WARNING! These commentaries contain massive spoilers
Two bloggers bore witness to Batman versus Superman: Dawn of Justice on opening weekend. Their take is below:
Batman vs Superman (BvS) took what wasn’t earned.
Because this is a plainly obvious attempt to catch Marvel and present the DC super team (oddly enough, Justice League pre-dates The Avengers) on screen for fanboy bucks, I will make comparisons. I get it. I really do. Although, not a comic book aficionado, I love their universes. I watched the cartoons, braved the occasional movie and sat through TV specials. When I say the movie is disappointing, I mean it fully. The DC/Warner team has learned nothing from its predecessors and neglected to use the blue print Disney Marvel laid out over the better part of a decade.
Where to start…? The most egregious foul – killing Superman. Really? The current history of Superman is a mediocre movie, three scenes as Clark Kent newsman, and a bathtub kissing scene with an half-baked love affair. Now you kill him – and I don’t care! You have to earn that. The movie must respect the fan’s love of the character. If Cap dies in Civil War in May, it will be closing an era. Civil War is Cap’s 5th movie. If in the movie he says he’s been through a lot – you believe it. I don’t believe Superman as he has one last conversation with Louis, and I don’t believe the grieving aftermath.
The throwing together of a very important DC villain, Doomsday, and then taking him out. Even Disney Marvel has made this mistake, but not as badly. BvS chose to follow in the footsteps of Spiderman 3’s mishandling of beloved Venom. At least Spiderman had a solid background of 2 movies, one of which was the reigning comic book movie champ until The Dark Knight. Again, this 2 movie old series has not earned the destruction of Doomsday. Marvel has teased Thanos for years now as they slowly build up to an enormous event. The Death and Return of Superman and Injustice story lines deserve more than this.
Lex Luther. Stop it. You mean to tell me he masterminded this entire thing living across the bay from THIS Batman? They mention several times Batman has been at this for 20 years. I’m not buying it. Now, I will accept many plot holes in comic book movies, but when you are using Luther’s Day vs Night end game then you need to be on point at least most of the time. Sigh. It was too much to swallow too fast to allow myself to enjoy it.
I could list other grievances. So I will.
I rate these as “No, just no”
- The video playback of metahumans
- Using the term metahumans with no buy in from anyone on what/who they are (luckily I watch Arrow and Flash)
- Batman refers to Superman as his “friend” to Martha Kent minutes after nearly killing him
- Wonder Woman wearing nice clothes and seemingly just walking around at parties for no reason
- Batman’s “dream”
- Are there any buildings left in Gotham City?
There are more, but the point is there were too many holes and the expectation to take too many big moments seriously without a solid foundation. DC/Warner Bros learned nothing from X-Men 3 (a disaster), Spiderman 3 (a horrible disaster), and Amazing Spiderman 2 (a saving grace for Disney Marvel). My opinion, cut Synder out and get someone in who can pull a Bryan Singer and try to fix this…if you still can.
Before I finish, I need to say what I liked. I continue to believe DC universe is well cast. I like Henry Cavill. I’ve been a fan since his days on The Tudors. Ben Affleck plays the Batman persona well and is capable as Bruce Wayne. Gal Gadot is a believable Wonder Woman both in and out of costume. Jessie Eisenberg’s turn as Lex Luthor is not half bad either; although its still hard to believe he planned all this. Like most Snyder films, it is nicely dressed. The big budget was put to good use on the visuals side. Even still – BvS is one big *Sigh*
Jacen Hardy’s Take
When I walked out of Man of Steel, I was disappointed. Man of Steel was the Superman movie that people wanted, but to me, it wasn’t what I wanted to see. I wanted to see a symbol of hope, a man who stood for justice, someone who was better than us, who stood on a moral high ground. A lot of people just wanted to see Superman punch someone. Well, that’s what they got. I hoped that they would learn from Man of Steel and make Superman a more interesting character and someone to root for. Needless to say, I was pissed when I walked out of Batman v Superman.
I’m not going to echo what has already been said by BScotch. I echo almost all of his complaints. As a movie, this was a train wreck of nonsensical plot holes feebly trying to get the two title characters to fight. As much as this bothered me (seriously, there was 1 scene that contained dialogue that was more than a minute long during the first hour), what had me fuming was the horrible characterization of Superman. I could not cheer for this version of the character. He was not someone worthy of leading the Justice League. This sucks, because Henry Cavill could be so good, so likeable as the Man of Steel, however Zack Snyder does not understand Superman or the reason Batman v Superman should be so interesting: Contrast.
In this movie, Superman was very similar to Batman, perhaps a little less angry, but he was a more powerful version of the angsty, brooding, moody Batman. There was no contrast. Look at The Dark Knight Returns, in that comic, Superman is a perfect character to go against Batman because he is the Anti-Batman. He stands for truth, justice, and the American way; he’s a Boy Scout. You know what? That works brilliantly against Batman. They balance each other out, but most importantly, Superman has the moral high ground. Something the leader of a Superhero team needs to have. Especially one like the Justice League. The Superman in MoS and BvS is not that character or even a pale shadow of him.
In my mind, there are two characters who should never be portrayed dark and gritty: Superman and Captain America. Marvel did it right with Cap. Even in the dark and gritty world, he serves as a beacon of hope and good. He doesn’t change even when everything around him is horrible. That’s who Superman should be. Sadly, throughout the entire movie, I kept up hope that they would redeem him somehow but they failed every chance they got and then… they killed him. I wanted to get up and walk out right then. I felt nothing when he died because, as BScotch said, they hadn’t earned it. Superman had shown no qualities that made me want to root for him in either of his two movies.
I’m disappointed now because it will be years before we see a proper Superman…unless they use the Flash to reset reality and I wouldn’t be opposed to that at all.