League was far from complete. The second that light touches the synthetic upper lip of Henry Cavill, things roll off to an uneven start for the film that should’ve been a team-up for the ages. Instead, we’re treated to a CGI-tastic tone tornado that was another close call for the end of the DCEU.

Snyder’s eyegasmic vision and Whedon’s wit colliding should’ve made for the perfect comic book film, but like Suicide Squad before it, Justice League ends up a drab and forgetful outing. There are glimmers of hope, with Jason Momoa’s Aquaman making his debut, Gal Gadot Gadoing what she’s great at, and that hair-raising moment Superman returns for real, but it’s just not enough.

That chase scene on Themyiscara still holds up but besides that, the rest of the film, for the most part, is a union of DC’s finest stuck together with PVA glue in front of an undeniably bland CGI backdrop. They should’ve entered a league of their own, but instead served as a grave injustice.

 

 

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Aquaman

A well-known horror director and a former horse lord are easily one of Warner Bros. bravest bargaining chips when it came to Aquaman and his solo film. Appearing as an undeniable redirection from the dark and sombre scope the DCEU has been focussed on for some time, Jason Mamoa’s standalone entry as the king beneath the ocean is one of the most refreshing instalments thus far, though not without its own issues.

Demonstrating that same flair he had with high-octane sequences in Fast & Furious 7, director James Wan gets his feet wet again in an at times visually impressive affair and tackles them to a degree, with Nicole Kidman as an ass-kicking Queen Atlanna being a standout moment. Sadly, these aren’t enough to wash over what is a fairly dull story that feels worn down. Plucking plot points from Thor, Black Panther and Wonder Woman, it avoids being a complete wipeout thanks to Momoa who is once again not giving a fork and having an absolute ball, which pushes the film along. Ultimately, it’s a good effort for DC to steady the ship but still not a patch on the best entry so far.

 

 

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Tearing friendships apart as much as The Last Jedi, or when Ross and Rachel went on a break, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was the film we never thought we’d see, and ultimately the film fans will never, ever agree on. Considered to be the stuff of dreams and I Am Legend Easter eggs, the sought-after showdown between The Dark Knight and The Man of Steel is a battle on so many levels. For every hit it lands, there’s another counter swing that puts it on the backfoot, which is why its slap bang in the middle of this list.

Forming a bond in the opening act to the previous film amid the rubble and chaos left behind in Man of Steel, Snyder does a great job at building up the motivations for both fighters in this epic bout. Cavill once again slips into the super suit with ease as the still tortured Superman trying to find his place in the world, while Ben Affleck delivers one of the best iterations of Bruce Wayne and Batman ever captured on screen. Fearful of this stranger beyond the stars and being a figure worth dreading himself, it helps a great deal for when these two finally do go toe to toe. It’s the time spent getting to and following from the final fight that is the films biggest issue.

The Martha motive is still frustrating to even recall, as is Jesse Eisenberg’s weedy, tick-induced Lex Luthor. It’s a lengthy lost opportunity that we may never get back but thankfully gave the world Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, the films most undeniable redeeming factor. If your chest doesn’t swell the second she flies in on Hans Zimmer’s score, then you really need to seek medical attention.

 

 

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Man of Steel

Ah yes, back when it all looked so promising. Snyder’s debut venture into the world of DC’s greatest heroes may have had its issues, but Henry Cavill’s first turn as the man with the big red cape is undoubtedly one of the strongest of the bunch.  Retelling the origin story of the most iconic superheroes ever for the modern era is a tough task but even more so when that beloved tale is tweaked to significant levels.

It all works, for the most part, aided by a strong cast that solidifies this world, and provides realism in a way that even Marvel still hasn’t done. From Amy Adams’ sharp Lois Lane to Michael Shannon’s tyrannical iteration of General Zod, every box is checked for the players involved in this effort to get Superman soaring to new heights. Most notably are the parents that mould Clark into the hero he becomes. Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner bring varied but vital fatherly roles as Jor-El and Jonathan Kent, respectively, while Diane Lane as keeps her son grounded as widowed mother MARTHA (sorry, old habit).

There are flecks of kryptonite littered through the film of course, most notably in that films final building breaking scuffle between Cavill’s Superman and Shannon’s Zod. Turning the shining Metropolis into an abandoned car park by the film’s end may well have been Snyder’s plan, but he once again spends too much time on something that should’ve zipped by faster than a speeding bullet. Not a bad first try – if only they’d been this good, though.

