‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ (BvS) was supposed to launch DC Movies into the big leagues. The movie was supposed to compete with Marvel Movies like Avengers, Guardians, and Captain America. Unfortunately there is no competition. The winner in Batman V Superman is Marvel and the loser is the audience.
Spoiler Alert: Do not continue reading if you want to avoid spoilers from this movie.
For a synopsis of the plot read this on Wikipedia:
So where did this movie go wrong? Where to start? The movie was disjointed and the characters all act like total idiots.
Except Wonder Woman. She rocked.
First the characters:
Batman: Batman is known as ‘The worlds greatest detective”. In this movie he is little more than a vigilante thug who does not think. He is manipulated by Lex Luthor into fighting Superman. He also kills indiscriminately. When trying to steal the kryptonite from Luthor he attacks with full force, destroying parts of Gotham, and killing the Lex Corp guards. The exact type of behavior that Batman blames Superman for perpetrating in Metropolis. Batman should stealthily break into Lex Corp and steel the kryptonite unseen.
Later, Batman has Superman at his mercy. The Batman is poised to kill Superman (which is what Lex Luthor wanted to do as well). Bruce Wayne said about Superman “if we believe there’s a ONE percent chance that he is our enemy we have to take it as an absolute certainty… and we have to destroy him.” Yet when Superman asks Batman to save Martha (Superman’s mom) Batman decides to spare Superman because his mom was also named Martha.
Now Batman and Superman are BFFs because their mom’s have the same name??!!??
I guess the odds of their moms having the same first name is less than that one percent.
Superman: Superman lacks any strategic thought in this movie. While following Bruce Wayne in Lex Luthors house he abandons the mission because one child halfway around the world will die. Yet in his many fights he has killed hundreds of innocents as collateral damage.
Superman lives across the bay from Gotham where crime is as shocking as wet water. Superman does not fly across the bay to fight crime yet he will fly halfway across the world to save a kid from a fire. The trip from Metropolis to Gotham takes a few minute by helicopter yet Superman can’t be bothered to help out.
In the final battle Superman attampts to kill Doomsday with the kryptonite spear instead of giving the spear to Wonder Woman or Batman. He also decides the best method of attack is approach Doomsday head on as apposed to from behind or above. These decisions leave Superman weak and vulnerable for Doomsday to deliver the killing blow. Had Superman given the spear to Wonder Woman or attacked from behind Superman would not die.
Lex Luthor: Lex is the insane mastermind who has learned the secret identities of both Superman and Batman and is manipulating them to the epic end battle. We are meant to believe that Luthor has pulled all these strings to bring Batman and Superman to this epic battle yet what was Lex Luthor’s plan for Doomsday? Lex was clearly planning that either Batman would kill Superman, or Superman would kill Batman. If Superman survives the battle Doomsday would kill Superman but what was Lex going to do with the superpowered monster after the fall of the Man of Steel? Doomsday would continue to ravage the earth growing more powerful.
There is also the issue with the kryptonite import license. If Lex is a criminal mastermind why would he bother? Wouldn’t he just bring the kryptonite into Metropolis illegally? Why make such a big deal about it?
Lex comes across as a crazy cheap Joker knock off and not the criminal mastermind he is supposed to be.
Lois Lane: Lois’s behavior is just reckless. Her primary purpose is to act as Super-bait.
She recklessly goes to interview a drug war lord in Africa when it was clearly known to all that her presence is a guaranteed lure to bring out Superman. The reporting she does has no value to either the plot or the Daily Planet.
She does however save Superman’s life by revealing to Batman that Martha is Superman’s mother’s name.
<BATFLECK> WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME???? </BATFLECK>
After discarding the kryptonite spear in the water where it won’t harm Superman, Lois miraculously knows it is needed to kill Doomsday and recklessly risks her life to get it. Lois again serves as Super-bait by nearly drowning and drawing Superman back to the kryptonite spear which ultimately leads to Superman’s death.
There are also several overall problems with the film.
Flashbacks/dreams: There are three flashbacks/dreams that add nothing to the story. The worst of which is a long sequence in which we see a dystopian future where the earth is destroyed. We see batman standing over a desolate landscape decorated with a huge Omega sign.
We then see Batman trying to buy kryptonite and is thwarted by Superman, alien bugs and his the Superman Gestapo troops.
Superman then blames Batman for taking ‘her’ (Lois). Bruce Wayne wakes up with an unclear image of the Flash telling him that he has to save them and he was right about Superman.
The whole sequence doesn’t work. The Omega symbol is supposed to hint at the Superman villain Darkseid and the Flash is supposed to hint at the Flashpoint stories. Neither one makes sense to the viewer unless they already know the story lines from the comic books. These are not Easter eggs in the film but rather a long sequence that just confuses everyone. The movie would have been better served cutting this and the other two dream sequences.
There Africa village plot should also be cut. It adds nothing. Superman could be summoned to the capital based on the damage he caused during the battle with Zod. This story line was meant to show Luthor’s genius and Lane’s investigative skills. Both of which miss the mark and are not needed.
Color: Like Man of Steel this movie is colored in a really bad color palette. It is too dark and makes the film difficult to watch. Zack Snyder, It is not cool. Please stop.
The Batmobile: The Batmobile looked awesome but we are robbed from seeing it clearly. It has woefully little screen time and when it is on the screen it is not clear due to the above mentioned color mess.
Wonder Woman was the best part of this movie. She needed more screen time. She was clever and kicked butt! I hope her solo movie is as good as her screen time in BvS.
There are many more issues I could go on about, but I think you get the idea.
Conclusion: Batman V Superman had some good visuals but the story was lacking. The characters acted like they were on a forced collision course that could have easily been avoided. The plot lines are two classic comic book stories badly forced together. The characters are weak and cheesy. The studio was clearly more interested in setting up a franchise then telling a compelling story.
This is a case where less movie would have been a serious improvement. Losing 40 minutes of screen time would have helped Batman V. Superman tremendously. As my friend’s 13-year-old son said, it would not have mattered which 40 minutes.