BvS-5

IMHO
My Massive, Definitive, One-Sided Dissection, er, Review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice review PART ONE
by Chris Morris, lapsed DC Comics Fanboy

READ PART TWO OF CHRIS’ REVIEW HERE!

For months now, I have read tidbits online, saw the trailers, saw the behind-the-scenes photos, and listened to the hype for this film. Coming off “Man of Steel”, I was not looking forward to this film. Zack Snyder is a director who has wonderful visual instincts but, apparently, has neither a heart or a funny bone. All his movies are deadly serious with no optimism at all, a tone in which should be the total opposite of what’s presented in a Superman movie.

Now he’s adding Batman to the mix. That should be enough but in a clear sign of doubt in his own product, he added Wonder Woman too. How can Batman and Superman being together in the same film NOT be enough; they had to add the Amazonian Princess too? I’m glad they did, but probably not for the reasons Snyder thinks.

But really, when it came down to it, with such lowered expectations, how would I actually react to the film itself. They had my money…it’s not like I’m NOT going to see the film. But was I going to watch it or HATE-watch it?

So on Thursday March 24th, 2016 I headed to the movie theatre and watched a 9:30pm showing of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (still haven’t got used to that horrible title!). And the movie began….

*I have since seen the movie twice, as I wanted to make sure I really understood whether or not I liked or flat out hated the film…

SPOILERS!

– So, it begins with a monotone voice over by Ben Affleck aka Batfleck. Then, for the 1,000th time, we see Bruce Wayne’s parents die on screen. Is it contractually obligated for every Batman movie to show his parents dying? The only fun involved here are that the actors are from The Walking Dead, one’s a good guy and one’s a bad guy. There’s more too it but I won’t go into it cause this isn’t a Walking Dead article. But even that’s not much fun. Snyder somehow even screws this up, as Thomas Wayne tries to fight the mugger, instead of every other interpretation, where Thomas wants to just give the mugger what he wants so no one gets hurt. But Snyder probably heard that and thought “That Thomas Wayne…What a p*ssy” so he changed it. But in this version the mugger is given a reason to kill Thomas and the “senselessness” is gone.

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– Then we see young Bruce Wayne, at his parents funeral, so distraught that he starts…running….and running. This is such a movie cliché, right along with it always raining when couples finally get together in romantic comedies. I personally have never seen someone in real life so grief stricken that they decided the best thing was just to run…and run…usually people grieving do the opposite and stand still, otherwise not knowing what to do…but I digress…

– The kid Wayne falls down a well, and it surrounded by bats, lots of bats. Ripping off Nolan by taking two powerful scenes and putting them into one not-so-powerful scene. But the “best part” is next, as the bats circle young Bruce so quickly they pull a “Flash” and create a vortex and the kid starts to fly…instead of running, now he’s flying…I was ready to punch the movie screen, ten minutes into the film…

– But it’s okay, it was all a dream…one of many more to come…

– there seems to be some confusion online about whether or not Thomas Wayne died in that 1st scene…since for once Martha Wayne is focused on, and people seem to think the guy Bruce is talking to on the phone “Jack” during the Battle of Metropolis is his dad. Cause he’s old and Bruce seems to like him, I guess. But both Waynes died that night. Otherwise, why was there TWO caskets at the funeral?

– as revealed in the trailers, Bruce Wayne flies to Metropolis during the Superman/Zod fight and tries to help civilians. This was actually a great scene and if it had been included in “Man of Steel” it would have made it that much better. This is the only scene in the film with any piece of heart, although it is also a bit comical with Wayne, in a car, dodging pieces of building as they fly around and it ends with Affleck giving a funny yet piercing glare towards the ‘gods’ fighting above as he comforts a young child. After seeing Affleck give his “Bat-glare” in pretty much all the trailers, I laugh now when I see them.

– Now, if you think about it, this scene gives away the complete absurdity of the Superman vs. Batman argument. Superman could, if he wanted, could literally throw buildings at Batman as he drove around in his Batmobile, and Superman could finish him off without even getting within 30 feet of him. But whatever Bat-fanboys…I’m sure Batman could beat Superman…sure…..

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– this is, for the most part, the last time the big battle from the end of “MoS” is referenced. I was told there would be consequences to the end of that film, that Superman would have to make it up to the people of Metropolis, that this was the reason Batman was after Superman, that’s why there are senate hearings shown in the trailers (although if you take the movie’s title literally, you’d think Batman was suing Superman)…but it isn’t. It’s a red herring, and that’s too bad…that was the one thing I could have gotten behind, that Superman killed Zod and thousands of bystanders and felt remorse over it, but considering how he deals with that one African terrorist, he hasn’t learned a thing…maybe at one point during the Batman vs. Superman fight, Supes is about to win (silly, I know, how could Superman possibly beat Batman?), he’s about to snap Bats’ neck, like Zod, but he can’t, and it’s that hesitation that allows Batman to take over on him…no, let’s just have Batman beat the sh*t out of Superman…that’s more kickass!

