via Warner Bros.
The boundless possibilities of cinema have opened up our imaginations to things we never thought we’d be able to see unfold in a live-action setting, leading to crossovers, mashups, and face-offs that were previously the stuff of dreams. That being said, speaking in the most general of terms, the versus movie has almost always lived to disappoint.
Before you go throwing around the likes of Godzilla vs. Kong, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, or even Kramer vs. Kramer if you want to really nitpick, let’s take a moment to look at the countless crossover films that have wound up being either panned by critics or bombing at the box office, and both in plenty of cases.
There’s Alien vs. Predator and its godawful sequel Requiem, Cowboys vs. Aliens, Freddy vs. Jason, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (we’re talking the theatrical release, the Ultimate Edition is vastly superior), and plenty others that have wasted an excellent concept on paper.
The debate continues to rage on Reddit, where fans have been pondering why so many versus movies have failed to catch fire, and whether or not there are any surefire solutions to maximizing a concept with near-limitless potential.
Based on what we’ve been forced to endure over the decades, the versus movie should probably be put out to pasture for a while. Then again, one commenter did point out that Captain America: Civil War technically fits the bill given that the entire story is driven by the opposing viewpoints of Steve Rogers and Tony Stark, so perhaps the best move is to focus on character first and foremost, without relying on the “vs.” to sell it to the masses.