Batman V Superman Fails In All The Ways That Man Of Steel Succeeded

Batman V Superman Fails In All The Ways That Man Of Steel Succeeded

Three years ago, Superman got his own Christopher Nolan-influenced movie reboot, full of brooding portents and Kryptonian politics. Man of Steel was a pretty good movie, albeit one with serious flaws. Now the sequel is out, and it deals with a lot of the same ideas and themes. And fumbles them completely.

Minor spoilers ahead. Like, if you’ve seen the trailers, you’ll be OK.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that critics generally don’t like Batman v Superman. I agree with them. It’s a shitshow, without any redeeming qualities. I’m not sure how much I have to add to what other people have already said about this film — except that I’m in a somewhat unique position as someone who quite liked Man of Steel and loathed Batman v. Superman. So I’m mostly going to talk about why I think one works and the other doesn’t.

Batman V Superman Fails In All The Ways That Man Of Steel Succeeded

First off, Batman v Superman is technically a sequel to Man of Steel, but it’s more properly a do-over. It’s the same movie, more or less, with the same structure and the same themes. Basically, both movies ask, “Can we accept Kal-El as an ok guy, even though he’s an alien?” Everyone chews over this for two hours, then there’s a big-arse fight and we get an answer. Except this time, there’s Batman.

So why do I think Man of Steel manages to be a satisfying movie (just about), but Batman v. Superman is as boring as watching compost break down? I’ve thought about this a lot, the past few days, and I think it comes down to four things: 1) Story. 2) Genre. 3) Characters. 4) Action.

I’m just going to go thru them one by one.

1) Story

Man of Steel has a lot of shortcomings, but one thing it has going for it is a very solid arc, and a real through-line, that actually pays off.

What few people seem to get about Man of Steel is, it’s actually a very optimistic movie. Here’s what happens: Kal-El is sent to Earth, the survivor of a doomed planet, and is raised by the Kents, who fear what’ll happen to him if other people find out he’s an alien. So they urge him to keep his powers secret, and Pa Kent even sacrifices his life to deter Clark from using his powers publicly. Years later, some more aliens show up, and they’re evil as all fuck. Superman is forced to emerge from hiding to fight them.

So the first time anybody finds out about Superman is not when he saves a plane from crashing, but when he gets caught up in a giant scrape with other members of his own species. This scenario stacks the deck massively against anybody ever accepting, let alone welcoming, Superman. But because Superman shows so much concern for human life, and is clearly fighting to protect Earth from his own kind, he wins people over.

Batman V Superman Fails In All The Ways That Man Of Steel Succeeded

As I said in my review back in the day, Christopher Meloni has the single most important line of dialogue in the whole movie, when he says of Superman: “This man is not our enemy.” It’s lucky that they got an actor of Meloni’s calibre to deliver that line, so it actually registers instead of seeming cheesy or a throwaway. It’s actually a powerful moment, and a turning point in the film.

Man of Steel‘s whole point is that xenophobia can be overcome, and that people are actually capable of distinguishing between Superman and General Zod, even in a fraught situation. I will generally forgive a lot if a movie has a solid narrative through-line, and a beginning, middle and end that actually add up to something, and Man of Steel aces that. (Even as it stumbles in other areas.)

Meanwhile, I could narrate the excessively convoluted plot of Batman v. Superman for you (if I wasn’t trying to avoid spoilers) — but there’s no way to describe the story of the film. There’s no there there, and the closest the film comes to having an arc is kind of flimsy and falls apart if you even look at it. This movie’s version of Meloni’s pivotal line is so laughable, your face will hurt.

Batman V Superman Fails In All The Ways That Man Of Steel Succeeded

Basically, everything in Man of Steel clearly comes from the film-makers thinking about Superman, and the fact that he’s an undercover alien, and trying to figure out what story they can tell about that, one that’s never been told before. Everything in Batman v. Superman, meanwhile, comes from the title. You know you’re making a movie where Batman and Superman have to fight, so you have to reverse-engineer a plot that justifies it. It’s the worst kind of inductive reasoning.

Throw in an unexamined ambition to pay tribute to Frank Miller’s famous Bats/Supes slugfest in 1986’s The Dark Knight Returns, and you’re left with a movie that has no center of gravity, one that just barely lives up to its title but delivers nothing real.

And I’m just gonna leave this 2005 quote from Batman v. Superman co-writer David S. Goyer here: “Batman vs. Superman is where you go when you admit to yourself that you’ve exhausted all possibilities… It’s somewhat of an admission that the franchise is on its last gasp.” (I already quoted it here, but it bears repeating.)