– there is one woman, who I guess was flown all the way from African (you paid for that and her hotel room, Metropolis taxpayers!), who testifies…does anyone who was affected by the Battle of Metropolis testify? Shouldn’t there be a lineup out the door of people wanting to testify both for and against Superman? Wouldn’t she have a staff that tracked down everyone affected by that day? When Wally shows up, Hunter seems shocked. SHOULDN’T HAVE SHE TRACKED HIM DOWN LIKE SIX MONTHS AGO? Maybe throw in some dialogue like “When we talked before sir, you weren’t interested in testifying…” “Well now I am…” Easy, right? But no, it’s better to show Wally defacing Superman’s statue…

– so was Wally in on this from the start? He was cool with dying just to make Superman look bad? And why was he mad at Bruce Wayne, as those letters/returned paychecks made it look like?

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– so Wally had been writing threatening notes to Bruce Wayne for what, months? A year? And in today’s corporate environment, no one investigated this? Questioned him?

– Lois is pursuing an interview with an African terrorist/warlord. Her cameraman is Jimmy Olsen, who in this universe is a CIA agent and also dead very quickly. The KGBeast (never called that, cause that would be silly, right CW fans?) massacres seemingly everyone nearby and Superman flies in to save Lois, seemingly killing the warlord, showing he’s learned nothing from snapping Zod’s neck. Cut back to Washington DC where Holly Hunter’s character is putting on hearings to sanction Superman…not because of the damage done to Metropolis but because of what happened in Africa. All the people who were massacred…by BULLETS! And MACHINE GUNS! Does Holly Hunter think that Superman, with all his powers, decided to pick up a gun and kill all those people? Why? Lois Lane was there, the only surviving witness…why wasn’t she asked to testify? Why is Holly Hunter so concerned about the death of a bunch of terrorists in Africa?

*and shouldn’t the whole point be that Superman has evolved, learned a thing or two…although Snyder probably thinks it’s cool to have Superman crush a warlord through cement walls. Like it’s all a cartoon, like that scene in “MoS” with the semi-truck…in Snyder’s mind the warlord is probably still alive for all we know…

*shouldn’t this Superman gotten smarter, have better use of his powers, have more self-control now? Henry Cavill defended the actions of his character in “MoS” by saying he was new to the job, that he was an “amateur”…how about now? Wouldn’t it make more sense that Superman could have killed this warlord, the man who has a gun to the head of the woman who is “his world”, in all sorts of ways, but the point really is to make sure Lois is safe, and once she is, the warlord should go to jail?

*or maybe the point is that Superman doesn’t kill…unless you threaten Lois…so then that means that later on, there will be some kind of miscommunication where it looks like Batman hurts Lois, or Lex manipulates this somehow, so Superman is pissed and now wants to kill Batman…right?

*as this was going on I said to myself “What the f*ck…?”

– we meet alcoholic Alfred who works on Batfleck’s armour, so he’s also this movie’s version on Lucious Fox.

– Clark and Lois had sexy-time in a bathtub, which is fine and all but there still is zero chemistry between Henry Cavill and Amy Adams.

– The World’s Greatest Detective hasn’t figured out how to Google “White Portuguese”

– Luthor sucks up to Holly Hunter just so he can legally ship Kryptonite into the US. He can’t just sneak it into the country? Or smuggle it? Supervillains just aren’t’ what they used to be, I guess.

– and Hunter seemingly is on a witch-hunt against Superman but yet is AGAINST Luthor using Kryptonite? That makes sense…

– and btw, who built that statue of Superman? The world seems to be conflicted on Superman…

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– the best dialogue in the film (not a hard award to win) is the Clark Kent-Bruce Wayne banter when they first meet. The Batman/Superman dynamic is so great, and has been for 75 years, that this first meeting was almost too big to fail. Their debate back and forth about Superman and Batman, and Affleck’s line about “people dressed as clowns” is great…but then Asperger’s-Lex shows up and it goes to hell…

– the montage of Superman saving lives is depressing when it should be uplifting. Superman saves a Russian rocket and looks pissed off. He hovers above the people trapped on their roofs during a flood…what’s he doing up there? What’s he waiting for? Them to ask nicely? He saves the girl from a fire in Mexico, during the Day of the Dead, apparently cause it looks cooler than just a bunch of Mexican people without make up on…he kneels down and presents the girl to her family who are over come with emotion but then he stands up, looking around with almost a disdainful look on his face at the people wanting to touch him. WHY DOES HE HATE BEING SUPERMAN SO MUCH?

– Diana Prince steals Batflecks’ modem/device do-hickey that is downloading Luthor’s computer files, but she can’t look at it cause it has “military-level encryption”. What did she expect? All she seems to have is that laptop in her hotel room. Even if it required only an eight-digit password, she still couldn’t open it easily. Plus after being away from man’s world for 100 years, how does she even know what a laptop is? I can’t imagine there’s much need for “Hacking” on Themyscira…

– Perry White continues to be the worst newspaper editor ever…he thinks Clark should be covering local football rather than Batman…although I presume they made him that way just so he can say the line in the trailer “No one cares about Clark Kent vs. Batman”.

