Batman V Superman Isn't Like Other Superhero Films, And That's Why It's Great

Batman v Superman Isn't Like Other Superhero Films, And That's Why It's Great

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a success because it isn't funny. The film contains funny moments: Batman intoning a robotic "shit" before scrambling around like the biggest possible goof definitely caused a roar of laughter in the theatre when I watched the film. However, it's not a movie that depends on being funny, and that's the strength of Zack Snyder's interpretation of the iconic DC Comics characters.

The contemporary superhero film is most closely associated with what we could call, with appropriate reference, "the Marvel Method." This method was developed in the prehistory of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and to understand it we should look to the wildly successful Spider-Man films that appeared in the earliest part of this cinematic century.

Spider-Man and The X-Men, along with some other Marvel characters like Blade, were licensed to different companies in the 1990s. The logic was very much the business model of that decade: licence out the content, rake in the cash from the licence, and sit back and make more content that can then be licensed. In the age before the massive vertical integrations of multimedia conglomerate companies (with the acquisitions of Marvel and Lucasfilm by Disney reigning as the pinnacle of this model), letting Sony handle a wise-cracking webhead while floating the mothership some cash seemed like a good idea.

Batman v Superman Isn't Like Other Superhero Films, And That's Why It's Great

Sam Raimi is an excellent, wonderful filmmaker, but he might have ruined the superhero film. 2002's Spider-Man is the perfect balance of comedy beats and action setpieces with just the right amount of emotional sadittude to really make you buy that Toby McGuire could stand up to Willem Dafoe for more than ten seconds. It's clear why Raimi was tapped for the film. Spider-Man is, in the comics canon, a really funny character. It is apparent from the start that any film that stars him would require stepping across genre lines into an action-comedy hybrid, and Raimi's masterful synthesis of comedy and horror in the Evil Dead franchise of films made him seem like an obvious choice.

He also comes in a package deal with Bruce Campbell. Who can turn that down?

The tragic turn here comes from the success of Spider-Man and its sequel Spider-Man 2 (appropriately, society has agreed that Spider-Man 3: Toby's Dance Time never occurred). We're all victims of Raimi's success. When Marvel decided that they wanted to get into the filmmaking game, they looked to Raimi's Spider-Man films in order to create the template for their first wave of films.

It's important to take a moment to gesture toward the wide range of superhero movies that have existed over the past twenty years. Blade gave us self-serious action with Wesley Snipes' badass gun and swordplay. Ghost Rider showed us a weird supernatural world of fire and violence that contained one of the most constrained Nic Cage performances in years. Ang Lee's Hulk, a forgotten classic, was an attempt to meld psychological drama with the bombastic violence that superheroes are known for. Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan's first foray into the genre, was a reserved, serious take on what one man might do to become a hero in the face of infinite responsibility. Additionally, there are the films based on the independents: Mystery Men, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Ghost World, and many others.

Batman v Superman Isn't Like Other Superhero Films, And That's Why It's Great

I'm not suggesting that all of these are shining examples that will stand the test of time, but as an aggregate they demonstrate the wide swath that comics cut through film culture at the tail end of the 20th century. With the release of 2008's Iron Man, though, that width became much more narrow.

The first phase of Marvel films all follow the exact same format. Each are replications of the plot points of Spider-Man with the same hybrid of action and comedy. The entire draw of Iron Man was in the comical line delivery of Robert Downey Jr. The Incredible Hulk repeatedly goes to the well of The Hulk's goofiness, wasting no opportunity to talk about purple pants and the embarrassment of Hulk's size. The entire first half of Captain America is a comedy about a guy who is too weak for Tommy Lee Jones that gets supplanted by a comedy about a guy who has to punch Hitler every night. Thor is maybe the most egregious of that first wave. It is scene after scene of fish-out-of-water comedy whose sole action conflict is a giant robot that blurps a laser out of its face.

This all culminates in Joss Whedon's The Avengers. In that film we are introduced to a cast of dramatic actors who are placed into multiple scenes where they are meant to deliver comedy lines. Captain America is old, but he's not! Tony Stark catches a lackey playing Galaga. It's all a great, wonderful world, and everyone is driven toward the same kinds of lines, all written in the same pop culture comedy voice.

It's strange that the memes and memories that are culturally associated with these films are all the comedy lines. The well-directed action sequences and storylines and narratives of the characters aren't talked about. What I see, release after release, is people only talking about the things that are funny in contemporary Marvel superhero films. The pieces ignore the character interactions or the interesting and strange plot conceits in order to focus on how those interactions generate chortles and guffaws. The breadth of the film is reduced to a razor-thin wire of tracking comedy beats.

Batman v Superman Isn't Like Other Superhero Films, And That's Why It's Great

Batman v Superman (or BvS for short) is a beautiful antidote for our addiction to the comical superhero film. It is a bleak, confident take on DC's roster of superheroes that doesn't fit them into a comfortable framework. Instead, it is a film that gives us characters with motivations and feelings and expects us to come along for a discomforting ride.

BvS, much like Snyder's Man of Steel, takes itself very seriously. It attempts to balance a wide cast of characters with an engaging spring blockbuster story, and there have been many gleeful attacks that assert that Snyder just wasn't able to hit the mark when it comes to constructing a story that people might actually enjoy. I believe that a lot of those bad feelings are coming from a mismeasure of fans expectations of superhero films versus the kind of story that Zack Snyder is interested in telling.

Snyder has never quite recovered from his work on Watchmen (some might claim that Watchmen has never recovered from Snyder). Much like that film, Batman v Superman rests on a basic critique of superheroes: they are people who are obsessed with moulding the world into the shape of their egos. Alan Moore's work in the Watchmen series is a straightforward argument that the very idea of being a superhero requires a person to exist beyond the pale of what a "normal" person would want from their life. In that light, I don't think it's a stretch to understand BvS as a mainline superhero film that fully embodies that point of view.

Batman v Superman Isn't Like Other Superhero Films, And That's Why It's Great

There's a scene somewhere past the midpoint of the film where Batman states something to the effect that you need to beat the world into making sense. He's a street-level hero, and this kind of aggressive materialism makes sense for him. Our introduction to him in the film literally has him scrambling along ceilings like a rat, and the longest scene of Batman in combat features him beating criminals with packing boxes, stabbing them with knives, and literally kicking the bones out of their arms. In contrast to Christopher Nolan's Batman, a character who constantly wrestled with how far a hero could or should go to accomplish their mission (by never killing and destroying the surveillance technology that solves the plot in The Dark Knight), Snyder's Batman has stepped beyond any line in his pursuit of the world making sense. So we have to take this "beating=sense" equation literally, and so when we see Batman mowing down enemies with a machine gun multiple times in the film, we're supposed to assume that a lot of sense is being made.

BvS' depiction of Superman works in a similar way. Man of Steel saw Superman lasering through buildings with his eye beams, slamming General Zod and a lot of space debris into Metropolis, and generally doing things with an immense number of casualties that weren't typical of Superman's previous incarnations. It's hard to imagine Richard Donner's time-travelling last son of Krypton breaking the neck of his most hated enemy, but that's what Snyder gave us in Man of Steel, and this movie continues in that tradition. Superman moves further toward selfishness with his constant protection of Lois Lane, and he walks directly into a trap that ends in the bombing of the Unites States Capitol. This Superman is not a noble, selfless alien who cannot help but do good in the nick of time. He's a selfish narcissist whose major failings are all caused by his inability to see himself in relation to the world (which, as the future-telling dream sequence shows, might come to a very destructive head).

These representations of these characters might not be the ones that fans want, but they are certainly ones that have been expressed in comics like The Dark Knight Returns, All-Star Batman and Robin, Superman: Peace on Earth, Red Son, and many other works like them. In the vast plurality of DC Comics there are many dimensions to these characters, and the interpretation put forward by Snyder in Batman v Superman is a heavy mix of these flavours with a cynical shot of Watchmen as a chaser. In Snyder's version, negative interpretations of these heroes are not just possible worlds -- they are likely ones.

Batman v Superman Isn't Like Other Superhero Films, And That's Why It's Great

What is important here is that Zack Snyder trusts the viewer to look at their favourite hero and be both in awe and critical of what those characters are doing. When Batman crashes a car full of people, drags it down the street for a mile on a rope tied to the Batmobile, and then slams it into another car full of people, we're supposed to be excited and be cringing in the same moment. This is accompanied by the image of people screaming as the car crushes them -- when Christopher Nolan's Batman implicitly did these things, the impact of the violence was never shown. Snyder has Batman exploding trucks and immolating the people standing on them.

The opening of BvS painstakingly shows the impact of superhero violence with very particular 9/11-style image of Bruce Wayne running into the dust produced by a collapsed building, but the film also glorifies the same kinds of fights that it critiqued in its opening. The entire last twenty minutes of the film are the same kind of rampant, horrifying action that comprised the ending of Man of Steel, and a few scenes suggest a similar death toll the hands of the character Doomsday during its first energy-expending salvo. Many people have critiqued these final scenes for seemingly abandoning the opening lessons of the film, but I feel it is pretty clear that Snyder is pulling the old Watchmen critique here: if you want the spectacle, you have to deal with the consequences. You don't get your superheroes without their bad sides.

Snyder's vision of these heroes wouldn't exist in the Marvel paradigm. Sure, it's possible to tell difficult or tragic stories within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but to mould these fan favourite heroes into their most tragic versions requires draining all the fun out of the superhero world. It's no mistake that portions of Batman v Superman appear to be right out of a Lars von Trier film. Drained of colour and proceeding in slow motion, large chunks of BvS want to actively divest us from the aesthetic and comedic stylings of the contemporary superhero film that Marvel established so successfully over the past decade. It's an inoculation process, and no one likes getting a shot.

Ultimately, I really enjoyed Dawn of Justice, but I don't think that it is the payoff in itself. The film's massive success, carried by marketing, character recognition, and fan curiosity, will hopefully cause a sea change in the way that we understand superhero films in the near future. In the same way that Deadpool recently signalled a desire for an R rated superhero film, I hope that BvS will signal to producers and executives that there's a desire for a superhero film that isn't about the fun and fancy of colourful characters quipping and dropping laugh lines every five minutes. Snyder's take on these iconic characters has slowed and shifted what we might accept as a superhero production, opening interesting doors towards more complex superhero films in the future.


Cameron Kunzelman is a game critic and developer whose work has appeared at Paste Magazine, The Atlantic, and other various places. You can find him on Twitter and at his website.