2) Genre

Director Zack Snyder is really good at a few things, chief among them splashy imagery. He’s basically perfected the “comic book panel in live action” thing that Robert Rodriguez and a few others have toyed with, using CG effects, greenscreen and a ton of slow-mo to create a splash page on a big screen.

Snyder’s films superficially belong to various genres, but by and large, he only does one: pulp action.

In Man of Steel, Snyder’s penchant for the kinetic-but-static image gets a bit grating after a while, but it works with the story in a few ways: The sterility goes well with the alien society of Krypton, and helps us feel Clark Kent’s alienation. The lingering shots of laundry and cornfields convey wistfulness. The alien attack is vaguely awe-inspiring. Etc. But mostly, Man of Steel uses Snyder’s stylised-pulp gimmicks in the service of a pulpy story about aliens who come to Earth looking for a skull full of DNA. Man of Steel is a comic-booky story about aliens, with a Nolanesque sheen.

Batman V Superman Fails In All The Ways That Man Of Steel Succeeded

Meanwhile, Batman v. Superman is a genre mutt, and not in an interesting way. This is not because Batman and Superman belong to different genres — which is what I was thinking at first, when I was trying to puzzle this out. Rather, the genre confusion happens because someone (co-writer Chris Terrio?) has tried to graft a political thriller onto a superhero slugfest.

Batman v. Superman is not actually a political thriller — the plot has almost nothing to do with politics, or conspiracy, or government, or other things that political thrillers are generally about. But the movie spends tons and tons of energy creating the trappings of a political thriller, basically out of nothing. There are endless scenes where people dig for classified secrets, or talk about mysterious codephrases. People say things like, “I’ve denied your import licence” with bloody-minded seriousness. None of this stuff amounts to anything, but it’s where the movie’s energy is.

And the fact that the “political thriller” ends up being the world’s shaggiest shaggy dog story is just part of the problem. This movie also wants to have Something to Say about the American zeitgeist — and just as I surmised, there is an elaborate metaphor about fascism and hero-worship. If you thought Bane’s weird “Occupy Wall Street” posturing in The Dark Knight Rises was spot-on and relevant, you’ll probably still find this stuff tiresome and incoherent.

Batman V Superman Fails In All The Ways That Man Of Steel Succeeded

The other problem, though, is that if Batman v. Superman actually had the guts of a political thriller to go with its borrowed skin, the last person you would hire to direct it is Zack Snyder. His lens clambers past an endless succession of government chambers, corporate headquarters and newspaper offices — even this movie’s Batcave looks like a weird industrial loading deck — and he finds nothing to fix onto.

This is where Snyder and Christopher Nolan part ways. Nolan would have had a field day with this material, and you might not even care that it’s pointless and dumb. Snyder can do a reasonable job of adapting Nolan’s “dark, gritty” approach to superheroes to his own style, but he’s at a total loss with this thriller stuff.

3) Characters

In both films, Henry Cavill’s Superman is a constipated cipher. His personality consists of a bored scowl, his charisma is nil. Man of Steel surrounds him with somewhat more memorable characters — with mixed results, admittedly. But Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Amy Adams and to some extent Russell Crowe all work hard to anchor the movie’s emotional arc, and there are some moments of real feeling, here and there.

Meanwhile, Batman v. Superman‘s other characters are either given short shrift, or are just as unlikable as Cavill’s Superman.

Batman, for instance, is a psychotic thug. Bruce witnessed the carnage, and decided to blame Superman even though he saw firsthand that the worst destruction was caused by those floating alien death platforms that Superman was trying to destroy. And now, Bruce is convinced that Superman is just too powerful to be allowed to continue being Super — because, as he says, if there’s even a one per cent chance that Superman is our enemy, we have to treat it as a 100 per cent certainty.

Batman V Superman Fails In All The Ways That Man Of Steel Succeeded

As part of the movie’s belabored fascist metaphor, Bruce has nightmares (visions?) in which Superman becomes a dictator over a post-apocalyptic world, aided by an army of Super-stormtroopers and flying monkeys. This doesn’t feel much like Batman — not because he’s so brutal and demented, but because the real Batman is a lot smarter than this.

Simply put, this movie has an idiot plot, and Batman is the idiot.

