Batman vs. criminals in the warehouse, Superman vs. Kryptonians in Smallville, Wonder Woman in No Man's Land. There's a lot of debate about the quality and future of the DC Extended Universe, but the cinematic world does feature several memorable action scenes. However, a video essay insists those set pieces leave a lot of room for improvement.
Nerdwriter's video argues the DCEU's brawls have several issues, but it focuses on three specific points: physics (power levels), creative use of powers, and character moments during breaks in the intensity. For physics, Nerdwriter claims power levels are too similar (specifically focusing on footage of Superman and Wonder Woman), and there's a feeling of weightlessness behind the attacks instead of raw power and impact. For comparison, he cites Captain America: The Winter Soldier's opening sequence.
For powers, his biggest criticism is that Superman primarily punches instead of utilizing his other impressive powers, and that many characters only apply brute force. Lastly, he criticizes the handling of dialogue in the fights, claiming there should be more material that allows each personality to shine.
While Nerdwriter certainly makes some valid points, there are also positives to the DCEU's action, which tends to be the most memorable parts of the films. It can be argued that Batman's warehouse fight is the closest fans will ever get to seeing an Arkham video game brawl on the big screen. The brutal sequence utilized Batman's tactical mind, hand-to-hand combat, use of fear as a weapon, and a variety of equipment. Surely, director Matt Reeves is feeling no pressure when it comes to The Batman's action sequences. Additionally, the fictional universe has showcased Wonder Woman's superb reflexes and mastery of her sword, shield and iconic lasso, so she's definitely not limited to trading punches and headbutts with her opponents. Bruce Wayne's display of courage and anger in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's intense Metropolis opening scene is widely praised as well.
Only time will tell how the next DCEU movie, Aquaman, depicts its action sequences. While Aquaman is commonly mocked for "talking to fish," he is a powerhouse who is able to command some of the most fearsome and powerful aquatic life; he's no joke in a fight.
Arriving in theaters on Dec. 21, Aquaman stars Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temeura Morrison, Dolph Lundgren, Ludi Lin, Michael Beach, Nicole Kidman and Willem Dafoe.