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Movie Review: Batman v Superman - Also Wonder Woman, But Whatever

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avatar GrayRemnant
Level 56 : Grandmaster Senpai
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As far as movie reviews go, this is going to be a hard one to write. There were many aspects of this film that I liked, and many that I disliked. Nonetheless, I will try to add it all up and give you an assessment (which will almost undoubtably fall somewhere in the middle of the road).

Batman v Superman - Dawn of Justice is, if I’m counting correctly, DC’s second step in their extended cinematic universe (which I will refer to as the DCCU from this point onward). This is a concept that was pioneered by Marvel, starting in 2008 with Iron Man.

DC started their DCCU with Man of Steel a few years ago. As some of you have heard me say in the past, I am not a big fan of MoS. There are those who will defend it to the death, but for me the flaws were so glaring and so numerous, that I simply couldn’t accept it.

Batman v Superman, unfortunately, bears almost all of the critical errors that sunk Man of Steel. Most of the characters receive very little attention and aren’t given the kind of radical developmental treatment necessary to bring them to life, which ultimately leaves us with hollow husks that fly around and ‘do’ things that normally require a large quantity of CGI, rather than smart dialogue and interactions.

To be sure, almost all of the characters in Batman v Superman are about as dynamic as a wet carrot, with two exceptions. The first exception is Bruce Wayne who, played by Ben Affleck (who I am not usually very fond of), is actually one of the best written characters in the movie (barring some questionably corny dialogue that irked me from time to time).

I actually felt that Batman got better quality character development in this film (which featured the emergence of several new characters), than Superman got in MoS (a film that was supposed to be dedicated to him). Apparently Zack Snyder is an avid Batman fan, because it’s clear to me that more focus was put on him than his titular opponent.

The only problem with Batman in this film is the fact that his vendetta against Superman is, well, questionable to say the least. Remember that overly long battle sequence that occurred at the end of MoS? Well, apparently in this instance one of Bruce Wayne’s skyscrapers was destroyed, along with several dozen of his coworkers and friends. So, naturally, Bruce is begrudged because Superman was to blame for this horrible tragedy (which happened while Superman was destroying General Zod’s World Engine, which would have wiped out all life on Earth if he hadn’t).

Damn you, Superman! How dare you save my planet, while simultaneously annihilating the last remnants of your own civilization?!? For shame! >:(

See the problem? This is only further exacerbated by what is (in my opinion) the second worst line of dialogue in the film, wherein Bruce Wayne says something along the lines of ‘If there’s even a one percent chance that he is our enemy, then we have to take it as an absolute certainty!’ That’s the kind of illogical thinking that got OJ acquitted. I’d expect that out of a bumbling yahoo, not someone with a genius-level intellect like Bruce Wayne.

The other character that I adored in this movie was Lex Luthor, as played by Jesse Eisenberg (who, unlike Ben Affleck, I am a huge fan of). To me, it’s critical for any successful movie to have a compelling villain at the helm, and this guy is about as compelling as you could hope for. He’s jittery, twisted, spouts amazing dialogue, and has an interesting agenda (things that General Zod, sadly, lacked in MoS).

But, unfortunately, all of the other characters are either thoughtlessly shoehorned into the film, or simply serve as an irrelevant piece of background fodder. Superman, as he was in the previous film, is just as bland and just as boring (maybe more so). Lois Lane is underused, despite being played by a more than capable actress. And Wonder Woman is carelessly inserted into the film because, well, why the hell not? Kind of like how Black Widow was forced into Iron Man 2.

It is interesting to note, however, that even though Black Widow was underdeveloped in Iron Man 2, she became much more prevalent in later films. Time will tell if Wonder Woman will receive better treatment in films to come.

The other thing that irks me in this film is some of the lazy plot developments that occurred. The most glaring, for example, is how Lex Luthor creates Doomsday. Basically, he cuts the finger tips off of General Zod’s corpse, crudely attaches them to his fingers, uses them to board the crashed Kryptonian vessel from the first film while dragging Zod’s lifeless body behind him (no easy task for the ever-scrawny Lex Luthor), and activates the on-board computer (which apparently has no security protocols beyond basic finger print analysis).