And then there’s Lex Luthor. Someone clearly told Jesse Eisenberg that this movie is the Dark Knight to Man of Steel‘s Batman Begins, and he’s doing his damndest to give a Heath Ledger-esque performance. There are a lot of cackling and muttering and gesticulation and squawking. Watching the trailers, I had thought Eisenberg’s loopy acting might be this movie’s saving grace — but a concentrated dose of his faux mania actually turns out to be the worst thing, and it fits weirdly with the movie’s desperate craving to be taken seriously.

Batman V Superman Fails In All The Ways That Man Of Steel Succeeded

Jeremy Irons, as Alfred, is mostly there to be a sounding board for Batman’s bizarre rants, and to deliver the important message that fearing what you don’t understand will turn you into a monster. (He practically winks at the camera as he says that.)

There are no likable characters in this overstuffed film. There aren’t even any interesting characters in this film. To some extent, this goes back to the aforementioned problems with story and genre, but also excerbates them.

4) Action

There are plenty of reasons to watch superhero movies — for the fun and escapism, for the big questions about power and responsibility, for the themes of heroism. But one of the main reasons to watch a superhero film is for the punching. There’s something satisfying and enjoyable about watching people with extraordinary powers or skills wail on each other.

Batman V Superman Fails In All The Ways That Man Of Steel Succeeded

The action in Man of Steel was bloody fantastic. Superman and his fellow Kryptonians throw down with some clever, exciting uses of superspeed, flight, strength and heat vision. I actually did not mind that those fight scenes go on for ages, because they’re beautiful. Not only that, but those fights help tell the story, because you see Superman’s learning curve, and meanwhile the other Kryptonians slowly realise they don’t need their fancy armour.

A movie called Batman v. Superman is going to live or die based on the quality of its fight scenes. And… they’re completely humdrum. There are a few good moves here and there, and Wonder Woman has a couple of killer images. But the super-fighting is almost all just kind of… there. Even leaving aside the fact that everything leading up to the big fight sequence is mind-numbing, the actual fighting is just kind of adequate. The CG takes over. There’s a lot of people being whacked through walls and floors, but not a lot of sense of motion or urgency. People are just flying around and being flung everywhere, like pseudo-wirework. All the best bits are in the trailers.

Batman V Superman Fails In All The Ways That Man Of Steel Succeeded

Maybe Snyder took to heart all the criticisms of the wanton destruction in Man of Steel? (This whole movie, after all, is just an elaborate meta-discussion of that issue.) Whatever the reason, there’s just not the same joyful brawling as the first movie, and the fighting doesn’t pack the same narrative punch, either.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Man of Steel. And that’s why I’m sad that Batman v. Superman, is essentially a rehash of that earlier film, using the same basic structure and engages with all the same ideas — except with the grace and agility of a man with all his fingers duct-taped to each other, and then to a styrofoam beer cooler.


  • I personally loved Jesse’s performance. Nice fresh version of Luther and deliciously evil.

    • Interesting. I really wasn’t a fan. He was over acting so much it was almost physically painful to watch occasionally. Nice fresh version, like you say, but I felt he could have toned it down a bit, especially given how low-key Affleck and Cavill’s performances were (especially Cavill’s)

    • Oh that was Lex Luthor?? I thought he was the Riddler. Now it all makes sense! (Just kidding, no it doesn’t)

  • This movie is a mess. I just saw it last night and its such a shame. DC blew their load in a desperate attempt to catch marvel instead of slowly, methodically building a world then leading up to this. They needed another superman movie and the wonder woman movie to come out before this. Stand alone movies that dropped hints at other characters of the universe like how marvel did things. Instead we get everything delivered to us in a fucking email. Its such a wasted opportunity.

    Affleck and Irons killed it as Batman and Alfred, Gadot was a spectacular wonder woman and only a fool would try to argue against the action and cinematography, but sadly as a movie on the whole it was just bad.

    Well thats my rant. Sadly DC fanboys will be too defensive and Marvel fanboys will be to obnoxious to garner anything constructive out of this but I feel better after venting.

    • In my opinion the action was horribly choreographed. Superman is capable of throwing people through walls by holding them with one leg, sure. When batman does the same thing it just means the choreographer has a very limited range of moves for superheroes. When everyone’s fighting is dependent on wire work it all looks stupid.

    • I’ll argue against the action. Aside from that one batman scene, the fight choreography was either wilfully boring or completely non existent.

      Instead of seeing a sequence of action and reaction, most fights were either a super slow mo comic pane or a dot whizzing into a distant building. And everything was done in single second cuts.

      Daredevil, a TV show without flashy powers, made the fighting in this film look utterly pedestrian.

