To the makers of DC Comics movies: play to your strengths.
Marvel has long prided itself with the everyman-hero. It has heroes with flaws, gripes, jokes and failures. Sure, they make it work when it counts, but they are all too human otherwise (even when they aren’t human).
DC, on the other hand, is where the icons live. No, “live” is the wrong word. The icons reign. These are paragons above the rest of humanity. These are heroes who are gods among men, even those who are human are the best-damn humans you ever saw. That doesn’t mean they are perfect and flawless (any more than characters like Thor and Captain America aren’t iconic and godlike), but it does mean that this is the image that should be presented first. When Superman shows up, tears of pride and joy should appear in onlookers’ eyes. When Batman appears, the night itself should shudder at his presence.
The problem so many comic book movies have is that they are trying to emulate what they think worked. Tim Burton’s Batman was successful with its camp and color, so the later Batman movies and the Catwoman movie tried to emulate that aspect (rather than the iconic nature of Batman in the first and second movie, where he’s a scary urban legend, not a credit card-flinging goofball). Iron Man and Batman Begins were kind of dark (with jokes thrown in), so later movies tried to emulate the darkness (rather than the humanness of Tony Stark or the I-am-the-night-ness of Nolan’s Batman).
Superman should thrill in his ability to fly and smirk as bullets bounce off him, but be deadly serious when someone threatens his city. Batman should have a teenage Robin that he can be an almost normal dad around, and be a shadowy legend when scaring crime. Wonder Woman should be a exemplar of honorable battle when in action, and rightfully curious about “man’s world” when not fighting evil. Keep in mind, I say this as a die-hard Marvel fan: DC heroes should be the superheroes of the big screen – emphasis on the “super.”
Have fun with the heroes, let them be dark, let them be light.
But let them be super.