 

 

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Wonder Woman

There was only one place for Gal Gadot’s solo gig as the Amazonian princess to go and that’s right at the very front. Putting aside all the convoluted, reconstructed world-building that has been tried and tested, Diana’s first adventure is the closest to perfect Warner Bros. has been. Patty Jenkin’s take on the most well-known female superhero is an absolute treat from beginning to end, distancing itself from all the other entries by decades and finally giving audiences a film they could all agree on as being an absolute belter.

A fish out of water tale with added oomph, braving the era of World War I to bring Diana’s story to life is a refreshing chapter in an uneven series of instalments. Already demonstrating she could wield the headgear and lasso in Dawn of Justice, Gal Gadot gets time to really fit into the role of Wonder Woman and make it her own. Strong, graceful and an undeniable presence of good, she elevates every frame she’s in and makes the walk through No Man’s Land as iconic as Christopher Reeve circling the earth.

Taking the lead behind an equally charismatic Chris Pine who is in awe of his co-star as much as we are, she’s a breath of fresh air in a world that up until then was lost in its own self-manufactured smog. So the familiar final act may suffer some crash, bang and CGI wallop, but it’s redeemed by Diana’s heartwrenching goodbye to Steve Trevor that conjures the more emotion than any of the films that came before it. It’s a wonder we even got this, far but thank the gods we did.

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Official Music Video Released For David Hasselhoff’s ‘Guardians Inferno’

As promised earlier this week, James Gunn has shared the official music video for ‘Guardians Inferno’, David Hasselhoff’s track from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’.

The video stars director Gunn on the drums, and the cast of the hit sequel pull their best shapes in their best 80’s gear. There’s even a cameo from the king of cameos, Mr. Stan Lee, because what Marvel related video would be complete without him!

But which Guardian has the best moves? 

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Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Awesome Mix Vol. 2 Track List Revealed

Whilst there’s no actual spoilers in this piece, Chris Pratt did tweet earlier this month advising that he encourages people to watch ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2’ before listening to the ‘Awesome Mix Vol. 2’, so if you wish to not know what’s made it onto the mixtape close this article right now! 

The mixtape features the likes of Fleetwood Mac, George Harrision, Sweet, Cheap Trick and.. David Hasselhoff!? That’s right, The Hoff will be lending his singing voice to a song that was co-written by James Gunn himself and is said to be a ‘comedic original’ scored by Tyler Bates.

After the greatness that was ‘Awesome Mix Vol. 1’, I thought Gunn would have a hard job topping it – but it looks like he may have actually pulled it off. I’m excited to hear the music (listed below) in the film. 

  1. Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra
  2. Fox on the Run – Sweet
  3. Lake Shore Drive – Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah
  4. The Chain – Fleetwood Mac
  5. Bring it On Home to Me – Sam Cooke
  6. Southern Nights – Glen Campbell
  7. My Sweet Lord – George Harrison
  8. Brandy You’re a Fine Girl – Looking Glass
  9. Come a Little Bit Closer – Jay and the Americans
  10. Wham Bang Shang-A-Lang – Silver
  11. Surrender – Cheap Trick
  12. Father and Son – Yusuf / Cat Stevens
  13. Flashlight – Parliament
  14. Guardians Inferno – The Sneepers featuring David Hasselhoff

I’ve no doubt that someone has kindly put together this mixtape on Spotify or YouTube already for us to enjoy! 

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Written by Tom Sheffield

The Guardians Of The Freakin’ Galaxy Come Together In A New Trailer

In 2014 cinemagoers were delighted by ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’; a refreshing semi rejuvenation on a somewhat tired Marvel formula, this nicely paved the way for speculation and eagerness for a Volume 2 in the series.  Inevitably the excitement was almost palpable when ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2’ was announced, seeming like an eternity, fans will be thrilled to hear that the wait is almost finally over. Volume 2 takes to UK picture houses on 28th April and is released in the US on 5th May.

Much of the cast from the first film reprise their roles (with a few welcome additions), from Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana to Vin Diesel and Dave Bautista. Specific plot details on Volume 2 have been hard to come by. All I can say is that Kurt Russell plays Ego the Living Planet, and Sylvester Stallone is reported to make an appearance as a member of Nova Corps. James Gunn is back in the director’s chair whilst collaborating again with others in the writing. One thing is for sure ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2’ is looking like a winner, and needs absolutely no input from me to convince movie fans to go see it.

I must mention that my anticipation for the Awesome Mix Vol 2 is at an all-time high, especially as the soundtrack selections in the original was just amazing. The trailer drops a couple of teasers as to what may be included in the next Awesome Mix, and promises an interesting, fun and pulse raising  movie.