Comments

    Just because it's dark doesn't mean it's mature or something deep. It's like saying Heavy Rain is great because it's emotional. The movie is an incoherent mess and Snyder does not understand any of the characters.

      Thank you!

      I'm sick of people saying 'its dark, gritty and realistic' and I'm meant to overlook all its flaws because of this.

      If it is a horrible movie, its a horrible movie. It doesn't matter what tone it carries.

        I agree. The only issue I had was all the disjointed plot points, the bad writing and speech choices. Remember when batman wakes up from a dream then wakes up from that dream? Remember the really lame reason superman fights batman and the even lamer reason why they stop? All the weird unnessecary bits with loius and wonderwoman and worst of all the horrific acting of that Facebook kids lex luthor? I went in thinking people were just being haters and man of steel was pretty good.

        I have no actual issues with the acting or portrayl of batman and superman, just I will not go see another movie that Zach Snyder has any hand in.

        Warner Bros should have hired a 15 year old who reads books to point out stupid and incoherant parts of the script.

        Last edited 04/04/16 1:23 pm

          MARTHA IS MY MUM
          MARTHA IS YOUR MUM
          HEY AUDIENCE DO YOU GET IT YET, DO YOU GET IT?

          Subtlety at its finest.........

            We are all Martha!

              Omg why didn't I see it before. So deep. So mature. Such writing.

      There actually is a lot going on beneath the surface. Just because you didn't watch the film on this level, doesn't mean others can't.

      Not everyone needs it to be spoon fed and can have their own interpretations on what they are seeing. There's lots of complex themes and character motivations which are not expressly stated on the surface but are definitely there.

        I see the ever amusing, "You just clearly didn't understand its depth and complexity, but I did. You should get on my level." defense has arrived.

        Which is precisely how director's get away with making movies that should have been MUCH better than they were.

        Just because you're supposedly seeing things that others aren't, doesn't mean they're ACTUALLY there.

        Last edited 04/04/16 2:14 pm

        There actually is a lot going on beneath the surface. Just because you didn't watch the film on this level, doesn't mean others can't.

        Example?

        There's lots of complex themes and character motivations which are not expressly stated on the surface but are definitely there.

        Example?

        Superman has no character motivation because he isn't a character. He is just a thing that people react to in the extreme. They either think he is a god or a devil, no in between. And they fucking kill him for reason other than the fact that it happened in the comics. And they didn't even have the balls to actually kill him.

        Why is Lois his only connection to the world? He isn't fucking Dr. Manhattan.

        What is Superman's motivation to fight Batman? Lex manipulated him. They could have easily made the fight about ideology and how they fight crime differently like season 2 of Daredevil and going by the trailers it seemed like they were going to do that but no they didn't.

        And someone explain the whole Africa thing? Why do people think Superman killed people with a gun? Why was this scene so obviously cut down from the original 3 hour cut? Why is the senate hearing about this Africa scene which is barely in the movie and not the entire ending of MoS?

        Why was Wonder Woman even in this? And why didn't she kill Doomsday with the spear. She lunged at him twice already. And why didn't Superman even talk to Wonder Woman?

        AND WHY THE FUCK DIDN'T SUPERMAN SAVE THOSE PEOPLE IN THE FLOOD? THE ENTIRE SCENE IS JUST HIM STARING AT THEM FROM ABOVE.

        Last edited 04/04/16 3:28 pm

          Superman isn't a Character, yep you got that right.
          Lois, yes again.
          Superman vs Batman, the fight that could have literally been explained in seconds if Superman landed, explained Lex manipulating him and didn't advance on Batman. Even blundering into the first trap he could have stood still and explained everything rather than getting drawn into a fight.

          Now the Africa thing, I think but have no real proof that the special bullets make entry wounds that mimic Superman's Heat vision, if this is the case there is some logic, if this is wrong than once again another WTF moment in this movie.

          Wonder Woman couldn't win because Superman had to be wounded so badly everybody thinks he's dead.

          Superman probably saved those people in the flood, they just didn't bother showing it.

          If you haven't seen this movie and you care about Spoilers you should not have clicked this article. Even so I used Spoiler tags.

          For a movie that is unlike any other Superhero movie I'm pretty sure I could make it by splicing together the animated movies Superman: Doomsday and The Dark Knight returns, both of which I feel are better than this movie.

            I think that *is* the biggest crime they did here...

            They did the exact splicing of what you did in ONE film. Two of the biggest storylines ever on the DC universe condensed into one goddamned incoherent mess.

          There actually is a lot going on beneath the surface. Just because you didn't watch the film on this level, doesn't mean others can't.

          There's a pretty brilliant arc that relates to Lex's painting. Batman is known as the dark "demon" figure but in this he is shown ascending into the light during the well scene. Superman is typically shown as the heroic saviour but in this he is often descending from the sky, often blocking out the sun. This is ties in neatly to the fact that Lex's painting has been flipped upside-down, to represent the subversion of the typical hero/antihero dynamic.

          People have accused Snyder of not understanding the characters, but he understands them better than most. He alludes to the lore, but then deconstructs the history to tell a different message. And this is refreshing - why would we want to see the same Batman and Superman that we've seen for the better part of a century. After the brilliance of Watchmen I vowed to always give Snyder the benefit of the doubt and assume that something deeper is going on in his films. And that vow has paid dividends - his films are richly rewarding if you turn on the grey matter and look a little deeper.

            Is that you Zac? Richly rewarding, how so?

              No I'm his mum. Zac's my special baby boy and you shouldn't be so mean ;)

              It's richly rewarding for things like the example I gave above.

                So we get to see Batman's parent shot..... again? Batman stopped his attempt to kill him because his mothers name is Martha?

                The thing is this is not the same Batman and Superman, because they have never been in a live action movie together.

                Hey if all those plot holes are richly reward, then yes. BvS is richly rewarding.

            The painting imagery was interesting, this was Terrio's work, not Snyders, credit where credit is due. That was one of the few parts I actually liked in the movie, the symbolism in it was astute and well done. One of the few parts of the movie I didn't feel was hamfisted.

            Alas this is not a new take on Batman. Broody Batman? We've had him in movies the last 26 years. We've had him in comics for over 31 years. Hell, one can quite succesfully argue this take ACTUALLY started with The Killing Joke, aided in part by A Death in the Family, the two comics that stripped away the 'innocence' of the Batman comics and presented him in a more serious, adult tone.

            Superman? He's been like this too for the same time period on and off. The 'torn character' has been a centerpiece for Supermans persona since the 'goodboy' Superman was killed off by Doomsday in 1992, 23 years ago and 'New angsty torn attitude Superman' rose from the grave.

            There was quite literally nothing brand new here, the false flag being flown right now is 'Snyder is a genius who created a new take', except this 'new take' is approximately 30 years old in every... single... way.

            But I enjoy being told I 'don't get' the new takes on Superman and Batman by the new modern crowd who rush in and join the cacophony of seagulls with their shrill pitch, that want to tell us that we 'don't get it' because we don't align with 'Snyders vision'.

              Boiling down the new take to "broody Batman" and "torn Superman" is pretty superficial. The new take was the realistic angle, and not in the gritty Nolan way, but in the way that the heroes make flawed choices based on very human biases. Superman killed Zod because he had doubt, doubt that he could kill Zod without doing so. Batman begins to doubt the very concept of justice. The inversion of the typical light-dark dynamic between Bats and Supes was subtly brilliant. Lex lying somewhere on the spectrum was novel AFAIK (if not 100% effective). I've never seen a Wonder Woman arc that didn't involve some kind of man-hating, and Gadot played Snyder's world-weariness angle superbly in her brief screentime (certainly made me more interested in her standalone than I've been thus far). I liked how Superman's parents were looking after Clark first, and that he had no obligation to be its protector.

              I don't have encyclopaedic knowledge of comic lore - I doubt that anything can be truly novel when you have ~80 of history - but he's a least playing with the character archetypes. I can understand why purists are pissed but if you want faithful adaptations there are plenty of those out there, and few of them have much to say (IMO). I want BvS to be the first of a new breed of superhero films. If you don't like the take then don't feel the need to buy a ticket, Nolan's films are still sitting there in your Blu Ray collection.

                You know, he had a new take, and that's great. I liked the new Batman, and I don't really care if Superman/Wonderwomen are the same as the comic or not.

                That doesn't make this a good movie however. This movie, as a whole, was bad. Almost the entire thing was pointless or bad. There may be bits where if you think hard enough and come up with your own theories and tilt your head to the left while squinting that the parts may make sense, but that doesn't make the movie any better. The movie still sucked.

            We all got the painting thing. It was corney and stupid.

              Yep, totally not 'deep'... oh wow he spun that cross upside down and now it's evil... how did anyone ever see that coming.

          I know you're usually shitposting/trolling, but I get the feeling you're actually sincere in this one.

          Personally, I got a lot out of the film, and some of the critiques really do sound like 'not getting it', or if 'getting it', then disagreeing with a choice they made for... what reason? You just don't like it? But it's not really fair to say it isn't there or wasn't done, or wasn't thought through. A lot of things you complain about make perfect sense.

          A certain degree of empathy is required from the audience, putting itself in the characters' shoes and imagining their line of thought.

          Superman has no character motivation because he isn't a character. He is just a thing that people react to in the extreme. They either think he is a god or a devil, no in between.
          Those are only the views that we see to demonstrate why there's an argument. There's not much point to showing the undecided. The entire point was to show that there IS actually a conflict of public opinion and the entire planet isn't simply pants-wettingly ecstatic like previous movies have unrealistically portrayed. Welcome to the age of the Internet.

          That, and the people who have complaints about his existence, or doubts about how he should be governed? Maybe they're not wrong. And Clark is very obviously thinking about that. When we view the saving-people montage, as people continue to argue about him, you can tell (if you have empathy) that it's something that's weighing on his mind, as he silently saves people. He's troubled, peroccupied, by the very reasonable fears and doubts and concerns of people, which is all conflicting with what he's seeing right there, in the moment - people who need saving. There's no posturing and, "Rest easy, good citizens!" going on. The man is conflicted. As he should be. It's a very human experience, and it would've lost a lot if they'd gone to the trouble of monologuing the conflict via his narration or contriving some sort of conversation that maybe he wouldn't even have with anyone, because who else could possibly understand?

          This - to my mind - is not a weakness of the movie, but one of its strengths. Stoicism has rarely been done better.

