Table of Contents
- Shazam’s sacrifice in Fury of the Gods is a genuinely tragic moment in an otherwise humor-filled film, showcasing the character’s heroic nature.
- Despite its flaws, Suicide Squad has an exciting scene featuring Batman and Joker during a car chase, reminiscent of comic book and animated adaptations.
- Blue Beetle may not have been commercially successful, but it offers heartfelt and emotional moments, such as Jaime Reyes reuniting with his deceased father in a near-death experience.
With its final installment on the horizon, the DC Extended Universe will soon be soft-rebooted into the DC Universe, but it will leave behind numerous underrated moments. After failing to initiate a shared DC movie universe with 2011’s disastrous Green Lantern, Warner Bros made another attempt in 2013 with Man of Steel, a film that, while divisive, was a heartfelt adaptation of the Superman mythos that respected the source material. Unfortunately, the fledgling DCEU rushed into crossovers to keep up with the pop culture phenomenon of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and struggled to find its footing ever since.
The DCEU timeline got its three most important heroes – Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman – right, but the franchise itself was not only rushed but also constantly tried to reinvent itself either in competition with the MCU or simply to find its footing in the superhero movie genre. Despite its shortcomings and divisive choices, the DCEU still produced plenty of excellent films with a multitude of moments that are perhaps underappreciated by viewers.
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10 Billy Batson’s Sacrifice
Shazam! Fury of the Gods
In a film heavily criticized for its over reliance on irreverent humor, Shazam! Fury of the Gods had its fair share of genuinely dramatic moments. The sinister Daughters of Atlas killed countless innocent people throughout the movie, and had no qualms about harming the teenage Freddie Freeman while he was in their captivity. The film’s most dramatic moment, however, was Billy Batson’s sacrifice to defeat Kalypso. Although he is resurrected by Wonder Woman later on, Batson’s demise is genuinely tragic, with the young hero fully believing that he would not survive his last effort to defeat the Titan.
9 Batman Vs Joker & Harley Quinn
Suicide Squad (2016)
Jared Leto’s Joker is heavily criticized, and 2016’s Suicide Squad is considered one of the weakest entries in the DCEU, but the film does have at least one truly exciting moment. In a montage introducing members of Task Force X, Harley Quinn is shown being captured at the end of a brief but intense car chase. The chase itself has one of the few interactions between Batman and his two nemeses in Gotham, and while Leto’s Joker is hardly the best iteration of the Clown Prince of Crime, the sequence is not unlike those found in the comics and animated adaptations.
8 Jaime Reyes Reunites With His Father
Blue Beetle is one of the old DCEU’s final installments, and though Xolo Maridueña is set to return as Jaime Reyes in the DCU, his first film was not commercially successful, partially due to its placement within a universe that is due to be soft-rebooted. In any case, Blue Beetle is a wonderfully heartfelt and emotional superhero film with many touching moments. One such sequence, in which Jaime Reyes has a near-death experience, has the hero see his recently deceased father one last time, encouraging him to fight to defend his family once he understands his purpose.
7 “Krypton Had Its Chance”
Man of Steel (2013)
Henry Cavill’s Superman has numerous instances of overt Christ imagery in his DCEU appearances, but his debut in Man of Steel also subtly acknowledges his often-overlooked metaphor for American Jewish immigrants in the early 20th Century. By having the Kryptonian Growth Codex implanted in his cells, Superman literally carried the future of his people within himself. Moreover, Superman chooses Earth and his human identity over a recreated Krypton in the film’s third act, telling Zod that “Krypton had its chance,” before destroying the Genesis Chamber. Cavill’s Superman sees himself as a human, not a Kryptonian, similar to Christopher Reeve’s Superman in the Richard Donner films.
6 Billy Batson Chooses His Family
Throughout 2019’s Shazam!, Billy Batson searches for his biological mother, only to find, tragically, that she purposely abandoned him and furthermore would not accept the now-teenage Billy coming back into her life. While heartbroken, Billy chooses his foster family at the Vasquez as his true family, as they had treated him with far genuine kindness and acceptance. Rather than being embittered, Batson wishes her the best as he leaves, proving that, despite being abandoned and rejected by his own mother, Billy remains a kind person.
5 The Flash Says His Final Goodbyes
The Flash (2023)
The climactic battle that showed The Flash’s makeshift Justice League against General Zod and his Kryptonian forces ends on an unexpected note, revealing that Zod’s victory and the deaths of Supergirl and Batman are inevitable. Barry’s alternate universe counterpart becomes the villainous Dark Flash because he cannot accept this reality, leading the main DCEU’s Barry to have to accept the harsh truth of the situation. Barry Allen not only leaves Supergirl and Batman behind to die, but he also undoes his timeline tampering, dooming his mother to be murdered. In the film’s most heartbreaking moment, Barry has one last conversation with Nora Allen – who isn’t aware she’s speaking to her own child – before repairing the timeline.
4 Exhuming Superman
Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
In a film full of epic fight scenes and heartfelt character moments, it is easy to overlook the bonds formed between four of the protagonists in Zack Snyder’s Justice League in the Smallville graveyard scene. While exhuming the body of Clark Kent, The Flash and Cyborg bond over their shared appreciation of the late Superman. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman and Aquaman form their own friendship, realizing that the Amazons and Atlanteans are more alike than they thought. Despite its length, the scene does an excellent job of showing the Justice League members growing as friends as well as teammates.
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3 Doomsday Vs The Big Three
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Ultimate Edition
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice spends much of its runtime setting up the rivalry between Batman and Superman, but the film’s finale – which sees the two united as allies – is far more satisfying than their clashes. Joined by Wonder Woman, the DCEU brought DC’s big three superheroes together for the first time on film, pitting them against a reimagined version of Doomsday. Dawn of Justice is easily one of the most divisive entries in the DCEU, but even its critics would be hard-pressed not to enjoy the trio battling Doomsday together.
2 Wonder Woman Learns To Fly
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
Wonder Woman 1984, unfortunately, had a mixed reception among critics and viewers, yet it undoubtedly had plenty of excellent scenes and well-intentioned ideas. One example is the second death of Steve Trevor, which, thanks to Gal Gadot and Chris Pine’s performances, was heartbreaking. Immediately following this, Wonder Woman gradually hones her newfound ability to fly, remembering the words of the late Steve Trevor in a scene as visually spectacular as it is melancholic.
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1 Wonder Woman vs Ares
Wonder Woman (2017)
2017’s Wonder Woman is one of the superhero genre’s best films, having a multitude of scenes beloved by critics and viewers alike. One sequence that is perhaps unfairly dismissed, however, is its action-packed finale in which Wonder Woman battles her half-brother Ares. While the fight scene relies heavily on CGI, it is anything but a mindless spectacle. The fight scene has Wonder Woman nearly succumb to rage after Steve Trevor’s heartbreaking death, and her method of defeating Ares makes use of both her Amazonian and Olympian abilities, making for one of the most underrated action scenes in the DC Extended Universe.