  • Regardless of what any one person thinks about it, there has been a bizarre cottage industry created out of ‘hey I can be a critic too’ pieces about this movie.

    Even the word ‘piece’ is something I’ve never quite liked when used in that context.

    ‘Piece’ as in ‘art piece’, as in ‘gaze upon this work I have laboured over’. The author may very well write something I agree with, or actually write something fantastic anyway, but it still – through no fault of their own – comes off as smug and stand-offish.

    I’m not saying this article does it, but when post-mortems on a movie try and convey themselves as more than a companion to said movie, but as something superior to its actual subject, I turn off completely.

    I don’t know, it’s hard to put into words this soon after a big break.

    I also don’t want to direct ire towards any one post or website so I’m refraining from linking any in particular.

  • One thing people need to understand sometimes movies are there to entertain, not to nitpick every little flaw and falsehood. I enjoyed it, yes there were a lot of gaps and things but it was an entertaining experience.

    • There was a solid hour and a half of not entertaining content in this movie. The fight was the best part but it felt completely hollow. The prelude to the fight made no sense and was’t interesting.
      What was the whole “import license” story line? It went nowhere
      The special bullets made no sense either. Trying to frame Superman for killings with bullets?
      Wonder Woman was utterly wasted on this movie too, having no meaningful place except to be a prelude to the next movie

      • This, not many people got what I was talking about with the Bullets and trying to frame Superman.

        Not to mention the senate scene, I am pretty sure Superman has the skill set to remove that bomb from the room before it actually explodes. He can save Lois but not his mum, the dude can hear every heart beat on the planet you’d think his mothers would be at the forefront

        • Yeah WTH was that part!!!! Bullets…really bullets..that’s how you frame superman…smh that makes no sense!!!

      • I don’t think the bullets were trying to frame Superman for killing with bullets, but rather as an attempt at framing him for causing destruction wherever he goes. The public wouldn’t care if it was Superman that killed those people or not, just that he showed up and people died.

        That being said, the special bullets were even worse. They were meant to be some kind of slip up to tell us that it was Lex. If you’re going to hire Mercenaries, wouldn’t you just buy regular bullets wholesale? Instead they decided to use special R&D bullets to, what, save money? That’s ridiculous. It was an attempt of telling everyone that Lex is behind everything.

        Which is rendered kind of pointless when Lex kidnaps Lois and basically tells her everything anyway. The Special Bullets were basically a redundant story line. Could have just had them use regular bullets from an American Wallmart and nothing would have changed

        • I don’t know that seems like kind of a stretch there bud….I think they were literally entertaining the Idea that superman killed them with a gun…?? smh

  • So is this an actual “VS” movie where there is a winner, or is this like Freddy V Jason where no-one won at the end…?

    • Yes, but with a cop-out.

      Batman wins. His plan comes together, the beatdown is well and truly delivered, and Bats is ready to deliver the deathblow to Supes when plot intervenes and appeals to his emotion in a fairly tacky way.

    • Actually, one of the few things I liked about the movie is that there was a clear winner! If there was a ref there they would have called the fight and help up the victors hand while the other laid broken and beaten. I was expecting a cop-out where they get interrupted by doomsday and out ther differences aside without finishing their fight.

  • Damn. I really don’t get the hate. The plot made sense, it moved things along the way it needed to, set up Justice League, and gave us the best screen Batman+Alfred we’ve ever seen. Supes probably could’ve done with some more emoting, but almost everything he did, said, and appeared to feel, made perfect sense. If we had another HOUR maybe we could’ve gone even more in-depth into the political and sociological planetary ramifications of not only realizing that we are not alone in the universe but that aliens have godlike power, but all of the political, social, emotional, religious, philosophical upheaval was at least hinted at.

    Actual spoilers:

    Yeah, the dream sequences were a bit on the nose, but they always are, and at least we had the time-travelling Flash prophet to drag us closer to cartoon/comic DC pantheon and all of its devices.

    And oh my god, I would watch another one that was ALL Batman. Talk about stealing the show.

    Battfleck just fucking nailed it. A Dark Knight who’s actually dark without being some broody emo angstball. He’s over it and he’s kicking ass. He pulled off the cartoon/comic’s more calculating, better-informed version in a way Bale never could. And I can’t believe it took until this movie for Hollywood to realize an in-suit voice-synthesizer was a much better solution than ruining actors’ throats on ludicrously pointless ‘Batman voice’.