          And they fucking kill him for reason other than the fact that it happened in the comics. And they didn't even have the balls to actually kill him.
          Actually 'killing' him was dumb, and pointless... mostly, and at first glance. The (only) useful purpose I can think of is to help solve the in-universe issue of public opinion being divided. This is ground-work. 'You don't know what you've got til it's gone' can now be invoked to have the question settled by the majority being in favour of his existence. There were some interesting questions being asked in the movie about how the public would react to a godlike alien and what it would do to our ego as a species, to our pride, to our fear. You could ask similar questions about whether the world was ready for an instantaneous, globe-spanning communication and media delivery network, but that genie's out of the bottle, so it's a moot question. The movie comes close to this with the Senator who answers the question, "Should there be a superman," with, "There is."

          Why is Lois his only connection to the world? He isn't fucking Dr. Manhattan.
          He fucking should be. The power he wields? Lois, Perry, and his Mum are his main connections to this world. We get to see a few brief glimpses into the problems in the life of Clark Kent, the idealistic reporter who is shitting off his boss and coming perilously close to being fired over not doing his damn job. Hints of his absenteeism. But the film chose to move Supes closer to the Dr. Manhattan paradigm and that's a good thing. The power he wields and the time he spends using it puts him very visibly all across the globe, seeing patterns of suffering. You wanna know what happens when you see someone's worst day, every day of your life? Ask doctors or other first responders. Ask call centre operators, for fuck's sake. Everyone starts to blur together - the pattern that emerges in humanity is that no-one is fucking special. You can very, very easily get detached. Throw in some godlike power, and Clark's detachment is the most sane and sensible thing we've seen in Superman storytelling yet.

          What is Superman's motivation to fight Batman? Lex manipulated him. They could have easily made the fight about ideology and how they fight crime differently like season 2 of Daredevil and going by the trailers it seemed like they were going to do that but no they didn't.
          I actually like that they didn't. Superman engaging in idealistic war with Batman makes no sense. (See the more recent Penny Arcade strip as to why. If Supes wanted someone dead, he could be just as patient and calculating as Bats to make sure it happened.) It was a precise moment in time, pressured by time, according to some jury-rigged machinations. Lex ideally wanted a kryptonite weapon of his own to control, but was willing enough to let Bats do the job, in a pinch. (Which didn't work out because of the Martha bullshit. But at least they had the stones to declare a definitive winner, which tonnes of comics confrontations haven't even done.) The ending of MoS is only one point that starts to drive Batman, but any reasonable person would decide that it wasn't enough against Supes' net good. Batman is driven to the tipping point, of being truly motivated to action instead of resentful ruminating, by the vision presented by Flash. One where he didn't act soon enough and the Kryptonian rules the earth with an iron fist. That's his drive to kill. Supes? Supes couldn't care less until Lex forces him to go fight the homicidal Bats who thinks he's luring Supes in. Supes thinks small picture - his Mum, even when he thinks he's going to have to sacrifice himself, it's his primary concern - and Bats thinks big picture. Those motivations cleave very close to everthing we know about both characters; there is nothing inconsistent here.

          AND WHY THE FUCK DIDN'T SUPERMAN SAVE THOSE PEOPLE IN THE FLOOD? THE ENTIRE SCENE IS JUST HIM STARING AT THEM FROM ABOVE.

          Well that's just wilfully ignorant nitpicking, now. The POINT of that scene (importantly: in a montage) was to show the hope and relief on peoples' faces as a god-figure appeared in the sky, as if a response to their very obvious written prayer. The entire point of the scene was to show that now he's here - everything will be OK. It is implied, rightfully assumed, that he then actually goes and saves everyone.
          WHY THE FUCK DIDN'T ROCKY DO WARM-UPS AND WARM-DOWNS? THE ENTIRE SCENES OF HIS TRAINING ARE JUST HIM AT THE HIGH-INTENSITY POINTS. IT'S AS IF THEY ONLY WANT TO SHOW US THE THINGS WHICH REINFORCE THE MESSAGE THEY'RE DELIVERING.
          The gist was there. That's all we needed to see - we know he's going to save them.

            I tip my hat to you and this thoughtful, well written post. I share your feelings about people only looking at the surface points of the film and not the deeper meaning. The only thing I have to disagree with you on is why Batman just stopped attacking Superman just because he told Batman to save Martha. I believe there was so much going on in Batman's head when he said that that he had to stop. He was almost having an emotional breakdown of a sorts until Lois shows up and tells him it's Clark's mother. It just clicked in his head that he didn't have a chance to save his own mother's life, but he could Clark's. It was not BS, and this is the reason we say people just don't get it.

            I feel like WB should press on with the films, but dumb them down for the masses that just want mindless action, like the Force Awakens.

              Well yeah, there were obviously a few things going on there, it just seemed like way too convenient a thing to jerk Bats back to the realization that this is a guy who just wants to save his Mum as his dying request.

                I certainly think it was powerful enough to stop him in his tracks and think about what he was doing. The way they became best buds in 60seconds irked me a bit though. I would have preferred a more cautious approach to gaining each others trust.

            You might find this Q&A interesting as it clarifies things like why Superman had to die as well as a bunch of other things being griped about.

            http://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/batman-v-superman-zack-snyder-10-things/

        I'm having horror flashbacks to people defending the Matrix sequels. You can delve deep for 'complex themes' all you want but that doesn't make up for the rest.

      I literally felt a sleep twice. The first 1.5 hours was so slow.

      And he confused Lex with Joker. Lex should be sophisticated but cunning not Crazy

      And don't get me started with Doomsday...

      I never read through the New 52, apparently this was based on that. No wonder why DC is rebooting again and scraped the NEW52.

        Lex was abhorrent, his performance was on par with Carey's Riddler... and that's an insult to Jim Carey.

        I actually think that Eisenberg was a victim of bad editing, I have to believe that. He showed some glimmers of turning that fruit basket act into something sinister.... but nope, on the roof it was basically a cheesy/corny riddler.

    It's interesting how many of the negative reviews panned it for being 'humourless', when that's exactly why I enjoyed it a shit load more than the latest Avengers film. It wasn't made to please all audiences. It wasn't made for children. It wasn't made to sell toys. Was the dark knight trilogy filled with slapstick gags like the Marvel universe is? Or was it an excellent set of films precisely because it wasn't.

    It had its problems, it isn't paced very well, it doesn't explain the motives of important characters like Lex very well, its too long, the ending grinds on, and the trailers ruined important parts of the plot. But overall I really enjoyed it. I'm very keen to see the standalone Batman that will stem from this, as Ben's portrayal I felt was really good, and its made me actually interested to see Wonderwoman, where prior to seeing BvS I couldn't have given a shit about a WW film.

      I hated BvS, but I felt it succeeded in stirring interest in JLA and setting up a potential DCEU.

      But, the way it's panning out at the moment it's only *just* going to break even at the BO if the weekend dropoff rate continues like it did this weekend. I wonder how this is going to change future plans for the DCEU.

        Well, apparently they've already called in the cast of Suicide Squad for reshoots after Batman vs Superman, so it's clear they've taken note that the other movies need to be much much better than this.

          Yep, they added money to its budget to add comedy to it, adding in jokes and lightening its tone after the extremely positive reaction to its trailer AND the extremely negative reaction to BvS uber-dark uber-serious tone.

            Well, I would be worried if there wasn't comedy. The trailers look like the comedy is what's going to drive it

              Absolutely. It looks so damn good :)

              And wow, Jai Courtney actually looks great as Captain Boomerang :O

      I'm with you on this. Yes flawed movie, but still enjoyed.

      I did enjoy the movie, I also paid $10.50 (Ticket, Large Drink, Popcorn) to see it. I don't need a movie to be comedic for it to be a Superhero movie. Some movies are meant to be funny, like Deadpool. I can take a serious look at a movie like this.

      The characters weren't a fresh take on them, I've seen old bitter Batman before. That was the worst Lex Luthor I've ever seen. And a moody Superman who doesn't know what the hell he wants. Wonder Woman wasn't remotely interesting. Nice Armour but it could of been anyone. Could they have used Aquaman? You bet. Could it have been Blue Beetle? Why not? Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg, Starfire, Captain Atom, Black Canary. I'd have a shorter list if I went with who it couldn't be.

      But the worst part of this movie was I felt like I'd already seen it. I'll post below why in more depth.

      As an audience member/fan, I don't know the ins and outs of what make a 'quality' film. Dark Knight just had it from Batman Begins. It was epic from the get go, then dark knight came along and shit got even more real. I have some minor qualms with Dark Knight returns but still overall an epic film.

      BvS had the same tone as MoS, like yeah it's ok but if Dark Knight Rises was 10/10 then I'd be giving BvS 5.2/10.

    Just focusing on the man's ability to shoot and edit a coherent story, I want to point out some things:

    The flash, without any prior introduction in the modern DC cinematic universe, visits batman, from the future, in a dream. This makes no sense on any level, and is shit film making.

    For a serious movie it has the worst Wilhelm scream I've ever heard. I actually burst out laughing.

    Despite batman setting out to kill superman because he's a possible threat to all of humanity, he about faces on his very serious decision because Clark's ma was also named Martha. Instant BFF's?

    The film literally has an ad break in the middle of it for the justice league film.The meta of watching a character in a film watching a trailer for a film couldn't be described as anything less than horrendous.

    The very scene you've used in the header image, a full, lingering minute of people reaching out to supes without moving, made everyone involved look awkward, and had all of the subtlety of a speeding locomotive. For a "smart" superhero film it sure didn't think much of its audience.

    You can argue the themes at play, and defend the motivations of the characters, but it's an undeniably poorly constructed film.

    Last edited 04/04/16 11:25 am

      Despite batman setting out to kill superman because he's a possible threat to all of humanity, he about faces on his very serious decision because Clark's ma was also named Martha. Instant BFF's?

      Batman is not a bad person. It's not just a matter of becoming BFF's due to the same name, it's a matter of understanding what has happened to Batman to make him want to kill superman. Batman has lost his sense of purpose, nothing makes sense anymore and he feels helpless and no longer in control. Alfred intones this with the "good men cruel" speech, and it is again touched on later just before 'fight night', when Bruce and Alfred are at loggerheads. Bruce says that this will be the only thing he does that has ever mattered to which Alfred responds 20 years of fighting criminals mattered. But it didn't and it doesn't. Superman and his battle with Zod and the sudden realisation that the world and humanity could be destroyed by an alien set him on this path.