Then, he kindly asks the computer to take Zod’s body and create a biomutagenic super weapon. The computer says something along the lines of ‘naw, we can’t do that; Kryptonian law forbids it’. Lex responds with something along the lines of ‘Just do it’, and the computer accepts without question. I swear, sometimes my laptop gives me more trouble when I’m trying to make a render.

Come to think of it, wouldn't the ship's computer become suspicious when the person disguised with General Zod's fingertips supplied General Zod's dead body to the ship's biogenesis chamber? Odd that he was able to get away with that.

Speaking of plot devices: Doomsday. I am getting so sick and tired of Superhero movies culminating with an epic, CGI-ridden battle of the ages between the heroes and some vague monstrosity. I hated it in The Avengers, I hated it in Spider-Man 3, and I hated it here. Why do movie makers have to resort to this tiresome cliche?

I mean, if you look at the most critically successful super hero films ever made, none of them do that. Batman Begins, X-Men, Spider-Man 2, V for Vendetta, Watchmen, Iron Man, and The Dark Knight are all films that focus on more small-scale, choreographed fight scenes between smaller parties. I would much rather watch Batman have a fist fight with the Joker, or watch Spider-Man fight Doc Ock on top of a train, than watch these jumbled eyesores play out in predictable fashion.

But of course, Zack Snyder just can’t help himself. He was able to execute some restraint in Watchmen, but since then he just can’t stop himself from orchestrating endless sequences of pure CGI madness that neither aid the storytelling, nor add anything intelligent to the film.

And speaking of storytelling, what’s with all the dream sequences? Seriously, there’s way too many of them in this film. It gets tiring after a while, especially when it’s very obvious that you’re watching a dream sequence. Less dream sequences, more substance. That’s my advice.

Enough with the negativity; let’s talk about one of the things Batman v Superman does infinitely right. There is a scene in this film that takes place on Capitol Hill. I will not say what happens in this scene because I never spoil anything that’s actually worth watching. What I will say is that I loved this scene. This feels like a page taken directly out of Christopher Nolan’s playbook, and it’s executed in spectacular fashion.

And it’s one of the few scenes in this film that is executed with minimal usage of CGI. That’s something that Zack Snyder, along with a lot of Hollywood filmmakers, need to get through their heads. Writing, dialogue, and cinematography will always trump visual effects. Always.

When we talk about movies, there are two routes that one can take to be successful. One can seek to entertain the audience, or to intrigue it. Batman v Superman, like Man of Steel, tries to do both and, as a result, does neither. There are pieces of the film that feel like an emulation of The Dark Knight, and there are others that feel like something out of The Avengers. Instead of trying to bridge depth with visual effects, they should have just stuck with one. That’s how Marvel does it, and that’s how Christopher Nolan did it. If Snyder had made this film with that ethos at heart, we would probably be talking about one of the best super hero films ever.

But alas, we are not talking about one of the best super hero films ever. We are talking about a middle-of-the-road, mediocre stumble in the DCCU. But hey, at least they didn’t poison it with a deceitful marketing campaign that made the film out to be something it wasn’t. At least they had the decency to not do that. For that, I generously award this film 2 out of 4 stars; see, I told you it would end up in the middle of the road! You didn’t even have to read all of this; you could’ve just stopped after the first paragraph. ;)

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  • parshu
  • Level 22
  • Expert Architect
  • December 30, 2017, 9:23 am
Where have you gone ;-;
  • _September_
  • Level 28
  • Expert Archer
  • September 27, 2016, 9:01 am
My brother thinks that Batman's nightmare vision is going to come true and that Superman's revival may have made him the villain for the next movie. Is it possible that this is true?
  • Kong149
  • Level 1
  • New Miner
  • May 23, 2017, 6:07 am
no, it's his mother..... WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME?!
lol
  • stella
  • Level 47
  • Master Cake
  • June 6, 2016, 7:24 pm
I never saw the movie.. who wins at the end?
  • ThePugLife
  • Level 25
  • Expert Dragonborn
  • August 3, 2016, 12:57 am
superman dies but at the end theres kinda a cliffhanger and superman starts coming back alive and stuff.
  • RenegadeRad
  • Level 9
  • Apprentice Explorer
  • May 23, 2016, 6:49 am
You dead?
You going to do Civil War? Ans have you done Deadpool?
  • Torrum
  • Level 16
  • Journeyman Toast
  • May 4, 2016, 8:51 am
Do you plan on doing a Civil War review? It looks amazing.
  • Calendar Man
  • Level 33
  • Artisan Sweetheart
  • April 21, 2016, 2:05 pm
Personally, I thought the movie was pretty good the whole time... And then-
Martha... Must save... Martha!
After that line was said, the rest of the movie was horrible.
By the way, how does Lex + Zod = Doomsday? This raises a question to me... What would happen if Superman and Lois had a child? Would it too, equal a horrible CG monster?
  • Orreh
  • Level 1
  • New Network
  • April 4, 2016, 7:17 pm
I missed this review by nine days and very angry that I did.. :/
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • April 4, 2016, 9:25 pm
Better late than never. :P
  • Sondrebol
  • Level 32
  • Artisan Archer
  • April 3, 2016, 10:20 pm
I have to agree. Nothing really made sense. But it was really enjoyable. Espacialy the batman parts.
  • CubeTron23
  • Level 18
  • Journeyman Hunter
  • March 28, 2016, 3:36 pm
Doomsday looked like an oversized baby ogre.

