Your ranking is very similar to my own, the only difference being that I rank Man of Steel higher than Wonder Woman, and that I haven’t seen Aquaman yet.
It’s hard to believe just how bad Suicide Squad is. I’ve talked with people who say that the film was ruined by the editing. It is one of the most poorly edited films I’ve ever seen, but I can never agree with them that the movie would have been saved by going with a more traditional editing house rather than one who specializes in cutting trailers.
I think there are scripting problems that show Ayers lacks a proper understanding of these characters. Mostly it’s that the stakes are way too high. The Suicide Squad should be Seal Team Six if Seal Team Six broke bad; under no circumstances should they be tackling Superman-level threats. I think this movie was doomed from the minute they hired Ayers to write the script.
Cautiously optimistic to see Gunn’s take on these characters.
As for the Joker. I agree, the performance was fine. It was everything else I hated. The costume design and the way he was written. I hate this version of the Joker, but I don’t blame Leto, I blame Ayer.
I actually fell asleep during Justice League. I think that’s about all I have to say about it.
Again, people blame this movie’s failures on studio interference, but it does sound like the studio made some good calls. The opening scene with Batman on the rooftop apparently was very comedic until WB forced Whedon to cut the humor. I’ll never understand why he writes Batman like he’s Tony Stark.
Batman v Superman
I’ve written here about how I like the first 20–30 minutes of Batman v Superman quite a lot. It’s just unfortunate the rest of the movie wasn’t as good.
I like Wonder Woman a lot, and agree that the third act is the movie’s weakest point. Which is why I rank it lower than Man of Steel. There’s no part of Man of Steel, for me, that dips as low as Wonder Woman’s third act. Ares is a complete dud of a villain at the end.
Compare that to Zod, who for me is the highlight of the movie. So much so that I would gladly welcome a Krypton movie focusing on Zod’s uprising, if it meant seeing more of Michael Shannon in that role.
I 100% agree that the only thing that saves Wonder Woman’s third act is Steve Trevor’s sacrifice. Which is why I am entirely perplexed that they seem to be resurrecting him somehow for the sequel.
Man of Steel
Not much to say about Man of Steel. It’s my favorite of the bunch. I don’t have many complaints about it. Or any, really.
I guess the tone could stand to be a little more hopeful, as you say. Other than that, no complaints.
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And I haven’t bothered with Aquaman. I very much did not like the character in Justice League, aside from the one scene where he sits on Diana’s lasso. (“Woo! Aw right! My man!” … Ugh, that still bothers me.)
The trailers look very pretty, though.