      The triggering of the mothers names allows Batman to humanize Superman. He is no longer just an alien with godlike powers. He has a mother, and a mother whose name triggers the feelings and reasoning why Bruce became Batman. So that no child would ever have to lose their parents to evil again.

      Batman is not a bad person. He is just lost in this movie. This scene is powerful because Batman realises he was wrong. He realises what he was doing was wrong. It occurs in a simplistic manner, but ultimately it is easy enough to understand. Now, if Batman was a bad person, he'd have not cared that the names were the same, he'd have impaled Superman on the Kryptonite spear and been done with it. This movie is really about the absolution of Batman and Superman. Both find it in the end.

      Also, to the original article:

      The entire last twenty minutes of the film are the same kind of rampant, horrifying action that comprised the ending of Man of Steel, and a few scenes suggest a similar death toll the hands of the character Doomsday during its first energy-expending salvo.

      Batman clearly states to Wonder Woman that this area of Gotham is abandoned. The fight v Doomsday took place here because Batman deliberately brought Doomsday there to fight, so that lives could be saved, and also the Kryptonite Spear was there, where he wanted to fight Supes for the exact same reasons. The movie did not abandon the lessons learned in the opening sequences, it showed that Batman plans things and considers innocent life important.

        Sure as hell didn't when he slammed that car into an innocent persons truck and blew them all to hell... innocent driver and all. Bad Bats bad.

        I'm talking about the difference between the why and the how of that resolution. I have no problem with batman remembering that people are redeemable, hope isn't lost etc. I just think it's an utter cop-out of lazy writing to resolve the situation with flippant trivia.

        But mere moments after batman gets his humanity groove back, he does murder a whole bunch of people again!

          I'm not sure it is definitive that when he fights Anatoli Knyazev and his goons that he actually kills any of them. There are a couple that get blown up by a grenade, that they drop, but none that bats actually kills. Indeed, when he has the opportunity to kill Anatoli, he doesn't - instead he shoots the flamethrower tank to ignite it and create a diversion, rather than shoot the man. Does Knyazev die from this? Not sure, it's not shown. But he could have easily have put the bullet into the man.

          Also, Batman getting his humanity back isn't entirely what that scene is about (at least imo), it's more about him identifying that indeed Supes is not a monster. It is humanizing Supes in Batman's eyes. Alfred has already told him, and presumably been telling him multiple times "He is not our enemy!". The russian goon squad though, are. Is Bats' redemption complete? I doubt it. But he is on the right track at the end of the film.

          Is it lazy writing or flippant trivia? Maybe. But maybe it is also the one thing that could snap Bruce out of his rage. The fact that it was a shared name gave Bats a moment for pause that he might not have otherwise had. That pause reflected to him his own loss and his fight.

          There is no doubting that there are some issues with the movie, but imo they are minor.

            Uses the batplane to blow up the car two men are standing on/next two. They're definitely dead.

            The car he shot with his miniguns from the batmobile, the car with the minigun in the back, he shredded them.

            Even Snyder admitted Batman killed in this movie, it's kind of a non-debatable issue once the director himself admits it.

              Yeah it is odd people are saying he didn't kill. He clearly did, the director says he did and stands by his reasons. It's ok to not mind, but saying he didn't is ridiculous.

                I actually respect Snyder for having the balls to stand up and saying "Yes, he killed, I had him kill and heres' why..."

                I don't AGREE with Snyder, but I respect him for having the balls to do that. The people arguiing he didn't though, utterly ridiculous.

                Last edited 04/04/16 4:02 pm

          Yeah. I found that bit where you read so deeply into that example of the worst script writing ever, more entertaining than the entire movie.

          It wasn't flippant, the whole film had set up this path off batman going off the deep end. It opens with him still having nightmares, the escalation of his violence. The nightmares, he didn't understand why he was having them, when he's about to kill someone and is reminded of his mother, he remembers.

          I think this central point shows something about different kind of viewers, those that were watching the film on a less superficial manner completely got that. It seems those that weren't didn't follow on what was actually happening beneath the surface.

            Uggghhh. Here we go again. It was not deep. We got all the themes. It was still badly written and garbage. My reasoning and examples? Near the top of the page. I just cbf writing them again.

            Last edited 04/04/16 7:36 pm

      The flash, without any prior introduction in the modern DC cinematic universe, visits batman, from the future, in a dream. This makes no sense on any level, and is shit film making.

      I gotta admit, this confused the heck out of me when I saw it. At first I thought it was supposed to be Robin or something, and then later the comic book loving mate who brought me along explained it was the Flash and that the Flash can time travel.

      Thinking about how it was done, whether you consider it "shit film making" is all down to what you think the intent of the film-maker is. If we're supposed to be viewing it from Batman's perspective (which is what the movie seems to do with a lot of things in the film) the the confusing nature actually makes sense because the Flash appearing to Batman would be confusing as heck to Batman. After watching it a second time it's also suggested this isn't really a dream either, as there's continuity with some displacement in the background after Bruce has supposedly 'woken up' again. Again, if we're viewing this from Batman's perspective he probably would think this is all a dream.

      The film literally has an ad break in the middle of it for the justice league film.The meta of watching a character in a film watching a trailer for a film couldn't be described as anything less than horrendous.
      This seriously was ridiculous. Avengers 2 did it as well, but they at least had the sense to weave their ad-breaks for future films at least loosely into the narrative. Putting it on a laptop from data stolen from Luthor (who apparently decided to design logos for each file corresponding to the characters) was just really really lazy.

      The very scene you've used in the header image, a full, lingering minute of people reaching out to supes without moving, made everyone involved look awkward, and had all of the subtlety of a speeding locomotive.
      I've read a lot of people complaining about how all the Superman 'hero' stuff is presented as depressing and dour, but I kinda liked it to be honest. People are treating him like some religious figure and projecting all this crap onto him like a real religion and as an atheist that's something that should be presented in a way that's kinda sombre and ominous given the amount of madness faith generates.

    I largely agree with this, it's going to matter more when Civil War hits (but stuff like this will get howled down most likely).

    This movie/universe only exists on its own when think-pieces want it to, however. Donner's Superman is my favourite iteration of the character in a cinematic sense, but (and I hate to be that guy because I know every comment defending BVS will do the same) he "did kill Zod" anyway.

    Marvel has built a pyramid scheme/scam out its movies. The comic book fans at the top who've been there since the start with Iron Man/Incredible Hulk are of course at the top. So they get the most out of it, of course they do, because it's delivered clinically and methodically through a syringe, like the author mentions.

    The rest of the movie-going audience has to wait until Downey and co are effectively written out of the scripts before there's movies based on Panther, Widow, etc. Guardians of the Galaxy is a good example. I'd much rather it have done away with the world-building/dot-joining and just focused on being its own thing. Instead it'll feel like any GOTG movies are just marking time until they meet up with the A-team.

    WB/DC's not always going to get the formula right, but it's had the luxury of being able to experiment for decades, frankly, BvS is a times a victory lap if anything else. You should never 'egg on' a film to fail, though. That's just silly and it brings down the level of discourse we *could* be having.

    Great read, Cameron!

    I feel like you have to ignore a hundred years of compounded storytelling knowledge to make this assertion. The bigger issue is why do people need to be validated in what they enjoy? I work in media education so there's not one thing in the world that will ever get me to praise something like this for any reason, it uses nothing to accomplish its goals, nothing. Each frame might as well exist in a vaccuum because like everyone with an education in film has attested - it's incoherent. Some may misunderstand what people mean by this; I won't explain it all but film conventions exist for a reason - it has a language and for people who care to learn this language (as it's integral to even basic critique of the craft - which is separate from preference) films become a deeper experience. In action, if shot well, your brain almost instinctively knows where to look and makes sense of the images by the movement and placement of the camera as well as the subject of the image. This is VERY basic technique, they even used it in Ridiculous 6 so it's a basic language, not (as implied by those who don't like learning) something to simply expect of prestige films or oscar-bait. It's a reason why things make sense and this is one example of hundreds in any given film. This one doesn't care for use of the basic language, much like Michael Bay - to people who understand the basics of storytelling; it's like having blank paragraphs in a book, an empty verse in a song or even several language mixed with one local language - causing no one to understand you. (it's possible to communicate in other ways, of course but it's obtuse, requires assumption and is unnecessary)

    Now, quite often we can enjoy films in spite of this - not every film needs to be perfect upon analysis, I still endlessly enjoy Transformers: The Movie even though the narrative is just as incoherent but the difference is that I don't require validation to enjoy what I enjoy. I can hear people criticise it objectively for assuming its audience was older than it was whilst simultaneously delivering content for children and being paced poorly. That in no way reflects upon me for enjoying it because I can tell the difference between the emotions I feel that want to support the film and the intellect that says it actually isn't that good. However, you can't just claim "enjoyment" as the barometer of quality when a movie is shit - there still needs to be a "why?" attached to perform in discussion or critique. It's kind of a cop out when you have films that actually make use of cinema as a medium and produce actual, crafted fun next to one that tried roughly 30% as hard and have everyone demand the crappy one is acknowledged or else they'll feel bad due to a lack of education. The bigger issue here is why we need so many articles that simply exist to validate every perspective there is, instead of simply applying basic theory as it is meant to. Are people so insecure that reality must be shifted, history, communication and education undermined to pat people on the back because they can't separate objective quality from enjoyment? Seriously, it's super easy, frees you from the binds of validation and you won't need someone to tell you how right you are for liking a movie that sucks - you can just like it.

    Last edited 04/04/16 12:03 pm

      I think that Snyder is an accomplished enough director to assume that any misuse of film conventions is intentional. There is a slightly disconcerting feel of the film that made actually made it more compelling for me. The pacing of certain elements of the film was unusual, at times rampaging through action and at others drifting at an almost Malickian/Kubrickian meander. The dream sequences seemed haphazardly placed, but they feel memorable because of it. I think we're going to appreciate these moments more when they're realised in context in the JL movies.

      I defend BvS not because I need validation for a dud that I happened to enjoy (there are plenty of objectively crap films that I've enjoyed that I don't bother to argue for). I defend BvS because I believe it is a much better film than anyone's giving it credit for. And I know that this line sounds as arrogant a sin, but the haters genuinely don't get the film. They don't understand what Snyder was trying to do, and can't fathom a superhero film that doesn't follow either a Marvel quip-a-thon template or the Nolan ultra-realistic one.

        How do you honestly know the 'haters don't get the movie'?

