The news is in. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice overcame its stupid title and poor reviews to have the fourth biggest opening weekend of all time. Fan response has been pretty solid despite dreadful reviews. Sad Superman himself Henry Cavill and the rest of the cast have said they don’t care about critics as much as they care about what the fans say, and the box office numbers and audience ratings show fanboys be fanboying.
Not this fanboy. I saw the movie for a second time the other night, and was even more unimpressed on second viewing. This was my 14th trip to a theater to see a Batman movie in under 25 years of life (For only the fifth different film). And for the record, I saw Man of Steel 3 times in its first 24 hours of release. I am a very, very big fan.
That’s why I can’t stand by and accept this film. It is really long, really serious, poorly edited and so confusing. It isn’t a big, cool adventure. It is scene after scene of people doing things for unclear reasons, filled with nerdy winks to the audience to advertise for more nerdy movies.
I give it a 4 or 5 out of 10, and that’s mainly because Batman is so fucking awesome, and Wonder Woman is cool.
This movie takes itself so seriously that it is impossible to overlook the flaws. If you want to be high art and powerful, then you need to grasp basic storytelling.
If you’ve seen the movie you’ll understand this list better, but here are some things to think about in regards to this movie not making sense and being bad. It is more absurd than the fact Christian Bale would essentially know he has to fake his own death in the first 40 minutes of The Dark Knight Rises.
- Why are there Senate hearings on how bad Superman is, yet Metropolis built a statue to celebrate how great he is?
- What exactly happened in Africa? We see a private military force kill some terrorists, then Superman saves Lois Lane from a terrorist, then we see some African woman crying at a Senate hearing saying Superman killed a ton of people in her village. Then the Senate wants Superman to answer for Africa. Superman doesn’t use guns, so what exactly did they think he did? Did the military force slaughter a village or something? Wouldn’t it make sense to show that? And fucking spare me with the “He doesn’t even answer to God” schtick the woman has to lay down in her testimony.
- How do people question if Superman was involved with the bombing at the Capitol? He’s Superman. If he wanted to kill people he could just use his fucking heat vision and super strength.
- Why does Lex Luthor give a crap about Senator Finch giving him an import license for the Kryptonite if he plans on smuggling it in illegally anyway?
- What is Luthor’s deal with that other Senator? That dude says they can help each other, but Luthor gets access to Zod’s body and the Kryptonian ship and that Senator just gets a cherry Jolly Rancher. Not a joke. What is the purpose of this scene?
- Why is Luthor mad at Superman?
- Why is Luthor mad at Batman?
- How does Luthor find out Clark Kent is Superman? This comes out of nowhere.
- How does Bruce Wayne not know Clark Kent is Superman? He’s the world’s greatest detective.
- Luthor tells Superman that he stirred the pot with Batman by sending Wayne those notes like “You let your family die.” That means he knows Bruce Wayne is Batman. They never elaborate on that, it is just on to the next line of stupid dialogue. Luthor knows Batman’s identity, but Batman doesn’t know Luthor knows? And like, holy shit. A villain knows his identity.
- From my friend Travis – Why does Bruce Wayne look at the Metahuman folder on Lex’s drive last? Wouldn’t you look at that one first, especially if you’re about to go fight Superman?
- Why the fuck did Lex Luthor design logos for the rest of the members of the Justice League to include in said Metahuman folder?
- If Batman is going to war, why does he take the time to write that corny email to Wonder Woman?
- Why is Wonder Woman even in this movie? What purpose does her storyline serve? She wants this photo that Lex Luthor has. Okay. Why? Why does Lex have it? What danger is there in him having it? And how does her seeing it on the copy Batman makes of Lex’s data resolve this issue? Luthor still has a copy of the photo. What is the purpose of this storyline?
- Why is Wonder Woman at Lex’s party? We see later in the movie he has a whole folder of surveillance on her, and even made a logo for her. So he clearly knows about her. Did he invite her? Did she sneak in? Doesn’t he know she’s there either way? Does he care? What the fuck is the point of her story, dude? When movie tickets cost almost $13 a rip, you can’t leave it at, “We’ll find out in her own movie next year!” That’s not good enough for a 150-minute movie I just paid an ass load to see.
- HOW CAN DOOMSDAY GET HIT WITH A FUCKING NUKE AND WALK IT OFF, BUT CAN’T MOVE WHEN THE LASSO OF TRUTH IS WRAPPED AROUND HIM?
- From my brother – Why does Bruce Wayne do crossfit to prepare to fight somebody who is invulnerable?
- How come Superman can find Lois Lane in a secret terrorist base in Africa but can’t use his super hearing and x-ray vision to find his mom in a much smaller area? Even Daredevil was able to fine tune his shit in NYC to find those hostages in this new season, and he’s no Superman.
- Superman really picked the right moment to stop calling his mom “Mom” and instead start using her first name. Sure the Martha thing is supposed to show Batman recognizes Superman is a real person with a family, but are you seriously going to tell me this makes sense? Doesn’t Clark call his vision of Kevin Costner “Dad” a few minutes earlier? But then he calls his mom by her first name?
- Why does Luthor try twice with the “Do you know what the oldest lie in America is, Senator?” line? Did they leave that in two separate scenes on purpose? Or is Zack Snyder just a bad director? It is like the “play it close to the chest” line in The Dark Knight.
- Why does Batman say he didn’t honor Superman in life so he must in death? They met literally three times for a handful of minutes. Why would he feel like he had to honor Superman in life? They were friends for like 20 minutes because their moms have the same first name, but other than that he doesn’t owe the guy anything.
- Why cram the whole Death of Superman storyline into this movie? They clearly don’t have the confidence to let Henry Cavill roll as Superman and carry the DC stuff, so his death doesn’t feel like a major event. He’s a sad man who spends the whole movie pretty sad about being alive, so his death doesn’t feel like a bummer as much as it feels like, “Well he kind of wanted it this way.”
- To bring it back to the beginning, why is Bruce Wayne in Metropolis? He seriously flies in and drives into the war zone just so he has something to be mad about.
- Why does Zack Snyder think the audience is stupid? The movie opens with the very dramatic slow motion death of Bruce Wayne’s parents, complete with his father saying, “Martha,” with his dying breath. And then they show her grave with “Martha” clearly visible. So when Superman calls his mother that, why do we need more slow motion replays of the shit we saw in slow mo earlier to reaffirm that was Batman’s mom’s name too? I think we got it, man.
- And how does nobody notice/smell that jar of yellow ass piss at the Senate hearing?
This isn’t nitpicking or looking way too hard for flaws. I. Fucking. Love. Batman. I love DC. I love the comics, the cartoons, all of it. You tell me there will be a Justice League movie going up against Avengers, and I’m with the JL all day every day. As a lifelong fan, this movie is so disappointing and crummy.
This is basic storytelling. I don’t know why any character is doing anything in this movie. Wonder Woman’s involvement makes zero sense and yet she is the second best character in the thing! That’s how fucked up this thing is.
The massive box office success means the DC Extended Universe can keep on trucking, but if this movie is a sign of what we have to look forward to with Justice League and the other films then we are in for a universe of boring, confusing movies.