Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice Isn’t A ‘Bad’ Movie…
(WARNING – SPOILER ALERT)
Let’s face it. Batman vs Superman isn’t the “Avengers Killer” that DC Comics hoped it would be. In fact, reports are that profit wise it won’t even top the previous Man Of Steel film that it is a ‘sequel’ of. With that said, even I can’t bring myself to say that it is a ‘bad’ movie. As a comic book fan who would occasionally read some of the more interesting stories of both heroes, you could say that I didn’t have much invested in the ‘proper’ depiction of this storyline from the comics. Still, I did have expectations given the grand scope of putting these two icons together in one movie. Too bad it didn’t even live up to those.
Simply put, Batman vs. Superman turned out to be a rushed attempt to leapfrog DC’s movies into a superhero team movie in order to ‘compete’ with Marvel’s astounding box office achievements. Bat versus Supes was expected to be this Earth shattering prequel to the epic that is the Justice League! Instead, it was a long, confusing, and anti-climatic effort that came close to greatness but just missed it. Without going into too much comic book lore and canon, I’ll try to explain.
First of all, the Superman of this franchise is duller than the one that is in the comic books. Honestly. Having an alien that is invulnerable, strong, fast, and with no charisma was barely passable in the comics so to see a version that had even less charisma on the silver screen was quite painful. The intent for these movies was to have an edgy and dark feel which is perfect for Batfleck but tragic for the well cast but poorly written for Henry Cavill. This Stuperman comes across as a ditzy model there for the look and unable to even deliver catchy one liners. I’m sorry but for a character that is intended to represent hope in the most epic of ways, there was little to cheer about for Superman (even in Man of Steel this was true). I understand that this ‘image flaw’ was intended to be a strong point of the story to allow for people (and Batman) to feasibly be able to question his true nature, intent, or worth. Maybe after the epic portrayal of Superman by Christopher Reeves this rendition of Superman was simply doomed to fail from the start. Still, other hero reincarnations have worked…kinda (Spiderman, Batman, Joker, Catwoman).
Next, when you focus in on the actual battle between Batfleck and Superman, the battle was a bit short and the way that it ended was REALLY horrible. Batman, the greatest detective ever and a character that is legendary for his gadgets and preparation for any situation, only managed to aggravate Superman in their battle until his Kryptonite grenades allowed him to hurt him. Then to have Batman stop his attempt to kill Superman simply because their mothers had the same name was just plain awful.
Lastly, one of the big things I say about EVERY superhero movie is that without a good villain, the movie will be lackluster at BEST. Avengers Age of Ultron was a bit disappointing due to that fact. For myself, even The Dark Knight Rises was a bit disappointing for this same fact. In BvS, the apparent son of Lex Luthor doesn’t come across as a genius or mastermind at all. His portrayal by Jesse Eisenberg wasn’t twinged with anything outside of seeming a bit scatterbrained. His best scenes surrounded verbal jabs with a Senator which led to a seemingly pointless part in the movie where he arranged to have a suicide-bomber attack the Senate Hearing meant to roast Superman. I think the scene was meant to have the audience hate Luthor even more and see how ruthless he was but I don’t think it had that effect. Also, his attempt at making Superman ‘evil’ or whatever at the end of the movie that essentially spawned the ‘super battle’ seemed weak as well. Oh how I longed for Gene Hackman watching this portrayal of Lex Luthor. Throw in the half-hearted origin of Doomsday that came across as a Frankenstein project and you have a sigh filled setup for what was actually a decent battle at the end of the movie.
Of course, once it was all said and done, the so called explanation of why Batfleck chose to pull the Justice League together was because of his ‘ode to Superman’s spirit’ and because of a … ‘feeling’. Despite Wonder Woman saying she’s been around long enough to not care to fight for mankind anymore, I wonder if hearing Batman say that he has a feeling would truly be a point to encourage her to change her mind about her stance to no longer fight for mankind.
With all that I’ve said above that disgusted me about the movie (aside from the fact that I’m not a Ben Affleck fan), the whole experience wasn’t a tragedy. Gal Gadot surprisingly won me over with her epic battle against Doomsday. The confusing dream sequence that Batman had showing Superman as a dictator killing people and such hinted towards the Injustice: Gods Among Us storyline which is probably one of the best DC storylines I’ve ever read. That did, at least, give me hope for what DC might do going forward in this cinematic universe.