        Does every single person who loves the movie 'get it'?

          Because they make criticisms of the film that don't make sense if you think about it with an optimistic, benefit-of-the-doubt mentality. I hate to say it but there is a fair amount of bandwagonism going on with BvS and that prevented people from giving it a fair go. I hope I don't sound like I think I'm some sort of cinema savant that saw its hidden brilliance - I just had an optimistic point of view (mostly based on the fact that many of Snyder's films get better with age as you view the film in a different light e.g. Watchmen and even *egads* Sucker Punch).

          And no, not everyone who enjoyed the film "gets it" - there are plenty of people who liked it for the 'splosions.

            On the same token, there's an inordinate amount of bandwagoning going on especially with the, as Hotcakes stated, poor use of the 'no true scotsman' argument that 'they're not getting it' or 'only true DC fans would understand' or 'only fans will get it and all critics suck'.

            The simple fact is, I loved Watchmen, I admire what Snyder pulled off. I even have fun with Suckerpunch. I think Dawn of the Dead is one of the finest remakes ever made, sitting alongside The Thing, The fly and Scarface personally. I simply think in this case, BvS is a movie that's currently having more read into it than Snyder originally intended.

            Given its record shattering opening weekend, and fairly ok weekend this weekend, it's apparent people have given it a fair go, going to see it, given its steep decline, the rewatch value may not be there due to the poor pacing.

            Personally, my opinion on it is this: Inside that 151 poorly paced minutes is a freaking awesome 100 minute movie waiting to be edited down. There is *easily* 45 minutes that could be taken out of that movie with no loss of quality. The whole Luthor bullet subplot, Lois Lanes EVERY SINGLE SCENE, 3/4 of the Daily Planet scenes (unfortunately), pretty much most of Holly Hunters scenes (not all, just most)... around 45 minutes. You'd be left with an incredibly tight, incredibly paced, great movie. I'd even cut down the Doomsday fight by a minute or two, making it focus *more* on Wonderwomans fighting with him, going as far as to make the bit with Superman looking for the spear basically him saying he's going to get it aaaaaaaaaaaaand he's back. I get the whole scene with Lois casting off the spear that pierces his side, I get the whole christ saviour, dies and rises metaphor, it's just unneeded. Purely unneeded.

            This is where people are also confusing Chris Terrio's contributions for Zack Snyders contributions. It'll come out eventually, but most of the good stuff isn't even Zacks, its Chris's.

              And I think you're giving too much credit to the writer. It doesn't matter how good a story is if the director isn't good enough to tell it.

        It's not that haters don't get what he's trying to do. Hell, maybe we really don't get it. But just because he's trying to do something big doesn't mean that the movie is good. If he did intentionally misuse techniques, that doesn't make the outcome good just because they were done on purpose. Regardless of what he was trying to do, or what techniques he used or misused, the outcome was just bad. It was a bad movie.

      So basically you're saying it's shit.... cool haha :)

      In short, because this is the internet :P.

      For me personally, I was dragged to this film against my will by a friend of mine after I'd read that this whole film was something akin to a cinematic crime against humanity, and funnily enough despite that (or perhaps because of that) I really enjoyed it.

    If i have to sit through one more re imaging of the death of batmans parents i think im gona go crazy

    Peoples problems of BvS seem to stem from it not following the standard cookie cutter superhero movie. But BvS isnt a Superhero movie, it has superheros in it sure, but it aint no superhero movie.

    Its a movie that takes place in a batman universe, and it leaps out at you straight from the comics.

      My problem is the fact people try to make it out to be some sort of high art, being condescending to those people who didn't like it, assuming they 'didn't get it', when the fact is they *did* get it, they just didn't *like* it.

        That's my biggest problem. A high proportion of the defenses I've seen of the movie have been along the lines of "but only real comic book fans would get it! You just don't understand". I've read more than my fair share of Batman comics and graphic novels, including Miller, and I still didn't like it.

        Fair enough if you like the movie, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But this whole "no true Scotsman" is BS.

        Good call.

        No, what you're confusing is people frustrated with a lot of unfair criticism people are making at the film. There is a lot of people talking about all sorts of issues with the films where they completely missed the story and character motivations behind what happened. Case in point the whole, "their mums have the same name and so they stop fighting for no reason."

        When people are so fundamentally misunderstanding what is going on and has been going on, it makes people want to defend it. The film isn't high art, but it is definitely not operating just on the superficial level and a lot of complaints clearly come from people where it seems they only watched it on that level.

        Despite when ever these point are made out the person who seemed to have paid no deeper level attention when watching the film always states they did. When they didn't.

        The films not for everyone, some people can't and don't want to watch a film about Batman and Superman where they have to use a bit more brain power than Age of Ultron. However those that did and can will point out why a lot of the complaints are wrong.

        The film is flawed, but most of the complaints are not focused on the reasons why. It's just shit where people didn't understand/ notice Batman's redemption story arc. Or they want to have a massive hissy fit that Batman may have killed people. Which misses his entire story arc and is also stupid because Batman kills people in all the other films.

        There's a massive immature level of nit picking and going over the top at this film. So the flip side is, people will defend it. People's ego's are just too fragile to accept that maybe they simply didn't get the film, or it's not for them.

        The same motivation and insecurity that makes them want to tell the internet their opinion on the film is definitive, means they can't accept someone else has a different one. Especially when it boils down to them simply not paying enough attention. Or being able to. They feel they're the best film watcher in the world.

        People who not be so passionately defending the film if people weren't being so immature in the shit on fest.

        Some people liked it, others didn't. If someone says a reason why and someone else goes, "well actually this is what happened." There is nothing wrong with that.

          That's fair enough, and I appreciate you taking the time to make a reasonably lengthy, thought-out response.

          "The films not for everyone, some people can't and don't want to watch a film about Batman and Superman where they have to use a bit more brain power than Age of Ultron. However those that did and can will point out why a lot of the complaints are wrong." is the kind of thing that gets people worked up, though.

          Yes, there is an element of band wagoning with some of the criticism, but there are also a lot of valid points. Brushing them off as "you're not smart enough to get it" is going to get a lot of people riled up. Anecdotally, of the people I know it's actually been the ones that watched the film on a more superficial level that enjoyed it more. Whereas the people that analysed the character's motivations, the plot, themes etc were the ones that were left more disappointed.

          The "their mums have the same name" thing is a case in point. While you could argue that them realising their mothers had the same name was symbolic of Bruce realising they had more in common than he thought (or something), it IS a cheap, nonsensical way of getting the point across. And that's just one of the many character motivation/plot issues.

          While I respect everyone's right to an opinion (fair play to you if you enjoyed it), when the vast majority of public and professional opinion is so overwhelmingly negative across people of all different backgrounds and positions, it does tend to suggest there might be something there.

          TL;DR: I appreciate your lengthy and reasoned response, but it's still a bit of the same "you just didn't get it" no true Scotsman stuff.

          Last edited 04/04/16 4:16 pm

            But what if you didn't actually get it? Have you considered that you might actually be wrong about this? Just because this is a clichéd line often used by arrogant people doesn't actually mean that they're wrong.

            For example, when you talk about the mother's name thing, and call it cheap, I feel like you haven't realised what that moment meant. For Batman (and most of the world), no one has ever considered Superman as anything less than an alien demigod. But as Batman and Superman fight, the illusion of Superman's omnipotence is eroded until it is shattered completely by the time he has his boot on Supes' throat. Furthermore, the realisation that Superman's dying act is to reach out to his mother makes Batman realise that he's just a man. In that moment of clarity he sees himself - the flawed hero trying to what's right but limited by the shackles of humanity. The fact that their mothers share the same name is just a further parallel, and would seem like divine influence at that point.

            The fact that yourself, and most others, have dismissed this actually pretty brilliant moment as "cheap" gives credence to accusation that "you didn't get it". The average moviegoer can't be blamed though, we've been trained by Marvel and even Mr. Nolan to expect that superhero movies are simple or at least straightforward. People don't, as a matter of course, delve deeper into tentpole films like BvS.

              As someone that's read many Batman comics, including Miller, Lee, Moore, Snyder (the other one) et al, I'd like to think I do have a reasonable handle on the character's background and motivations.

              While I realise that "unpopular =/= not good" in much the same way that "popular =/= good", I'd argue that given the overwhelmingly negative reception to the movie, they might be on to something. Or is literally every film critic across the world just jumping on the bandwagon?

              It's not like we're talking about some misunderstood Tarantino/Scorsese masterpiece here. This is Zack "300/Suckerpunch" Snyder. He's not exactly known for nuanced, complex films that make genuinely affecting sociopolitical commentary. Or even well written characters. Which is frustrating, as Snyder has been the first on many occasions to pull the "you just didn't read the comics like I did" card. if anything, it seems like he's the one that's just picked out particular bits of the stories that he thought were cool without thinking about the actual reasoning of background for why those stories happened.

              To me, it's like arguing that Transformers is an objectively good film. Sure, it might be a fun slice of entertainment. But it's not exactly an Oscar winner.

              The name thing is just one example, but I can at least see your reasoning, even if I disagree with it. I do get the feeling that many people are inserting their own readings or justifications into a lot of moments in the film, whereas Snyder's MO has traditionally been "under-saturated colours everywhere and lots of CGI. LOUD NOISES."

              But what about Superman's motivations? Lex's? The forced Justice League cameos? The Africa scene? The 100000 subplots where none of which were resolved all that well? Superman's motivations for fighting Bats (he's Superman. He could have saved his mother in 0.0000001 seconds if he wanted to. Snyder sets up this whole argument of Supes disagreeing with Batman's specific brand of justice, which would have made for a really interesting conflict, but then he goes nowhere with it)? Batman straight up killing people (he didn't even engage in this type of killing in Miller's comics)? The excessive dream sequences? The piss poor flow and editing? The overblown soundtrack?

              I know it comes across as me bagging on literally everything in the movie - but there were things I liked. I loved Gadot and Irons. Affleck was brilliant, as I predicted he would be when they announced the casting. The Batman-specific fight scenes were fantastic, straight out of the Arkham games - the warehouse one in particular had some excellent choreography. I'm genuinely excited to see Affleck's take on acting, writing and directing the standalone movies.

              But I really didn't enjoy BvS, and I'm far from alone. Like I said, if anything it's the people going in to the movie at a superficial level that have tended to enjoy it more. Not the other way around.