– Ma Kent now is the crappy parent, saying “You don’t owe the world anything”.
The Kents are the reason Clark Kent becomes Superman, that’s where his connection to humanity comes from, where he gets his sense of values, they are supposed to be the super-parents…in “MoS” Martha seemed to be the one who was more encouraging, but not anymore apparently…

– the word “characterization” must be a dirty word to Hack, er Zack, Snyder…

– that Pa Kent scene…WTF? Why? It was an already overstuffed movie, why was that five minutes necessary? Pa Kent’s “Hero-cake” speech…is it supposed to discourage Clark from being a hero, cause sh*t happens and everything sucks no matter how hard you try?

– And why is Superman wearing hiking gear?

– if Superman is conflicted or upset about anything, it’s that he can’t be everywhere all the time, saving everyone…

– so was Batman really looking for the Kryptonite the whole film, to get back at Superman? Was he lying to Alfred the whole film or just after he found out the White Portuguese was a boat? When he mentioned a “dirty bomb”, was he really talking about the Green K?

– or does Batman just learn about the Green K after stealing Luthor’s files, which Luthor seems to have planned all along, half-way through the film? This movie is so convoluted and confusing…

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– why is Batman so depressed/pissed off/dickish all the time? The movie hints that Robin was killed by the Joker, or something…presumably we’ll find out more about this in “Suicide Squad”, but how about we address these issues IN THIS MOVIE? Sure, it’s a movie filled with a**holes, but can we at least be told WHY they are a**holes?

– the big “Flash” moment makes no sense…while I lived through Crisis on Infinite Earths, a couple of Flashes in the comics and I love the Flash TV show(s), so I should have loved this…but it’s stupid. Flash comes back to the past to warn Bruce Wayne presumably about Superman (who dies at the end of the movie, so really how can he be a threat in the future?) by telling him to find Lois Lane, as she is the key…In his Apokolyptic dream, Superman says “She was my world and you took her from me”…maybe “her” is Lois? So Batman’s next step should be to find Lois Lane…right? Nope. That whole future, his fight with this God, could all be avoided if he find Lois Lane…but no…He is easily distracted by Lex’s Meta-humans file and WW’s picture…this Batman is really bad at his job…

– not to mention that the Flash moment is actually a dream sequence, actually a dream sequence within a dream sequence, so maybe that’s why Batman doesn’t go after Lois, but he does seem to think the Apokolyptic version of Superman is a real threat…

– that Apokolyptic Dream…it’s brutal, in the bad sense. I’m not even talking about the fact Batman uses guns and snaps a dude’s neck. I can get it’s a future so sh*tty that Batman has lost his way and now kills people. But the action sequence is terrible. You can literally see the stunt bad guys standing by, waiting, thinking, “okay, first Jerry goes in and he’s shot by Batman, then I go in and…”

– and what has Batman been doing in the 18 months after the Battle of Metropolis? If he was obsessed with Superman, wouldn’t he know at this point that Superman is Clark Kent? That Superman is in love with Lois Lane? Again, this Batman is really bad at his job…

– “likeability” is apparently another dirty word to Snyder…

– that Bruce speech about “Even if there is a 1% chance, we must take it as 100% certainty that…” SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! Such bad writing, right up there with the whole “Granny’s Peach Juice” crap.

– why couldn’t Superman just give Lois (or Clark) an interview and explain what happened in Africa? Everyone seems to forget that Clark has a job as a writer/reporter for a major newspaper and, according to Bruce Wayne, write a lot of Superman-is-awesome stories…

– Lois’ storyline is dumb. She finds a bullet found in the desert…a bullet used to kill the Africans…shouldn’t she be presenting this to Holly Hunter not General Swanwick?

– at least in this movie Lois isn’t telling everyone she’s a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter every five minutes…presumably because she’s forgotten…

– where’s Steve Lombard? Did he die when he went to the baseball game at the end of “MoS” and the stadium collapsed?

– how did Clark get that job at the Planet anyway? It was glossed over in “MoS” and never explained here…

– he’s obviously not a good reporter, as evidenced by the fact that he doesn’t know who Bruce Wayne is…

– WHY IS THIS MOVIE SO GRIM? Seriously!!!! It’s so bleak…even in The Dark Knight, Alfred had a wicked sense of humour, Christian Bale knew how to react to his zingers and Heath Ledger’s Joker was fun to watch…Jeremy Irons seemingly attempts to be funny a few times but Batfleck’s “I’m sleepy” reaction shots flatten everything.

That’s it for now, I have to take a break, catch my breath…maybe even see the movie again? Do I dare? I will, then come back for Part Two and see if my opinion has changed at all…

PS I kinda doubt it…

READ PART TWO OF CHRIS’ REVIEW HERE!

Follow Chris Morris on twitter, here!

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Chris Morris is a filmmaker, world-traveller and comic book writer. He’s currently working on “The Supers: the 3rd Best Super-Team in the World”