    • Agreed on Ben Affleck, I was never one of those haters who were upset with the casting at all, but he definitely delivered above and beyond expectations. This weekend he revealed that he and Geoff Johns are working on “something” together, so definitely sounds like a solo movie will be coming sooner rather than later – bring it on!

      • I agree re the performance, Affleck was great, but Bruce is meant to be incredibly intelligent, and the story made him look like a dumbarse. Great performance, and the darkness and violence of the character was spot on, but he comes off as willfully stupid the way the story plays out.

    • i saw it. enjoyed it ( not a big superman or dc fan in general, but know bits and pieces) and the only things i hated were Doomsday (looks liker a troll from lord of the rings) and Jesse’s Joker/Riddler version of Lex Luther. I was against Batfleck when it was first revealed, But im happily eating crow now because he was excellent

    • While I feel like the movie was about a two star, you touched on a few things I really liked about it. My favourite parts were definitely the political and social swirl around the existence of an all powerful, seemingly alien being. I want to watch two hours of those talk show, news and TV clippings where people philosophise over the controversy. I’m not even joking, that shits really appealing to me.

      I also loved Batman’s voice altering tech. When he stands up to Superman and asked him if he bleeds it gave me chills. I mean, no one stands up to Superman. Batman has zero powers and he’s standing there, not at all intimidated and his voice is booming. Whoever worked on that filter nailed it. I loved that.

      • And I get that people have expressed disappointment that there wasn’t more Supes and more of his complexity being explained and put in front of us to see, but what was there was totally believable. I mean, can you imagine being exposed to the entirety of the world’s reaction to the certainty of supremely powerful alien life and human insignificance, simultaneously loving and hating your best efforts to save lives in a real and meaningful way, people you used to respect and care about taking a line that you should become a tool of the government, with all that that entails, and having to deal with the fact that you did that? All while trying to come to grips with your own guilt shit over the lives you destroyed and the very hands-on, traumatic experience of murdering someone – up-close – who was one of the last of your species.
        I’d have been pretty fucking reserved and reclusive as well.

        But they really could’ve put more of it on the screen. Maybe had Lois be an actual confidant, who he could vent all his frustrations and insecurities to. His process, etc. I think going the Stoic was a bad idea. That’s Bats’ job and he did it better than anyone.

        • I wouldn’t say I was disappointed there wasn’t more of it, what I mean is that the social/political stuff in the movie was really well done and left me wanting more. I’m pretty excited about Civil War because of the same questions. I anticipate Marvel’s handling of the super hero issue to be a little more light weight, as is their style.

          I just like that whole angle of what would be the actual reaction to super powered beings existing. As a kid a loved the retro batman TV show cause Batman beat up thugs with a POW and as a teen I enjoyed pondering X-Men’s more heady themes of mutant registration and the monitoring of those powers. I really dug the brief part in Ironman 2 where the government is pressuring Stark into accountability for his power,

          Maybe there should be a whole movie that’s not about the heroes, but the ramifications of their existence. It could be centred around a court case. Probably no one would see it except me … I shouldn’t make movies.

          • I would see it! But I got a kick out of watching Ludlam handle Screen Australia’s estimates hearing, soooo… not the typical audience probably.

          • The best part what when a guy asks “should there be a superman?” To which senator lady replies ” … there is.” It was a powerful and simple summary of the situation.

          • I’d see that movie!

            I love it when the real-world ramifications of these things are discussed, so I’m with you on loving all of that stuff in the film. Superhero entertainment doesn’t have to just be escapism – it can be philosophical too!

        • Battfleck pretty good. And Bruce being “idiot” is make sense, when the plot robin mia/kia in 20 years bat’s battle, couple of bat’s friend died. It’s to build up a plot where is batman no longer hold his code of justice anymore, and become ruthless, and we all know when people has emotion like this, they cant think normally.

          This Bat doesnt even care about the enemies, he just use machine and gattling gun, even shotgun. Batman killing people. This is why Brucefleck seems like idiot. Even there is a scene where Bruce and Alfred doesnt agree.