              RE: Nolan and MCU. Marvel's CU has been far from perfect (hell, look at Age of Ultron), but they're not conditioning people to be idiots and expect simple stories. See: Winter Soldier. Nolan is also credited as a good filmmaker for valid reasons (though I was slightly disappointed with TDKR).

              Last edited 04/04/16 5:44 pm

                He's not exactly known for nuanced, complex films that make genuinely affecting sociopolitical commentary

                *cough* Watchmen *cough*.

                I know that's based on an acclaimed graphic novel but Snyder's adaptation is arguably the greatest of all time, often improving on the source material. I think the problem with his films is that he makes no effort to show that he's doing something deeper. It's easy to write them off as superficial, provided that your critique of the film is correspondingly superficial. Case in point, Sucker Punch was universally panned because people accused it of being the wet dream of a 13 year old boy. If you assumed that was the movie you were you watching, then that was the movie you saw. But if you treated it like it was directed by the guy that gave us Watchmen, a subtle picture became apparent. (now I know I've lost you, defending Sucker Punch ;)

                Somehow we've established a self-fulfilling prophecy; Snyder makes bad films, so this latest Snyder film is bad. Snyder's problem is that he makes films that work on two very different levels, and the marketing and critical reception of other films blinds you to the better of the two.

                  While I actually didn't mind Watchmen and I thought Dawn of the Dead was great, I can see we're going around in circles with the same "you're just not smart enough to get it" argument.

                  I could make up some line about the Wayans Brothers movies actually being super deep sociopolitical commentaries but only true fans will understand it if I wanted to, but it doesn't make it true. Maybe people don't get it because there's nothing to get.

                  When the vast majority of critics and home viewers have a shared opinion, maybe you need to admit that, while I won't use the word wrong, your opinion of Snyder and the movie is in the minority. It's not like this is a new opinion of Snyder's films that has only come out with BvS.

                  Fair play for the debate but good day to you sir.

                  Last edited 04/04/16 6:52 pm

                  And to you Mr. Hotcakes. This going around in circles is the only exercise I've had all day.

              I assure you. I am intelligent enough to know this film was garbage. Try watching daredevil or something if you want to see a good version of two heros fighting each other.

              I fully got that, and it's literally no different than.... hey you're trying to save your mum Martha just like I couldn't save my mum Martha.... mind = blown supes... I'll stop killing you now.

              You can try and be all zen and meta about it but the point was shoved down our throats like we are 7 year olds. It could have been done tastefully but it was a Mcdonalds happy meal of a delivery, that's why I (and i'm sure a lot of people) think it sucks.

              Decent concept, rubbish execution.

            It's not a no true Scotsman, it's just that some people got a lot more out of the film than others.

          Or maybe the movie just did a poor job explaining what it was going for.

          WB know it, too - that's they had to release deleted scenes on YouTube instead of waiting for the DVD/BR. "See? Luthor's not just some coked-up fuckwit who speaks exclusively in trailer quotes and knows everyone's real identity for no possible reason... Darkseid was controlling him. Somehow."

            WHAT? Well that would of been nice to know in the 2.5 hour movie! Off to the Youtube.

              Yep they actually cut a whole scene where Steppenwolf, Darkseids left hand man is actually conversing with Luthor in the fucking ship. They actually cut the scene THAT SETS UP THE JUSTICE LEAGUE...

                I just watched it, that 45s scene would of been more useful than some of those Dream Sequences we had to put up with. Especially the Flash time travel Dream within a Dream.

                  "Get it?! We're referencing Crisis on Infinite Earths! This'll appease those fat nerds the writer insulted for knowing who Martian Manhunter is, and asking if he'd be in the League movie!"

                  Last edited 04/04/16 9:36 pm

              Yep - it's a fresh twist on the "well, you didn't read some tie-in book/comic/web-site" bullshit excuse people like to trot out as to why "haters just don't understand the movie".

              Because not having a self-contained story is the audience's fault, not the film-makers.

      Agree regarding showing the death of Bruce Wayne's parents again being unnecessary. I watched Kevin Smiths review of it the other night and whilst he said he largely enjoyed it he did make specific mention that if they wanted to plant that Martha seed early on, a more effective way to have done it would just be to have shown Bruce visiting their graves and have a single shot focusing in on the names on the tombstones.

        I thought it was effective - it set up the specific visual cues that could be recalled later during the "Martha!" scene.

          Sets up one of the worst and stupidest things in the movie. I agree.

        Then we wouldn't gotten that stupid bit with the bats hovering him out. What a shame that would have been, right?

    I think the author (much like Snyder himself) is mistaking dark/gritty for mature.

    Snyder's films are generally an odd combination of cheesy and po-faced serious. Just because it's "OMG so grimdark" doesn't make it a mature film. It's like a kid trying too hard to be an adult. Ditto Snyder's forced political/religious commentary.

    Nolan's trilogy was dark but not in the same vein as Snyder's films. They still managed to be more mature - especially TDK.

    Or look at Winter Soldier. That still had a lot of typical Marvel humour, but still managed to be a more mature film than BvS, commenting on themes like government reach, freedom and security. And a lot of that is down to the Russo brothers. Civil War looks to accomplish the same thing - yes, it's very comic book-y, but it should also manage to tackle some (comparatively, for a Marvel comic book film) mature themes about conflicting security/political ideologies.

    I can't be bothered re-typing my opinion on the film (I went to the midnight screening) but TL;DR: super disappointed, loved Affleck and Gadot but hate everything Snyder does with it.

      Excellent contrast with The Winter Soldier. Excellent post.

      I feel most people have unfairly gone the other way - they've written it off because it is "OMG so grimdark". BvS isn't a more mature film because it's darker, it's a more mature film because it's a more mature film.

        I didn't find it very dark, except the like the filtering of the colours. Maybe it's because I only watched daredevil season two a few weeks ago which had actual mature themes to go along with the grit.

    I think Ben Affleck and Jeremy Irons made the best parts of that movie. They are the best on screen Bruce Wayne / Alfred Pennyworth hands down.

      I liked Irons a lot, but it's a tossup for me between him and Sean Pertwee, who himself is doing an amazing job on Gotham. The two of them are doing stellar jobs. I can easily see Pertwees Alfred growing into Irons Alfred mind you.

    Finally people making some great comments about how bad this movie really is! For anyone trying to make the argument "It's just like the comics", just stop, it's not. I've been reading comics along time and have read a ton of Batman, The Dark Knight Returns is my favourite comic book, and they got this adaption so very very wrong. I'm convinced Zack Snyder hasn't actually read a comic book, just googled key story arcs and chosen bits that he thinks are cool. Also, the way they just shoehorned Wonder Woman into the plot was terrible, and lets not forget the rest of the JL "introductions".

      But why would we want to see the same Batman and Superman arcs we've seen since the 40's? Snyder is deliberately playing with the mythos to tell a new story.

      I don't agree with people saying it's a rough adaptation of something like The Dark Knight Returns - it's obviously not - but rather that's establishing on precedents set in those stories (older Batman, the nihilistic tone etc.)

    If you 'enjoyed' this it's obvious you've read no comics.
    BvS is a steaming incoherent mess.
    Piss poor story, writing, character development, miscasts and overall typical of Snyders talentless work.

    Wow, does the writer have a massive opinion of themselves in this comment. I do agree with some of the points that you make, however you're reason for saying the movie is no good - well -your justification on this view is nothing short of hypocritical. You're intelligent enough to see what I'm saying? The movie apparently is incoherent because you are intelligent enough to see that it is incoherent .... ha ha ha ha. Because you have an "education in film". Funnily enough if all critics have an "education in film" and that the movie is "incoherent" then why are all reviews not the same? Even in this movie they are divided somewhat. Movies & art is subjective. "Films become a deeper experience" quote of yours is utter garbage, you have a difference view and understanding of film making which give you a different prospective, but "deeper experience" can only come from connection.

    Can we get someone to do a Red Son movie adaptation instead? I wanna see Ruskie Batman on the big screen :D

    Each scene taken separately was pretty good, some even great (warehouse batman for instance) and most of the characters were really well written (except for supes) and acted (except for lois).
    Taken as separate story threads everything made sense (except for dream sequences) but by fucking christ the first hour and 40 minutes was a hot mess spectacle on how not to edit together a movie.

    Real life is funny. Marvel superhero films are more relatable than the previous style of superhero films (the Dark Knights and Man Of Steels of the world) because they're funny. People are funny. Superheroes are people. Superheroes are funny even when they're doing superheroics because that's how people act.

      The Daredevil TV series is far better than the MCU movies because it's precisely the opposite of that in my view. In real life not everyone is cracking jokes and people driven to do extreme and awful things on both sides often aren't full of jovial quips.

        I agree that people aren't always full of quips, but they sometimes are funny regardless of the situation they're in. There are lots of serious moments in the Marvel universe, lots of downbeats. There's whole swathes of Iron Man 3 dedicated to watching Robert Downey Jr. pretend to have panic attacks. They just infused more comedy into it than filmmakers had traditionally been doing with the superhero genre because people who are having panic attacks or going through rough times are still people and they're still multifaceted.

          I guess my point is that arguing that people being funny in extreme situations isn't really something you can argue is any more "realistic" because it very much depends on the mentality and experience of the characters you're trying to create. In more brutal street level shows like Daredevil there's WAY less humour than the light and fluffy more kid-friendly avengers movies because the stakes are far more real and the consequences of character's actions more damaging.

          The guy is just a blind dude with incredible senses and fighting skills, but no real superpowers and on occasion his actions have resulted in people close to him dying. The Punisher's introduction in the latest season was astonishingly brutal and he's not a guy that makes jokes... EVER. Why? Because he doesn't see the funny side of much after what's happened to him, and is driven by a singular and singularly destructive instinct for an absolute form of justice.

          I bring up Daredevil because it's honestly the most compelling comic book to live action adaptation I've come across. The stuff just stays with you in a way movies like the Avengers just don't - I particularly love how Castle makes Murdoch confront his hiding behind a mask and the nativity of his "no-kill" stance. Sure, I enjoyed the avengers, but those movies are really just light and fluffy advertisments for other light and fluffy movies, and I don't think "realism" or "relatability" are words you can use to describe much in them.

          The Batman v Superman movie is somewhere in between the more street level grind of a Daredevil and the cosmic fluff of the Avengers; it's characters are god-like, but their experiences are tied to the cynicism of the real world. I don't read comics, but I liked how Batman was just over it after 20 years, and had clearly lost a lot of people and so was a bit closer to a Punisher style character than a fast quipping Tony Stark. I also liked that Superman was conflicted and that he was seeing the public and government engage in a frenzied debate about whether he was a threat or not.

