REVIEW: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice


Saw Batman v Superman. Spoilers to come, so look away if you haven’t seen it. This review will be quick and painless, I promise.

I really dug it, about as much as Man of Steel (which I loved). I think. I’d venture there’s actually a great movie under here somewhere, if all the very blatantly (and awkwardly) shoe-horned “gotta set up the JL movie, gotta set up the Aquaman movie, gotta set up the Cyborg movie, gotta set up the Wonder Woman movie” had been cut out or edited with a lot more subtlety. Also, a little bit confused about Lex Luthor’s (and I love how they gave themselves a back door in case he doesn’t rate critically well… “Dad” could just come in and take over in any sequel in case their little Mega Zuckerberg experiment fails) endgame plan. I liked the earlier plan, to basically trick Batman into stealing his kryptonite to use against Superman and making him think he’s doing it below board… but the Doomsday plan. That’s pretty shoddy. Luthor was basically banking on Batman and *maybe* Wonder Woman (not Superman, since he was already generating Doomsday at this point and it’s unlikely he could bank on a “cancel” button) taking on a creature even more powerful than Superman. Why would he do this? Who’s to say Batman wouldn’t have already expended his supply of kryptonite killing Superman by this point, let alone even knowing Doomsday is Kryptonian to know to use any on him? (or even be able to). Point is, Doomsday would have just killed Batman, obliterated Gotham and Metropolis and basically the whole nerve center of LexCorp and just gone around the world uncontested. Shit plan.
Things I *really* liked:
* Batman. Seems the part. Seems the Arkham Asylum kind of character.
* Wonder Woman. Cool. But barely in it, as most reviews say.

* The Batman vs. Superman fight. It’s pretty visceral.

* Superman’s death. Might not have been handled in really the best way or the appropriate heartstrings pulled, but it worked. Kind of like Dark Knight Rises when I saw Bane cast but I didn’t think they’d break Batman’s back like in the comics, I didn’t think Doomsday would actually “kill” Superman. He does, and it’s roughly the same as Superman #75. Minus the onlookers. It’s just Lois. And a Batman and Wonder Woman who barely knows him/cares about him.
Things I really *didn’t* like:
* Luthor. I was fully open to Eisenberg doing his Social Network persona on steroids as Luthor and seeing what would happen but… this didn’t work. I wish the Joaquin Phoenix rumors had been true, that might have been something. As is, they did leave themselves a backdoor with all the talk of his dad.
* Batman killing. A whole lot of people. Batman leaving the rail-car in “Batman Begins” with Ra’s al Ghul saying, “I’m not going to kill you… but I don’t have to save you” is one thing, but openly firing guns (and… guns? obviously he can use them built into his car or plane to shoot open doors and such… but that’s one of the things that defines him is how anti-gun he is, despite making necessary exceptions in infinitesimal examples) at vehicles blowing up bad guys left and right? Running them over at times? These aren’t things any version of the character would do, and I think it’s a very odd choice, particularly as reactionary as this whole movie is of WB bowing to all the complaints of “Proto Superman didn’t try to save anyone in the last movie!!! WAHHH!!!” If there’s anyone complaining about Superman killing Doomsday (which is, essentially, just killing Zod a second time) that’s just stupid, though. He, like with Zod, killed him in the comics. It’s there. It happened. Now it’s on screen. Shut up.
* That Flash sucks ass. Terrible. Terrible costume (or is that the future costume? then that’s a shitty future version of the costume) and terrible casting. And the Aquaman cameo was literally embarrassing to watch. The Cyborg cameo… more awkward, like, let’s take 2 minutes out of the movie to watch an origin that has no bearing on anything in this film other than this is clearly something WB wants to have happen. Think Thor’s visions in Avengers 2, or almost all of Spider-Man 3.
* No mention of Green Lantern. If there was a DC Holy Quartet and not just a Trinity (which is bullshit in itself, Wonder Woman has always gotten shit on unjustly for decades while there’s a bajillion Batman and Superman things out there), the fourth member would easily be Green Lantern. There is no reason under the sun why he wouldn’t appear here were it not for the under-performance of the GL movie a few years back. Which goes back to WB having no backbone. Or master plan that’s coherent.

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