    • Honestly? It felt like you could cut half the movie or more and nothing in the plot or development would change. It felt like Snyder tried to make three different movie (or the same movie in three different attempts) and just spliced them together. I’m gonna go in depth here

      The Batman movie felt separate from the rest. Here you have a bit of a suave spy movie feeling, and it’s going well. You have it’s own goal and reasons (Human trafficking and dirty bomb) that just gets changed up to make it fit in with the rest. Batman just happens to discover that the dirty bomb isn’t a dirty bomb but it’s really Kryptonite, and then suddenly we forget all about the Human Trafficking? Seriously, his very first introduction was him freeing women. It’s what made him disillusioned. It’s what made him who he is. But that just gets chucked aside with a little bit swapped out to make it fit

      The second movie is the Superman movie. We have some political things, some love scenes and a battle to remain himself and in a relationship and not being exiled. You have some random investigative reporting, you have some struggle with the relationship that’s set up and then not really mentioned, you have the duality between God and Devil going and you have some protests by people who were hurt in the attack. It never felt like the guy in the wheelchair was meant to be connected to Batman. The scene where his legs are cut off and where Bruce finds out that he’s not accepting money just feels duck-taped on. Are we really saying Mr. Super Boss there who saves this guys life never actually checked up on him after wards? Didn’t see how his rehab was going? Didn’t make sure he had prosthetic or a better wheelchair? It just doesn’t seem to fit. You can tell this guy belonged to the Superman movie, not the Batman movie.

      Then you have the actual fighting movie. The motivations aren’t really built up, they’re kind of pushed randomly to the end of the other two movies. It’s never made clear why Superman wants Batman to piss off. There’s like, one fight scene between the two that Batman somehow managed to have choreographed perfectly despite never having fought superman. Then there’s Doomsday randomly coming in having barely been given a reason to be there and Wonderwomen just swoops in and kicks the things ass. Was about 2 minutes away from killing it by herself before Superman decides he’s going to die that day (I think he did this on purpose. He didn’t need to die, but I think he decided to kill himself so that people wouldn’t target his family and loved ones).

      All in all, it felt like three distinct movies that they cut up and spliced together and swapped out crucial points to kind of glue them together, and it came out like a mess. It just didn’t feel like one movie. It didn’t feel like a single coherent story.

      Edit: It’s decided to make three spoiler tags even though I only used one. They’re three paragraphs, but they’re meant to be one long rant, with the paragraphs just for formatting

  • I thought the score was the highlight of this movie, i also liked all the batman murder. Even if its terribly out of character.

    • You gotta be kidding me. The score was horrendous – same old overplayed horn blast sounds that every single current superhero/action movie uses endlessly, paired with some awful and inappropriate 80s hair metal orchestral pieces that overdramatised almost every encounter.

      The whole film was sensory fatigue in the worst possible way.

    • its not that out character, Michael Keatons Batman killed quiet a few mooks, probablt more than Affleck’s version

        • I dunno… everything about the ‘darker’ Batman…s (Batmen?) speaks to pragmatism, with dips into the kind of morality that other – more idealistic – heroes balk at. It’s kind of his place within the JLA: the guy who has a plan to take down every hero he meets.

          To be playing the role of the ‘one who does what needs to be done’ AND playing the idealist who ‘never kills’ seems a bit like having your cake and eating it, too. To my mind, the morality of returning fire on a heavy machine-gun is pretty cut and dried. He clearly tries not to kill anyone when it’s possible, but he’s also just as clearly not particularly cut up about when he hasn’t been left a choice.

          • My problem is pretty simple: Bruce Wayne, orphaned at age 8 by a gun-wielding thug, would never use a gun to end a human life. Maybe, /maybe/ he could use one non-lethally, like he does with the tracking dart – although he should have Batarang’d it, it would have been cooler – but never ever to kill.

            It just seems bizarre to me that someone could make a two and a half hour monument to The Dark Knight Returns and gloss over the panel where Batman says “guns are the weapon of the enemy”.

          • Thank you! I couldnt have said it better. This should have been the last movie in the Justice League Trilogy, then we could of had the Green Arrow get Supes with the gas.

            What happens in the next film? Batman doesn’t kill anymore? how is he any better than the criminals? At least then if this was the last movie in the trilogy they could have played off this Batman doesn’t care any more BS. It feels like a cop out, like they couldn’t come up with a way to take out the bad guys with non lethal force.

          • Well, it does feel to me like Bruce’s humanity and belief in humanity – and belief in his own humanity – obviously nonexistent at the beginning of the film, is restored by the end, by Clark’s sacrifice and by the realization that even godlike aliens have mothers. I would think that Batman would change how he operated in the future. “For him, I have to be better.” sort of thing. Very much similar to how Oliver Queen has changed over the course of the show Arrow.

          • I stopped watching Arrow after S02, it got boring I can only hear that I need to be better BS and I don’t want to get my friends hurt to a certain extent. Has it gotten better? Id go back if it has.

