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Why Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice SUCKS!!! (Spoiler Alert)
As an avid lover of graphic literature and someone who has a firm grasp regarding both the Batman and Superman mythos, I can promise you I am not alone in this opinion. Dawn of Justice is ultimately the thousandths example of what happens when you try to cram way too many characters into a film, which I could forgive if it isn’t a mistake that film makers have repeatedly made for the better part of the last two decades, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg of crappy production decisions. As always I will begin with the bad.
Enough of Batman’s origin story
Batman is the single most well-known comic character of all time thanks primarily in part to Christopher Nolan’s triple masterpiece, the Dark Knight Series. DC has produced no less than seven movies that have driven the point home. I could understand rehashing the issue if this was a new standalone Batman movie, which should never happen because no one will ever top the aforementioned masterpiece, but in a movie that features three power house super heroes and two of the most celebrated villains in the Superman mythos, they simply could not afford to spend 15-20 minutes of the film retelling the tragic tale of how he lost his parents, which of course included the imagery of his mother’s pearls shattering when she is killed… again.
It screwed with the pacing in the movie, which was compounded by the first hour of the film continually jumping from Batman to Superman to Lex Luther in a flurry that was really difficult to keep up with and literally put several members of the audience to sleep, not hyperbole.
Why so many dream sequences?
Unfortunately this is another Batman issue and the single most terrible point of the movie. Batman gets three dream sequences, which are meant to illustrate the subconscious terror that Bruce has in regards to Superman being unstoppable, but it’s disingenuous to the character. Bruce Wayne isn’t the kind of person who fears anything, because he isn’t afraid of death, not because he is fearless, because he genuinely doesn’t think that highly of himself. He is a self-loathing character who bares the weight of the world on his shoulders, mostly due to the guilt he feels in regards to not killing the Joker, despite the clown killing and or maiming most of his adoptive family. This portrayal of Batman ultimately wanting to duke it out with the Last Son of Krypton because he fears him, is utter nonsense and demonstrates very clearly that Zack Snyder doesn’t understand the character… at all.
The dream sequences are also part of the awkward back fourth cuts during the first hour of the movie that lead to terrible pacing. It’s just bad cinematography and one dream sequence seems to awkwardly feature a time-traveling flash, who apparently has added dream walking to his powers AND IS NEVER MENTIONED OR EXPLAINED ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM!!!!
Get it on Blue-ray
BATMAN KILLS PEOPLE… LIKE ON PURPOSE… WTF?
This will be my last rag on Batman and just to be clear, this is not a critique of Ben Affleck’s performance. Batman kills people… Batman never, ever kills people. I know there is a realist out there who watched the movie and said “about time someone got realistic about Batman. No way someone could go toe-to-toe with so many bad guys and not get killed if he didn’t kill them first.” I can’t disagree with that logic, but this is yet another betrayal of the core mythos of the character. Batman has many monologues in the comic books, mostly of him speaking to himself like a crazy person, and he is always very clear about the fact that the only thing that separates him from the Joker, because he is perfectly aware that he is missing a few marbles of his own, is that he will not kill, no matter the personal cost. Yes, Batman had a gun during the early days of his comic book series, but all the gun violence was officially retconned out of the cannon decades ago so it doesn't have any place in this or any other incarnation of the Dark Knight.
It is an idea that is so important to the Batman character that even Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight, one of the most celebrated graphic novels of all time, where Bruce Wayne is in his 50s trying to fight crime in a body that is failing him, he still refuses to kill his enemies despite nearly dying several times throughout the novel. Yet he is seen repeatedly killing people throughout the course of the movie, straight up shooting people, which is another sore point because Batman loathes using firearms…. because he might accidently kill someone… I really hope you get the point I’m making.
Let me preface this with I don’t blame Jesse Eisenberg. He was casted to deliver a particular script, not his fault it was a bad one. The Lex Luther in this movie is some kind of messed up amalgamation of Lex Luther and the Joker. Like Lex, he is rich, loves to wear white, a snob but instead of being the cool collected evil hiding behind a mask a benevolence, he is coo coo for coco puffs. The character was written in such a Jokeresque manner that there were moments when I honestly felt like he was going to pop up in the next scene wearing all purple with green hair and a terrible make-up job. Another, “WTF Snyder,” moment to round out the utter crappiness of this movie.
Get it on DVD with Amazon Prime
Super Doomsday Boy
Normally, I don’t have an issue with tweaking origin stories to fit the medium, but the entire Doomsday arc they inserted into this film was a terribly amalgamation of two characters. One of which is supposed to be Superman’s son, technically. The original Doomsday story is that he was a Kryptonian science project. Some mad scientist made a baby that couldn’t die. Every time something killed the baby, it would come back to life evolved and was unable to die by the same means again. This process of the killing the baby over and over again eventually created a super powered being who was and still is unkillable. That aspect of the character wasn’t really changed much, but the new story was actually part of how Lex Luther cloned Superman by combining Cal’s DNA with his own, because previous attempts at cloning Kryptonians created monstrosities like Bizzaro. That binary clone would eventually become Super Boy.
I don’t assume they will ever give Super Boy his own movie or even bring him into the universe they are trying to create, but why mix Doomsday’s perfectly good origin story with Superboys by having Lex use his own DNA as a catalyst for Zod’s corpse being transformed into a Kryptonian abomination? Again this is just bad writing, because it doesn’t add anything meaningful to the story, what so ever.
I could sit here and write a 20 page research paper demonstrating how terrible the movie is, but for brevities sake I’ll just list the rest of the really bad decisions.
1: The Death of Superman made DC Comics ridiculously rich. The subsequent Return of Superman is the most despised storyline in all of graphic literature because it made death in comic books utterly meaningless. Max Landis did a YouTube video that explains why this was such a terrible idea that the production company should have rejected the script, watch and learn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PlwDbSYicM
2: There is zero explanation as to how Batman and Superman figured out each other’s alter egos, despite seemingly being oblivious to each other’s status as super heroes in previous scenes.
3.There is a conspiracy regarding Superman killing people that jumps from Superman saving Lois to all of sudden Congress being pissed without any kind of transition… #bad story telling.
4: Batman decides not to kill superman because their mom’s have the same name… let that sink in. Yeah I know, terrible plot.
5: Nuclear bomb kills Superman, but it’s okay because he was in space, so the sun brought him back from his decrepit zombie state. #Sarcasm
6: Batman and Superman become besties…. seconds after Bruce tries to kill him.
7: It hurts my brain to keep telling you how much more of the movie sucked beyond belief and if you are wondering why I haven't said anything about Wonder Woman, its because she was treated as nothing more than a pretty prop throughout the movie. There is even a scene where she steals a hard drive from Bruce, because there is a photo of her in it that proves she isn't a human being, but when she cant decrypt the drive... SHE GIVES IT BACK, knowing that Bruce will crack the hard drive, and see the photo, that she doesn't want anyone to see thus blowing her cover... why the hell didn't she just destroy the drive, problem solved. #Snyder really fucked this movie up.
Despite the movie’s many glaring inconsistencies and terrible script decisions, it wasn’t all bad. The acting was actually fairly awesome. They delivered in every respect and Ben Affleck, despite the hordes of nay sayers, gave us a Bruce Wayne whose performance was on par with Christian Bale’s portrayal. It’s not his fault that the writing was terrible. The casting decision for Wonder Woman was fantastic and Cavill delivered us the Superman we fell in love with during Man of Steele. It’s unfortunate that this is the only positive thing I can say about the entire 153 minutes of the film. This movie unequivocally fails at generating any desire to watch the larger cinematic universe DC is trying to build.