Martha. That is just one of the many problems I have with this movie. But before we get into the plethora of problems this movie has, I’d like to explain where I’m coming from when it comes to how I approached this movie.
I consider Batman to be the greatest character in fiction. I have read everything from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte to Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Batman’s story captivated me ever since I was a little kid. Who wouldn’t love the idea of a wealthy billionaire who kicks the living mess out of bad guys in the night? He has the best assistant in the world in Alfred Pennyworth, and his sidekicks have more substance than any other sidekicks in history. Going into Batman v. Superman, Batman to me was already established as my favorite superhero. There wasn’t a single thing Affleck could do to make me hate the character of Batman.
Superman on the other hand was a different story for me. As a kid I thought he looked a bit fruity. All he cared about was doing the right thing. There was no middle ground with him. Whether there is a cat stuck in a tree, or Lex Luthor is hanging by his fingertips about to fall into a volcano, Superman will be there to save the day. As a kid, I wanted him to be more of a bad ass. I wanted him to kill every once in a while, or at least not be so obsessed with not killing innocents in the process of saving people. It was “gay” and “corny” that he was such a good guy. Now that I’m older, I have been reading comics more. I also re-watched episodes of Justice League and I’m absolutely in love with the DC Animated movies. I understand now the importance of doing the right thing as a growing adult. The cool thing about Superman is it didn’t take him 22 years to realize this. From the moment he knew his name was Clark, he knew the only thing to do was the right thing. That’s respectful on so many levels. Going into Batman v. Superman, my respect for Superman was off the charts. Man of Steel was okay to me, but I was excited about Superman’s potential role in this movie. Batman wants to kill Superman. But we all know that won’t happen. So how is Superman going to prove he’s the ultimate good guy? How will he show the world how good of a person he is? These questions were racing through my mind, and I’m sure everyone else’s as well before they saw this movie.
So, the movie starts. Off we go. 2 things pop off on the screen instantly. Two Zack Snyder specialties.
Slow Motion and Lack of Color. Slow motion is a very interesting and effective tool in movies when used correctly. Snyder doesn’t care. Every movie he forces slow motion down our throats. Lack of Color is self-explanatory. From the moment this movie starts, it has Snyder’s prints all over it. We also get another glimpse into Bruce Wayne’s past. It’s completely uncalled for. Everyone knows Bruce Wayne’s past. The coolest thing regarding Bruce’s past is when he talks about it. In the comics, when he talks about his parents, I feel as if their deaths mean so much more. They were killed when he was 10 years old. Everything he knew about the world was through the eyes of his parents. It makes sense their senseless murders affected him so much. But we don’t need to see it every time he’s introduced. (In the next Spider-Man movie, I better not see Uncle Ben again.)
The movie overall was not bad. I don’t care about weird plot holes or anything like that. The only thing I care about is how the studios capture the heroes we all love. The positives are listed below.
Stunning Resemblance to Comic Book Panels
If you want a graphic novel to be translated into a movie visually, then Snyder is your guy. The visuals, even with the lack of color, are stunning. Some of the slow-motion shots of Superman standing in front of Batman are breathtaking. The shot of Wonder Woman (which was ruined by the trailer) was amazing. Even simple scenes, like when we first see Batman sitting in the dark corner of an old building, are amazing. Snyder definitely spent a good amount of time getting these shots right. If all you want to see is comic book panels come to life, then this is definitely the movie for you.
Of course he was going to be a positive. Ben Affleck got assigned a character that has over 75 years of history. Batman’s presence can take over any movie, comic book, or cartoon show. Affleck was smooth as Bruce, and brutal as the Dark Knight. Like I said earlier, there wasn’t much he could do wrong to mess up the legend of Batman. What he did do however, is take over the movie. Every writer, director, or producer needs to know that when you put Batman into a movie, comic, or animated feature, that he will be the star. People are drawn to him more than most superheros. I was reading a Batwing comic once (he’s the African Batman. Check it out!) and when Batman showed up I almost instantly forgot about Batwing. I loved the Batwing character, but Batman is Batman! That’s really all I can say. This movie feels like a Batman movie instead of Superman sequel. It probably wasn’t intentional, but I’m convinced that Warner Bros. only cares about the caped crusader.
So those are really the only two aspects of this movie that make me want to watch it again. Will I? No. I’ll catch it on FX when they do their movie night and have behind the scenes footage or something. The main things I found terrible about this movie are listed below.
BATMAN AND SUPERMAN WOULD NEVER TRY TO KILL EACH OTHER!