            I can see where you’re a coming from, but Bruce has visible grey hairs in BvS he can’t have too much time left on the Justice League Roster. So at the same time why would he change now?

  • I liked it overall but they tried to put too much in to one movie, and the flow was just so off it made it difficult to enjoy the scenes, they just jumped around so much and were all anti-climatic. If I switched off my brain it is an alright movie but as a contender against Marvel they have no chance.

  • Went and saw the movie this weekend with the mrs and we both actually really enjoyed the movie. The start was rocky and there were a few disjointed scenes; we both agreed lex luthor seemed like a nutter as opposed to a manipulative psychopath but all up enjoyed the experience. The last scene was particularly cool/subtle.

  • I enjoyed the movie, but was ultimately disappointed. I was very excited about it, so hard to live up to my hype in the first place, but still feel it missed the mark…

    After thinking about it, I feel the biggest issue is that it seems to be a much longer movie edited down to a shorter movie (though still very long!). Some things are glossed over really quickly (Batman/Superman fight ending/resolution) while some characters motivations needed more fleshing out (Lex, for example).

    Hopefully the 3 hour cut will remedy this, but I feel they could have dropped the Lois stuff, the awkward JL tie ins (thanks for designing the logos, Lex!) and made a much more concise movie.

    In saying all that, I do want to see it again – I especially want to pay closer attention to THAT cameo after the “Knightmare” sequence.

    • Haha, oh man, if they use the logos that Lexcorp came up with… Talk about adding insult to injury.

  • I was very Luke warm on the movie. I took the family to the drive in and the kids completely tuned out. After having them ask me “dad, when does this movie finish?” during Man of Steel I now realise that the DC cinematic universe isn’t for kids, or kids of all ages, leave your sense of heroism, wonder and general super hero vibes at the door.

    My problems are pretty numerous but I’ll try to boil them down. Why does Lex hate Superman? I get that he thinks Superman is too powerful but his motivations feel inflated for the purposes of making him a villan. I was waiting for the scene where we find out the secret reason Lex hates Sup so much.

    Why does Batman hate Superman so much? Because he endangers lives and destroys shit? I could swallow that if batman didn’t shoot up the place with missles and machine gun turrets while destroying cars and (most probably) people.

    The whole Lex forces Sup to fight Bat by kidnapping his mother sucked. The lead up to the showdown was actually pretty tense and Superman even threatened Batman to stop. It was shaping up to be a real battle of ideals and egos but that was all dashed by forcing Superman to fight. At this point the fight is about a misunderstanding made all the more awkward that it could be ended by a sentence. For fucks sake Superman, your mother has minutes to live and you wait until there’s a kryptonite spear dangling above you to choke out your mother’s name!? The whole fight I was thinking “just explain the situation, your mother’s time is running out.”

    Wonder Woman is pointless. You could delete her from the story and nothing would change. She’s there because Snyder wants get there, but she’s inconsequential to the story. I wish she had some gravity to the situation or anchored some characters/plot points/arc. She felt wasted.

    Superman’s death was blown. No one believed is was legit because the movie is called Dawn of Justice, so you already know it’s part 1 of the big adventure. And then go and show you at the end that he’s still alive. Why? What’s the point in making the audience think he may possibly be dead for 15 minutes? I didn’t need it and it didn’t heighten the emotion, it made the whole funeral segments seem pointless – we have to endure pretentious funeral processions and national mourning and slow motion cannon firing in an already way too long movie for a character that we know is going to leap out of their grave any second. Why not kill superman in a later movie when people actually might buy into his death and then have to wait 2-3 years for the next movie to find out if he’s actually dead?

    The YouTube style videos of the other heroes made me cringe. It felt like they should have been post credits scenes or something. They’re trying to set up this gritty, realistic world that is more or less ashamed of its campy source material and then you throw in these trailers for the other heroes and it felt really tacky.

    I liked it more than Man of Steel. Maybe it’s because of Batman, if you add Batman to anything it makes it better.

    • I think there was some great scenes in the film, most involving Batfleck and Alfred, and also (sue me) Lex. The jar of piss labelled ‘Granny’s Ice Tea’ and the whole antagonism between Lex and the Kentucky senator was great. The only weird part about that was the repetition of the line about the oldest lie in America only 10 minutes after the first time. It was unnecessary, especially in light of the jar above.