          Again, maybe it's because I don't read the comics, but I reckon this Superman was more engaging than the boring boy-scouts we've had on screen before. After all the dude is made out to be virtually indestructible, so he ought to be a little bit uncertain of his place and role. I also loved Batman's line to him about bravery, because he's right! There hadn't ever been any stakes for Superman; the guy has rarely been at risk of anything, so him fighting isn't really even brave.

          All in all, for me this movie worked BECAUSE it wasn't like a Marvel movie. The last thing we needed was another fast-quipping avengers clone where a bunch of indestructible gods go up against an army of impotent drones that are dispatched with the ease of Star Wars Ep 1 battle droids whilst making observational humour. Sure, it was fun once, but it got boring real quick after seeing it all again in Ultron.

          Last edited 05/04/16 9:23 am

            I typed out a really detailed reply to this but then I posted it and the comment f*cked up (love Kotaku's amazing new feature - sometimes comments don't work! exciting).

            The basic gist was that I feel as though single-mindedly determined characters are harder to relate to. I find it hard to relate to Punisher because he's not a person he's the personification of his goal. Marvel got around that by adding humour because people are funny. That way I see Captain America as a dude and also as a superhero.

            I think Superman's boy-scout representation was bad but I also think his dark 'n' gritty, punch-a-drone-out-of-the-sky representation was bad as well because in both we don't see him as a person we just see him as a paragon of whatever ideals he's tasked with.

            Overall my point is that adding humour to superhero movies makes them easier to relate to because people are multi-faceted, and there are representations that do that without humour like the Supergirl tv show that grounds Kara Zor-El by her friends and her tedious job that she's really committed to - we see that she has things important to her other than being a superhero - but I think humour was a really effective way to show that Hawkeye is a superhero but he's also just a dude with a bow and arrow fighting super robots, you know what I mean?

              I hate when that happens - I always try to remember to ctl+A and ctl+c before posting for that reason.

              Fair enough, but I would maintain that your point of view at the very least is incredibly subjective. I personally feel I could relate to Frank Castle a lot more than say Vision, Thor or Captain America because I know WHAT drives and motivates him. Same thing with Batman. I know he's been through hell for the past 20 years and has lost someone that was almost a surrogate son due to the evil he's had to face.

              I can understand how having someone you love more than anything in the world taken from you could drive you to do extreme things because that sort of thing is just hard wired into the human experience. For me at least, that's certainly a lot easier to identify with than an incorruptible idealist like Steve Rogers or a god with a magical hammer. I mean, what really motivates those guys really? It's all very abstract... the only guy in the MCU you can understand is Tony Stark, because he's trying to make amends for the damage he's caused. I get his sense of responsibility, but for most of the others its very artificial, and I think that's kinda why Superman also works in BvS for me; he's being the good guy because he's trying to follow what his dad's ideals were, but he doesn't have any deeper and purer form of motivation himself and so could be corrupted if he was pushed.

              That's kinda the point of the movie; Batman doesn't believe Superman is a real hero and Luthor thinks he's just as corruptible and capable of manipulation as anyone else. Sure the editing could have been more linear, but I like how this movie's walking ideal is put to the test and so riddled with conflict.

      Sometimes people aren't funny when their parents were murdered in front of their eyes or when they witness mass deaths as a city is destroyed. Or even if, hypothetically speaking, a 20 foot tall alien monstrosity is threatening to kill everything. Sometimes people are angry and depressed, and it's nice to see a superhero movie play to this possibility.

      Why don't we get up in arms when the latest holocaust film isn't a laugh riot? Or when a story about Syrian refugees doesn't have any witty pop culture references? Why do we hold all superhero movies to a different set of criteria? "Superhero" isn't a film genre, it's a plot device. You can have Superhero action comedies, like The Avengers. You can have Superhero thrillers, like the Winter Soldier. Or you can have existential Superhero dramas, like Batman v Superman.

        Ur comment is overly hostile so I'm not gonna respond to it cause I don't wanna be angry about whether movies about superheroes should be funny or not!

          It was the holocaust reference right. Too much?

            like 1cm over the line I think. It wasn't even nearly the worst holocaust reference that has been commented on a kotaku article though so I mean that's something.

        I'd say daredevil is the better superhero drama out of it and svb. Because it's coherant and nobody wakes from a dream twice in a row like they were in inception.

        Why don't we get up in arms when the latest holocaust film isn't a laugh riot?

        Because Shoah was a masterpiece, and Batman v Superman really wasn't...?

        There's more heart in a single episode of the walking dead than there is in BvS. It's definitely not full of jokes but still has moments where character let their hair down, these moments are generally to blow off steam, get over something huge or just some moment of escapism in the shitty reality that they're living.

        ,,,, I felt nothing for anyone in BvS except maybe for Alfred, him and Wonder Woman are the only ones I really felt nail the roles. Affleck and Cavill were 'fine', can't really fault their performances but the writing was so boring that I can't really hold it to any high level of regard either.

    I thought the BvS movie was decent/good, 7 out of 10. I wasn't blown away, and I did notice scenes that had characters doing things that wasn't traditional to their comic book selves, such as Batman clearly shooting some people in the face.

    Last edited 04/04/16 3:18 pm

    Personally, I think BvS has suffered as much because of Deadpool as for its own script/cast flaws. Deadpool is the endgame example of the action comedy superhero line, taking that comedy to silly lengths just to sell itself, and in the end summaries that run from Spiderman onwards.

    BvS is the polar opposite, and because its such a serious subject matter, the flaws get magnified. Which is a legacy of Bale's movies, and them not having that comedic element in the same way as Marvel movies do. But they were so good, they set a lofty standard.

    It was set up to fail, because of the legacy of all those movies, and had nothing to fall back on to save it when it tried to do too much and failed.

    Ok, so after reading a bunch of non-spoiler reviews of it I reluctantly agreed to go watch Batman V Superman yesterday, and I gotta say after seeing it I feel like a lot of reviewers just need to pull the rod out of their butt and lighten up because the movie was a tonne of fun!

    Sure, it's not gonna win best picture in a hurry, but as far as comic book movies go this was the most fun I've had in a while. People's gripes about it seemed to be centred on stuff like Batman killing people, bad editing and weird dream sequences, but whilst it was all a bit weird with the dreams and clearly aimed at comic fans (had my mate explain to me that the weird flying things in Batman's dream were some alien bad guy's henchmen from the comics) none of it bothered me very much.

    On the whole, I thought this was definitely better than the last avengers movie (which had zero stakes and no real conflict) in any case definitely made up for Man of Steel. All in all it kinda felt like what you might get if you mixed the light and fluffy marvel avengers movies with the dark and more grounded Nolan Batman movies, and for me at least it worked a treat.

      Yeah I know what you mean, I had 0 expectations and read some initial reviews and they were lowered even further. As I was watching the film I was like.... this, actually isn't that bad at all. There was a bunch of weirdness, mainly editing related, lex luthors character was just ridiculously shit, batman stopping fighting superman, us watching wonderwoman watching trailers, martha symbolism and Doomsday looking like a CGI orc out of the hobbit to name a few.

      As a casual comic movie with super minimal investment, it's not actually that bad... I would rate Avengers slightly higher, and overall I enjoyed it more than MoS but not by much. I think it's objectively a bad movie, but I like the theme and don't expect much so it's fine. If it was on TV or a subscription service I'd probably watch it a second time. I would never say it's a "good" movie though.

      When people start to dig their heels into BvS and start justifying/defending all the issues with it I start to go... ok this is ridiculous, it needs to be said that this movie is actually terrible... but that's ok, if someone feels defensive about BvS being crap then go take a handful of marvel movies, there's plenty of stinkers in there too. The worst is when people try to say 'you didn't get it'.... lol, many many many people have explained why that's a bunch of crap in this thread as well as all over the net.

      Overall I'd give BvS a serious 5.5/10 and for a casual popcorn movie night film I'd inflate it to 6.4/10.

        For a comic book film I'd give it a solid 7.5 for its incredible action scenes and for simply for trying to engage with some interesting ideas with regard to how people would react to a guy like Superman and the effect of all this stuff on a guy like Bruce Wayne.

        On Luthor, I'd read that Eisenburg single-handedly ruins the film and I gotta say he didn't at all for me. I'm obviously in the minority, but actually found him kinda compelling... maybe it's because I was expecting it to be worse than Dr Freeze in Batman Forever after reading the commentary, but to me his character worked. He's shown to be an unstable, but brilliant mind with a very deep cynicism regarding people's motives and an almost Ledger-Joker desire to show people nothing is incorruptible and certainly that there is little worthy of worship by men.

        That said, I still would have preferred a colder and more calculating older actor to play it, with my personal choice being Brian Cranston. I also thought that whole thing with him using his blood in the Kryptonian ship made zero sense... the ship tells him that it has a database covering a gazillion galaxies or something, so it should have more been a process of him asking the ship to find him information on the most destructive creatures Kryptonians had managed to create and then just going from there.

        But then, there was plenty that really didn't make a lot of sense, and comic book movies rarely do so I just kinda went with it.

        As for it being an objectively bad film, I don't really think there is such a thing; art - even cynically driven commercialised monstrosities posing as art - are ultimately all subjective experiences.

        That said, I think it's fair to say that much like the last Avengers movie it certainly 'felt' overly-long and the pacing was off because they were simultaneously crafting both a movie and a commercial for future movies (something this movie seriously took to an almost 4th wall breaking level of ridiculousness when Gal Gadot is looking at the videos of those other super heroes).

        Personally, I'd have preferred it if they broke this up into two films and spent a bit more time establishing everyone's motivations.

          Agree with most of your points but disagree on Lex and score, but that's ok... it's almost like different people in this world can have different opinions :)

          It's a weirdly polarizing film because in my mind it definitely doesn't deserve the hate it gets, but it also doesn't deserve this deeper 'if you were a real comic book fan you'd get it' mentality. When I review food places/movies/games/tv shows with friends the closing statement is always.... Would you go back? The answer for me on this one is.... if it was passively on TV or a mate was watching it at his place.... or 2 years passes and I was curious again... yes I would watch it. That internally tells me, it wasn't a complete pile of crud.