I’m not a comic book writer. I would love to be but I am not. Nor am I writer for any animated shows. Never wrote a screenplay before either. But I have been reading comics forever and have studied these characters forever. Batman would never try to kill Superman. I think everyone who knows anything about Batman knows he’s intelligent. Freaky intelligent. Whenever he encounters a new enemy, he will learn about them. Batman doesn’t even attempt to research anything about Superman in this movie. He sees the destruction caused by Superman in Man of Steel and instantly jumps to a conclusion. Batman NEVER does that. He never lets his emotions get the better of him. When he does, it’s for a better reason than innocent people dying because of fight between aliens. Throughout this movie, he doesn’t look into anything about Superman. He just remembers what happened in Metropolis and flames replace his eyeballs.
On the opposite side of that, Superman goes through this phase in the movie where he reads the newspapers and watches news broadcasts that talk about Batman. They depict him as this heartless vigilante with no regard for the law. Superman you work for the media, you know how they twist stuff! Superman would never jump to such a snap judgement either about anybody. He always tries to see the good in people. The only reason he even tried to stop fighting Batman at the end is because Martha was in trouble. Not because he sensed some good in Batman. “The bat is dead. Bury it” Such lazy storytelling to get two of the most intelligent characters in comics to fight. If your a teenager watching it for the first time, it makes total sense. Not much sense to anyone who knows anything about these characters. Take a look at this video from the animated series where Batman and Superman meet for the first time. The seriousness of Batman v. Superman is there, but they also talk to each other like big boys.
The lack of respect they show for each other is annoying too. Both characters want to do the right thing. But through media networks, they somehow come to the conclusion that the other needs to die. Maybe Snyder is trying to talk about the media here with how much it influenced Superman’s beliefs on Batman, but that’s some stretching Mr. Fantastic would be shocked at. This clip is from Justice League: Doom. This clip shows the amount of endless respect the two have for each other. We didn’t get a hint of this in Batman v. Superman.
Does this seem like two men who would want to absolutely murder each other? Nope.
This almost isn’t even worth talking about. Long story short, Batman was beating the crap out of Superman with some kryponite towards the end of the movie when Superman utters one word. Martha. It’s his mother’s name. Surprisingly it’s Batman’s mother’s name too. Batman goes into flashback mode and begins to think of his mother, Martha. Lois Lane runs in (as she always does now. Wouldn’t be surprised if she got powers in this universe sometime soon) and explains to Batman who Martha is to Superman. Two things are going through my head. Once again, the writers show how little they value Superman. Lois Lane has to answer for him. This could’ve been a solid scene even with it’s stupidity. Superman could’ve gotten up. Batman would back up slowly, and the two actually talk. Warner Bros. had a chance for these two characters to connect, and instead they went the lazy route by running Lois in at the end. Either no trust in Henry Cavill, or Amy Adams is soaking up a ton of money off of the payroll.
Anyways, the second thing going through my head is “Who call their mom by their first name?” It was weird and out of place for Superman to say that. Honestly, it was a bit funny too.
TOO MANY CHARACTERS
I’m going to expand more on the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the greatness of it in later reviews, but DC tried way too hard to catch Marvel in one movie. The MCU wasn’t a success overnight. The build up to Avengers was awesome. Then when I thought there was nowhere to go after that, we get Guardians of the Galaxy and Civil War. I like DC Comics way more than Marvel Comics. Batman, Nightwing, and Shazam are in my top five. DC tried to introduce every character of the Justice League in this movie. Bruce gets a file from Lex Luthor that has images and video of Cyborg, Aquaman, Flash, and Wonder Woman. That’s fine, but we all know those movies are coming out already. It feels as if DC isn’t going to give each character the care they deserve if they’re willing to just throw them in Batman v. Superman. That being said, I’m excited for all of those movies, just not right now. Wonder Woman was great to see, but she didn’t add anything to the already grim and boring movie. The movie almost made her look bad because it was so bad. She’s an elite fighter with elite strength in DC Comics. It’s a shame it’s taken her this long to appear on screen, but once again they felt it was needed to throw her in this movie. Lex Luthor is a need Superman villain, but Jesse Eisenberg was horrible. Just horrible. And the addition of “Doomsday” was rushed. They tried to throw in the Death of Superman at the end, which by itself could be an excellent standalone DC Universe movie. You could tell DC felt the pressure from Marvel with this movie and it showed. They tried to bust out their power cards too early. It may hurt them down the road, or they may learn from their mistakes.
So, overall the movie was okay. The story was juvenile while the special effects were solid. if you want a solid popcorn flick to forget about your life for a long, boring 2 1/2 hours, go see it. If you like Batman, go see it. If you want to see cohesion, especially the type of cohesion we’ve seen from the MCU as of late, don’t go see this. And if Superman is your absolute favorite when it comes to superheroes, you better protest this movie when it comes out on Blu-ray. I give it a 5/10