      Most of your points are reasonable, I guess, but the really bizarre ones are smaller and excruciating; Superman and his selective super hearing. How can he hear Lois in trouble on the other side of the planet, but can’t hear her dropping a bullet into her bag behind a door? Why did Superman just let the truck go after stopping the Batmobile? Why do the CIA need to track the location of the the terrorist cell with a hidden locator in a camera, when they are flying drones overhead 24/7? What the hell is with the cherry jolly rancher?

      Why does Lex hate Superman?

      I thought this was explained fairly well in the movie. He was transferring his anger and hate of his father onto an external figure. He basically used logic to conclude that God, and therefore Superman(a proxy god), must be either not all-powerful or not all-good. He felt he must prove that Superman was a ‘fraud’. You have to remember that this is all framed through a mind that was fundamentally damaged by the wrongs committed against him by his father.

      The Lex philanthropy speech was done well, IMO. He came across as a kid who wants to prove to his father that he isn’t weak, even after years of emotional abuse. He showed real emotion in a movie mostly devoid of that. I went in expecting to hate Jesse Eisenberg and came out really having enjoyed his part in the movie. I think both Lex and Batman learned the same lesson from their parents; “Life only makes sense when you force it to.”

      But that’s just my thoughts.

      • I didn’t mind Lex at all to be honest. I’m not really into superman so I don’t have any ideal image of how Lex should be portrayed so maybe that’s why, but yeah, he was fine in my opinion.

  • I’m really torn over this movie. There were some parts I absolutely loved (Affleck’s elder Batman, Gadot’s Wonder Woman, the epic fight scene with Doomsday) but there were other parts I actually cringed at, primarily Eisenberg’s Luthor who wasn’t any sort of recognisable Lex Luthor.

    I should probably mention that I quite liked Man of Steel. I do think that there needs to be more work on the human/Clark side of the Superman character as that felt very lacking in both MoS and here in BvS. Cavill plays a great Superman but not so great as Clark.

    The nightmare scene felt completely unnecessary and tacked on, not to mention Snyder broke one of the cardinal rules of Batman in that he doesn’t use guns. Ever.

    The big titular fight scene was resolved far too quickly and conveniently for my liking. I get where they were going with it, with the shared mother’s name and all that, but it just came off as a cop out rather than a satisfying resolution to the conflict.

    The cameos from Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg were very disappointing. They may as well have not even bothered with them and just saved them for Justice League.

    And speaking of Flash, really not a fan of Ezra Miller as Barry Allen. Still bites that they didn’t opt to stick with Grant Gustin and bring the TV show’s existing fanbase with him!

    Also, why is it that Batman fashioned the Kryptonite into a spear? The man loves his high-tech gadgets and the best he can come up with for a weapon against Superman is a primitive spear?

    And how is it Supes was able to fly so far carrying the spear when a Kryptonite gas grenade knocked him on his ass almost instantly?

    And how did Batman get Wonder Woman’s e-mail?! 😛

  • Too many tangled threads I found. The movie could be edited into a different order with a handful of scenes removed and be the better for it. It’s like reading a Tolkien book, constantly moving between disjointed scenes that only work if you are paying extremely close attention to every thread.

  • Watched it yesterday, bigtime batman fan that doesn’t particularly care for the rest of the DC universe, Batfleck was actually much better than I expected but why is he a rent-a-cop at the start of the movie in the cheap ass jeep… superman is just lame, maybe the flying is the problem it just always looks terrible. Amy Adams was playing the same character she always plays in every movie. Jessie as Lex I didn’t mind but that’s because I don’t care they mucked around with that universe. Batman killing people is my second biggest gripe with the wonder-woman theme music being the worst part of the film. But still worth seeing at the cinema.

  • Hmmm, a very poor article/opinion about the movie. It shows clearly that the persons who have not read the comic books have no idea what is happening in the movie. It also shows that, for some persons, sometime, the action of a movie, can be very difficult to follow and therefor to understand. The difference between Marvel and DC is that the DC Universe is darker, without those cheap jokes which can be found in almost all Marvel movies (Iron Man and The Avengers especially). Also, those “flying monkeys” are actually Darkseid’s soldiers, which will probably be the Justice League’s antagonist. Of course, if you would have had any knowledge about the DC Universe, you would have known that. Snyder has done a great job following the story from the comics.

  • I enjoyed the movie, it wasn’t perfect but I don’t think it was the disaster a lot of people are claiming it to be. Regardless of whether I agree or disagree with the authors review, it was actually good to see someone that didn’t enjoy the movie actually go into some detail about why they didn’t. Most of what I’ve seen so far have simply been comments like, it was shit, there was no story blah blah blah with no reasoning beyond that.

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