            It's a weirdly polarizing film because in my mind it definitely doesn't deserve the hate it gets, but it also doesn't deserve this deeper 'if you were a real comic book fan you'd get it' mentality.
            Very much agree with this. People hating on this are taking it WAY too seriously, but likewise those arguing this is "deep stuff" and that if you read the comics you'd get just how deep it is need to pull their finger out and read some genuinely heavy classic literature.
            The only comic adaptations I've come across that have had some genuinely interesting morality plays and ideas have been The Dark Knight (purely for its use of classic game theory in the almost literal reproduction of the 'prisoners dilemma', but it's sadly let down by the third act), Watchmen and the Daredevil TV show.

            Last edited 05/04/16 11:48 am

              agree agree agree, enjoyed daredevil s1 but didn't think it was as good as everyone made it out to be... even with that slight cynacism I fired up s2 and whoah.... you could not really ask for more, they did an amazing job with it.

                Yeah, I watched Daredevil on a whim knowing nothing about it, so it really took me by surprise. The fact that the show had me really empathizing with Fisk, almost to the point where I was going for him over the Murdoch is what really hooked me. The introduction of the Punisher in the second season was just brilliant too; you know you shouldn't support his totalitarian approach, but viscerally you want to.

    Wow. Can't wait to watch this movie and generate my own overblown, hyperbolic opinion about how good/bad it is.

    If you haven't seen the movie you shouldn't have read this article.

    Even so I'm using Spoiler Tags.

    My biggest problem with this movie is I've seen it before and it was done better. Batman Dark Knight returns and Superman Doomsday could have been mashed together by fans to make this movie. Sprinkle in a little Flashpoint and you have this movie. I get that this is an older Bitter (bitterer?) Batman, and I kind of like that they mixed the Thomas Wayne (In the timeline where Bruce gets shot, Thomas becomes Batman, and it's strongly implied in Flashpoint that Martha becomes The Joker.) version of Batman with the Bruce Wayne version of Batman. You get a Batman who while he doesn't go out of his way to kill villains he ends them, and he no longer cares if they die. The Grenade, the car chase, the fact he uses Guns now, the Dream Sequence.

    The Dream Sequence looked cool but was ultimately useless and served no purpose. There's a 45 second deleted scene from Warner Bros that is much more useful to the plot of the movie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-MUzvASr8s than that Dream Sequence.

    Wonder Woman's character could have been anyone, all you needed to do was be able to stand up against Doomsday and there are tons of people who could have filled that role.

    There are some good points, I really want to see Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Bruce and Alfred where great.

    Finally that is without a doubt, the worst Lex Luthor I've ever seen. In the Comics and Cartoons Lex is confident, charismatic genius, he works towards his goals without caring who or what gets in the way, and eliminating them. He has backup plans. Look at one of his brilliant plans, find the guy who lost his legs, steal the checks that Bruce would have setup that would of taken care of him for life, write a cryptic message on them and send them back to Bruce to insight Batman to fight Superman. Except it took years for Bruce to even Notice, Surely there was a quicker means to an end. To accelerate the point he literally had to resort to Kidnapping two women, Martha Kent even had the countdown to death,

    The problem with making movies in the DC Universe is they have had a long run of doing great cartoon movies and series, something Marvel hasn't had to contend with. And when it appears you've mashed two of those movies together with a sprinkling of others you're going to get this sort of movie. The Cartoon Justice League: War does a better job of setting up the JLA then what I suspect is the next movie in the series.

    This movie was a rushed piece of garbage. This movie also shows one mans trash is another mans treasure. I've never seen a film received such a divided opinion before. Seriously.. I hated this film and I saw it at the midnight premiere and was keen as beans for it.

    They tried to squeeze four different comic story lines into one movie. I mean, kudos to Synder for deciding to throw a little sprinkle of Injustice in there (show's he's a bit of a geek like the rest of us) but that should've just been the sole movie if that was the route he wanted to go. The entire superman vs batman thing was so forced and lame that it hurts. People saying "omg its so gritty and dark" or "DC DOES ADULT SUPER HERO MOVIES" Or "Comic book fans get it!" are all bat shit insane. It's not any more gritty than Nolans batman or any of the animated/comic batman stuff we've seen recently. In fact it's way more tamer. And as a comic book fan I sat there laughing at scenes that were not supposed to be funny. That scene where batman goes to clip superman and Afleck just has taht confused/awe facial. The entire cinema I was watching it in burst out laughing... and it wasn't supposed to be comedic.

    Why did the government just leave that alien ship lying around? Why didn't anyone question why superman would have to shoot those terrorists with guns? Why was Batman an insane moron who kills people, had Luthor run circles around him, and was hell bent on killing Superman because of some collateral damage that occurred when Superman was defending the city? And if he was soooo hell bent on killing him why did the mere mention of Clarks mums name make him change his mind. Shouldn't he have already investigated his family? If Lex was able to work out who Supermans gf and mum was, how couldn't the worlds greatest detective? Also where was the scene where Superman and Batman work out who each other was? And the blowing of their load by killing off Superman this early.. I mean COME ON. Doomsday and the Death of superman in their 2nd movie?!?! Where are the stakes for future movies? They can't kill him again... Oh he'll just come back to life again. Where's the foreplay WB?

    I could rant about what was wrong with this movie all day long. I realise some people love it and thats great. But don't sit there and go "Oh you just don't get it". Oh no.. I got it. WB got impatient and were scared shitless that the superhero money train that Marvel has been riding might dry up and are trying to pump out 4 DC movies over the next 2 years just to get a Justice League movie out with (what I can only assume) will have Darkseid as the big bad, and they want to get their "Thanos" onto the big screen before Infinity War in 2018 (Justice League is slated for 2017). It's pathetic, it's desperate and I'd wager they'll probably mess it up as well.

    Who knows.. Maybe they just need a new director. Because Synder has NO idea what he was doing. And it kills me as someone who use to defend him around 300 and Watchmen. I thought Sucker Punch might've just been a once off, but this dude is hell M.Knight Shamalamalaying.

    Last edited 04/04/16 6:38 pm

      More like M.Darkknight Shamalamalaying. Hah!

      Why did the government just leave that alien ship lying around? Why didn't anyone question why superman would have to shoot those terrorists with guns? Why was Batman an insane moron who kills people, had Luthor run circles around him, and was hell bent on killing Superman because of some collateral damage that occurred when Superman was defending the city? And if he was soooo hell bent on killing him why did the mere mention of Clarks mums name make him change his mind. Shouldn't he have already investigated his family? If Lex was able to work out who Supermans gf and mum was, how couldn't the worlds greatest detective? Also where was the scene where Superman and Batman work out who each other was? And the blowing of their load by killing off Superman this early.. I mean COME ON. Doomsday and the Death of superman in their 2nd movie?!?! Where are the stakes for future movies? They can't kill him again... Oh he'll just come back to life again. Where's the foreplay WB?

      I think if you're asking all of these questions you're probably taking it all way too seriously... this was a comic book movie after all and a lot of stuff makes no sense. When I think back to Avengers Age of Ultron there was so much that just falls apart the moment you really start to think about it.. like how does Vision have the ability to lock Ultron out of the internet? Isn't he essentially an organic body with a brain, just augmented with vibranium? Does that also give his brain awesome wifi and an instant and deep understanding of the internet? And even if it did, how are we expected to believe that a super intelligent computer intelligence like Ultron wouldn't create separate versions of himself disconnected from the net, or at least find a way to dump his code somewhere like Jarvis did? ... but anyway, I digress - my point is if you start over thinking comic book movies it all starts to unravel pretty quick. Not that it can't be fun to do it (I actually enjoy a bit of nit-picking), but don't let that process dishearten you given the genre.

      On some of your questions though, the film does provide answers. To begin with, the government didn't leave the ship "lying around" - it was in a sealed off military installation that had been built around it after it crashed and Luthor bargained for access to it. Also, no one said Superman shot those terrorists with guns, they said his intervention sparked bloodshed (probably due to his no kill policy and him just buggering off after saving Lois).
      As for Batman, they make it clear he's a jaded old warrior who kinda just doesn't give a shit anymore and has clearly gone from a "no kill" policy to a "I'll do what's necessary to stop the rot I see" approach after seeing people close to him die off over the years. His motivation for distrusting Superman in this context makes sense; he's seen plenty of good guys get corrupt (hints at Harvey Dent in some dialogue) and all he knows of Superman is he's almost indestructible and could didn't seem too concerned with having a fist fight in the middle of a heavily populated city. On the whole Martha thing, I actually don't get why people are upset about it; it's showing that even despite his warning, Superman didn't really want to hurt Batman and had to manipulated into it, so the use of his mother both connects them and simultaneously makes Bruce see he's let himself be manipulated.

      That said, I agree with you that Bruce should have already known who Superman was if Lex could work it out. I also agree killing off Superman this early was a bit of over-reach early. I mean, I get what they were trying to do; after all one of the complaints with the Marvel movies is that there's just zero stakes because no one of consequence is ever hurt, but killing Superman this early was probably too far the other way. That said, from what's been explained to me, BvS essentially combines aspects of two big comics where both Batman and Superman die respectively, but just change the roles (supposedly in the comics batman appears to die after his fight with Superman, but it's all just a ruse).

      Anyway, with all that out of the way, I did have some of my own nit-picky questions. First and foremost is where Batman got that mech suit from (because we never see him making it) and why he didn't use a bit of the left over Kyptonite to put over the knuckles and boots of his suit? I get there wasn't a tonne of the stuff, but that was one big-ass spear he made and surely he could have got by with a slightly smaller one. Also, why did Luthor's blood create Doomsday when combined with Zodd? Shouldn't human blood have diluted Kryptonian genetics? Lastly, what was Luthor's plan following Superman's death if Doomsday wasn't stopped? Because it didn't seem like that thing followed orders...

    At the end of the day who gives a sh*t. Some people will love it and other will despise it and you will never convince either party to change their view. "Opinions are like as*holes everyone has one and everyone thinks every ones else's stinks" I personally loved the movie, I see these arguments about it like I see people arguing over art - some people praise art which is simple in design, clearly within lines (basically how it should look, its perfection if you will) where you can clearly see the thing they have painted, other prefer the abstract where you need to look at it differently - BVS is my opinion is abstract you're going to get people that think it is a lot of sh*t, and others will be amazed by its meaning and that fact is you're not going to convince people to change their mind either way so why waste time arguing over an opinion. Interesting to see how the film is viewed in 10 or 20 years time.

    Some people may find this post interesting as it provides a little more detail.

    http://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/batman-v-superman-zack-snyder-10-things/

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