Random Movie Review: Batman V Superman – Dawn of Justice

:sigh: This is going to be Spoiler heavy. You have been warned.

Y’all. I was so excited. SO excited. I’ve had a hard few months filled with depression and death and ants and work. BvS was a big circle on my calendar that I was looking forward to, and had been for 3 years.

And it insulted me.

Let me break it down and tell you why.

General:

The plot of this film is at once simple, and overly complicated. We start out watching Bruce at his parents’ funeral, in which we flash back to his parents’ murder. We then see him fall in a cave of bats – because of course we do – and float out, arms outstretched because these are allegories of myths and shit, people. This is Grant Morrison’s Supergods. This is starting off on a we’re-not-even-trying when it comes to subtlety foot. I mean, it’s one thing when it’s Superman, but this is little Bruce.

But whatever. Moving on. We get to what, I feel, is the best scene of the film … the Metropolis destruction scene from Man of Steel, from Bruce’s POV. It’s basically all in the trailer, but it retains its excitement.

We get title cards jumping us forward in time a year. We go to Africa where Lois gets in trouble with a terrorist, which Superman saves her from by killing the man holding her hostage. He says later he didn’t kill anyone, but that man went through at least three brick walls. Human bodies don’t survive stuff like that well. Other guys there are dead, Supes didn’t kill them, but he gets blamed, it’s a bit of a conspiracy.

We visit Lex and politicians, he wants the rights to import kryptonite found in the Indian Ocean and the body of Zod and ship. He gets the second and arranges the first through suicide bomb on a dude. Dude happens to be right next to Superman, but he doesn’t notice. Odd. (For reference, Superman has been known to listen to specific heartbeats across the country and further… I think he could get some sense of a bomb sitting next to him.)

Batman is shown to be paranoid… which WOULD be character accurate if it weren’t for the fact that his paranoia weren’t directly created by the manipulation of Lex. Our first introduction to the WORLD’S GREATEST DETECTIVE is as a dupe. Awesome.

(Yes. Technically Lex has manipulated Batman before, in the comics, but it is frustrating to me that this is how we are introduced to him, as an angry puppet unable to see the full picture.)

There are no secret identities. Lex knows Superman is Clark, of course, and Clark knows Bruce is Batman. Batman knows Diana is … a “meta human”. Because he found her picture in a drive from LexCorp. Along with basically vines of Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. Which is all you get of those three characters. Congrats.

Having this information, Lex lures Superman to him by threatening Lois, manipulates Superman into fighting Batman by  using his mom as hostage. Batman, because Lex has allowed it to be stolen, now has that kryptonite Lex imported.

In the grand tradition of Mr. Sunday Movies: #TheyPunchForABitThenTheyreMates

Eventually Superman says the word “Martha” and we get the flashback to seeing Bruce’s parents die AGAIN. See, Bruce and Clark both have moms named Martha. This is just a thing. But now it’s a thing that’s a necessary plot point, because it’s the “how they become mates” thing…

All that death and destruction and gods ruling over men stuff? Totes unimportant! Sons of Marthas unite!

I’m falling apart here, y’all.

Okay. So Bruce backs off, stops spraying him with Kryptonite gas and puts down his kryptonite spear, and vows to go after Martha. Not going to let Martha die tonight. I think this is supposed to be profound but it was one of WAY too many lines that had me rolling my eyes. Clark goes another direction…

Because Lex turned Zod into Doomsday. Blood of his blood and blah blah blah more gods and demons and man and blah blah blah holy shit someone please get me out of here. You don’t have to keep beating me over the head with it; I GET IT ALREADY.

Doomsday, if you’re wondering, is a monster. That’s it. Just a monster that “evolves” when you hit it … it gets spikes and is harder to kill. Whatever, dumb, completely mindless killer of a villain from the 90s. No backstory needed because there was originally no backstory given.

Okay. Doomsday comes out, they fight a tiny amount. Superman takes him into space. We cut to the president. President is like “nuke em” and I’m like … wait, what?

No, seriously. What? Did they try anything else? Did I blink? Why go FIRST to nukes? I mean, I get what they were going for. What they did. That scene in The Dark Knight Returns – which I actually already used in my post about Frank Miller wanting us to hate Batman! – where Superman is depowered from the nuclear blast making it easier for Batman to face him… But, logically as the first step… and I don’t know about radiation and how far out of the atmosphere they were when it exploded, and …. that was a REALLY big leap for me.

Then it’s just Batman. Then Wonder Woman successfully escapes her Turkish Airlines plane (felt like way less product placement in this one, but for obvious reason, that was impossible to ignore) and saves him. And Superman, in very little time and with none of the poetry of TDKR, restores himself from the power of the sun, and returns to Earth to help.

More fighting, lots of spinning (Transformers and Micheal Bay tumble around each other, Snyder and Superman swing and spin shit around … rewatch MoS and this… it’s a thing), LOTS of flickering electricity.

Superman gets hold of the kryptonite spear after bullshit I do not even want to talk about. Wonder Woman lassos him, Batman kryptonite gasses him, and Superman stabs him through the chest. HE PUTS THE SPEAR ALL THE WAY IN AND THEN PUSHES IT THROUGH HIS BACK!

WHY?!