Written by Mark Putley

The Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol 2 Super Bowl Spot Propels The Hype Train To Full Speed!

Welcome to the frickin’ Guardians of the Galaxy: GOTG2 Super Bowl trailer sends the hype machine into overdrive

Kick-ass soundtrack? Check
Wise-cracks galore? Check
Superb CGI, amazing action and great cast? Check, check and check

The latest trailer for James Gunn’s sequel to the massive critical and box office hit, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2’ is making the world wish that May would just come around that bit faster. Soundtracked by Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain,’ we see Starlord and crew entering into another action-packed battle to save the galaxy, this time from Elizabeth Debicki‘s villainous golden priestess Ayesha.

However, it seems the real heart of the film is set to be a story of family. Or rather, two families. The story of Gamora and her estranged sister Nebula sits in one corner, and Starlord’s quest to find his real father while being guided by his surrogate father Yondu, sits in the other. While Gunn revealed the identity of Starlord’s father as Ego the Living Planet at San Diego Comic-Con last year, we also know he will be played by Kurt Russell. The prospect of Kurt Russell and Chris Pratt as father and son team is pretty exciting in itself.

Part of Marvel film’s Phase 3, GOTG Vol 2 follows hot on the heels of Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange, and will be followed later in the year by Spiderman: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2’ will be screening across the UK from the 28th April 2017.

Written by Abbie Eales

It’s Kill Or Be Killed In The New Trailer For Greg McLean’s The Belko Experiment

The new short and sharp trailer for ‘The Belko Experiment’ has hit the internet, giving us more of a flavour of what this March release will have to offer us. 

Directed by Greg McLean (Wolf Creek, Rogue) and written and produced by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), ‘The Belko Experiment’ sees 79 co-workers trapped inside their office building and made to make genuine life or death decisions. Either they start killing each other or the corporation will kill double the number.

Given this choice in your own office, who would you take out first? The Belko Experiment looks like it’s going to be an interesting and gory examination of human nature. 

‘The Belko Experiment’ currently has no official UK release, but is due out in the USA on 7th March 2017

Written by Abbie Eales

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Trailer

Back in October we were treated to a tiny teaser for the sequel to the 2014 Marvel space-hit, Guardians of the Galaxy. The teaser offered us a quick look at the Guardians themselves, as well as our first peek at Baby Groot on top of Rocket’s shoulder.

This trailer gives us a great deal more of Baby Groot, who already looks like he’s going to steal the whole movie, just as easy as he stole the nuclear bomb from Rocket. We seem the team leap into action during some colourful action sequences, and we are also introduced to Mantis, played by Pom Klementieff, who reveals Quill’s true feelings about Gamora in front of the rest of the Guardians, much to Drax’s delight.

After learning in the first film that he’s only half human, Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (played by Chris Pratt) and the Guardians  go on an adventure that takes them across the galaxy to find out the mystery of his true parentage. We know Yondu (Michael Rooker) will have a larger role to play in this film, although he’s not in this new trailer. We also know Kurt Russell will be playing Quill’s father, Ego the Living Planet, which we will have to probably wait for the film to see. Sylvester Stallone is also a member of the cast, although his role is still unconfirmed!

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ will be flying into UK theatres on April 28th 2017

Written by Tom Sheffield

The Belko Experiment: First Trailer

And you think you’re having a bad day at the office…

The first trailer for ‘The Belko Experiment’, directed by Greg McLean and written by James Gunn, has appeared online after some teases on social media over the weekend.

The red band trailer shows the truly dark and twisted nature of the film, which pits office workers against one another as a mysterious voice demands they kill each other, or he will take it upon himself to kill twice as many. Whilst the first part of the trailer shows the colleagues working together to try and escape the locked down office building, it quickly becomes apparent to everyone that they may have no other option than to do what they’re told, and by the looks of the trailer it’s going to be a blood bath.

A voice in the trailer announces “Stage one commence”, which means we can expect the office workers to face a series of challenges and demands from the mystery man behind the microphone as they forced to also defend themselves from one another. Who knows what this evil genius has planned for the helpless employees!

The film includes the likes of Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), Michael Rooker (Walking Dead), and John C. McGinley (Scrubs) and it looks like it’s going to be one hell of a ride. 

What are your first impressions of this film? Do you think it will a ‘must watch’ in 2017?

‘The Belko Experiment’ has a release day of March 17th 2017 for the US. A UK date is yet to be confirmed.

Written by Tom Sheffield