The kryptonite is poison, right? Keep that shit in the body where it will do the most damage the fastest. Also he goes after Doomsday like he’s Player One in a 2D Platformer. I know he’s tired and near poisoned, but he can still fly and his opponent is tied down and gassed. Take that bitch from behind, moron.

Well, he doesn’t.  And he gets a spike through the heart for his troubles.

Superman’s dead. Boohoo. Or rather, it would be boohoo, if I cared, but I don’t. Absolutely nothing has been built up about this character. Plot plot plot, and overly convoluted to get basically no where, trying to convince me about gods and people for two movies. I don’t care about Clark Kent. I don’t know a damn thing about him except that he too often talks about Earth like it’s not his home and like he has no family like his mom doesn’t exist.

I cry during commercials. If you read these reviews at all, you know I cry at EVERYTHING. I snorted. I almost walked out of the theatre. They were trying to manipulate emotion out of me that they DID NOT EARN. No. Thank you.

Visuals:

Way worse than they should have been. Our first look of Batman has him doing a Spider-Man-esque pose. From the corner of the screen and out of focus, it is kind of horrifying. But as the focus shifts and the character moves, it looks awful. Rubbery and awful.

The fight scenes are chaotic as hell for the most part so hard to see anything. After watching Daredevil where you FEEL each hit, this was quite the cop out, for me.

Snyder got a bit of a hard on for filming Bruce walk slowly through a field with flowers. He did it several times. Also super close ups on faces. I don’t need to see up peoples’ noses, thank you.

All the same complaints from Man of Steel, too much gray, too desaturated, softened, smoothed out. A friend mentioned Henry Cavill looked old, I hadn’t noticed until I saw a scene of him with his mom/Diane Lane. He looked run over whereas the rest of his body/costume looked airbrushed. Really jarring contrast.

The resurrection from the nuclear blast scene, because it happens in moments instead of being at all drawn out, he – like that first Batman – looks super rubbery.

superlight
Yes, worse than this. Because it’s too smooth…

The Batmobile jumping into the water entrance of the Batcave looked like something out of a 00s era video game cut scene.

Characters/Actors

Hitting the highlights. Check IMDB for others.

Henry/Superman – Did the job he was given just fine, but the job was shit. Superman is still a killer, often without cause. (Most Supermen could have neutralized that first guy no problem.) Superman and Lois even say the word “hope” but you can’t just SAY it, just WRITE it in the script. It’s never laid out in the character’s being. And so never felt emotionally. I don’t buy it. He seems indecisive in personal direction, and maybe obsessive over others. Neither character traits that are endearing or heroic. He latches on to a bias against Batman REALLY fast and easy after seeing one image.

Ben/Batman – Well acted. But again, the character was screwed. He woke up and drank. Bruce only drank after he retired. The comics have over and over, he drinks club soda or other clear bubbly things as stand-ins for champagne… he doesn’t drink if he’s going to have to Batman. And when the OLD Batman drank in TDKR, it was because he had STOPPED being Batman. …Bruce shouldn’t drink. Also, guns. Also, repeat the duped thing here. One further Batman point, we are forced to watch Baby-Bruce super-slo mo scream TWICE and stare at his gigantic teeth and his mom’s falling pearls. But he just kind of shrugs past that tagged Robin memorial with zero anything. Hilarious.

joke
…seriously, no. Hilarious. So damn hilarious.

Jesse/Lex – Annoying. This can roll into my epilepsy warning too, he twitches while talking a lot. Extremely fragmented sentences. Everything need. Everything needing to be said. Said in a way that is somehow, someway odder. Odder than it should be. Odder than it has been. Odder than OH MY GOD JUST FREAKING TALK. At one point he does what feels like almost a Joker impersonation and I’m wondering if he was pissed about what role he was cast in.

Superboy-Prime-6
Or this moment where Superboy Prime goes bugnuts and carves an S in his chest… either/or. Both. Probably Both.

Gal/Diana – Pretty awesome. Didn’t do much else than smile, fight, and open some files on a computer, so it worked out okay. The fighting was chaotic, but from what I could see of it, I was pleased with her.

wwm

Amy/Lois – The only character they went straight back to the 30s with. Only there to get tossed off of buildings at the exact moment necessary to get Superman in the story. Excellent writing for the character. #sarcasm

Diane/Martha – Great.

Jeremy/Alfred – Like Earth One Alfred, but nicer.

Epilepsy:

Go medicated, fed, and slept. Climax is full of electricity and there’s a storm. Plus there’s a blue light thing, and flash editing issues. AND, if you’re like me, listening to Lex is like listening to techno music.

Interesting to Note:

Possibly being in the presence of Superman leads to gravity shifts? I’m FURIOUS that we only got that tiny 6 second bit from Aquaman. Am I REALLY the only person who noticed that kid’s gigantic teeth? Why is the camera practically in his mouth?

WHY DID THEY PUSH THE SPEAR ALL THE WAY THROUGH?!

All in All:

…I’m so sad. It’s like when you take all of the pretty colors of paint, and you pour them all in one bucket and all you get is a sludgy gray/black/brown mess? That’s what happened when they pushed The Dark Knight Returns (remember when they said it wasn’t that, hahaha) and The Death of Superman together. With maybe a splash of Infinite Crisis, which didn’t change the icky color. A sludgy gray/black/brown mess.

God I’m so freaking pissed and sad. This was my post before going in:

wwoman
“40 Minutes!” What innocence I had…
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