There goes my $5 dollars. Poof.
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • March 28, 2016, 8:46 pm
He looked like a god damn teenage mutant ninja turtle with a rash. -_-
  • Benamax
  • Level 17
  • Journeyman Engineer
  • March 27, 2016, 5:08 pm
Well, I'm gonna see this on Thursday (probably), and I'm going in with high expectations that I'm going to enjoy it, but low expectations that it's gonna be good.
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • March 27, 2016, 9:48 pm
Let me know what you think of it. ;)
  • Benamax
  • Level 17
  • Journeyman Engineer
  • March 31, 2016, 4:49 pm
Well. I just recently finished. It was... okay. It wasn't the best superhero film I've seen, but it was enjoyable.
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • March 31, 2016, 7:36 pm
What'cha think about Jesse Eisenberg's portrayal of Lex Luthor?
  • Benamax
  • Level 17
  • Journeyman Engineer
  • April 1, 2016, 2:14 pm
Different. New. Maybe not Lex Luthor, but I liked the villain they made.
  • RenegadeRad
  • Level 9
  • Apprentice Explorer
  • March 27, 2016, 2:15 am
I dunno but I like the movie, it was a bit hard to judge because if you see it is true to the comics. The critics were extremely superimposing the film because they expected it to be a marvel one. I personally rate it 69% and I am damn sure that these critics (not you, I'm talking about the critics :P) will call Civil War cool and shit even though it will have cheesy lines, but the plot will be cool. I hope they don't rush it like Age of Ultron. The problem is that DC comics are like that - extremely plot filled and with a lot of paradoxical and time travel shit. Zack tried hard to put it in a film. I think the content showed here should be in separate 2 films. Also, it was obvious that Batman and Superman will team up, as everyone knows that they both are meeting for the first time and they are always good friends. Civil war on the other hand, if we exclude the comic readers we can see that Cap and Tony are already friends and now the tension will start. So the results will probably make it awesome.
  • DivineMedicus
  • Level 53
  • Grandmaster Architect
  • March 29, 2016, 1:14 pm
What you said about the critics simply isn't true, because one of the best, internationally acclaimed movies in Hollywood was The Dark Knight (Ranked 4 on IMDB). Christopher Nolan did a wonderful job with the Batman Movies, and Zack Snyder was more debatable. First of all, I believe that Zack Snyder's version of Batman V Superman was his own interpretation (hes not that great of an actor anyways espescially after that last 300 movie), and didn't really follow with the Comic Book Storylines. There was alot of plot holes and questionable actions in the movie (GrayRemanant mentioned some) and the movie felt as though the director tried cramming as many things in the movie as possible, making every character and event feel lacking. Civil War on the other hand, stuck with the comic book story line (excluding the X-men), and made the objective straightforward and action worthy. And trust me, Spiderman 3 as well as the recent New spidermans received a TON of hate. Ben Aflleck may not have been the most favorable actor to play Batman, but the director could have definitely made him better. The entire script was super cheesy/corny as well, like GrayRemnant said.
  • RenegadeRad
  • Level 9
  • Apprentice Explorer
  • March 29, 2016, 9:44 pm
I agree, Ben afflek is an amazing Bruce Wayne and if Christopher Nolan directed it he would be amazing. The fact is that the story is not cheesy or corny, but it is Dark and is amaing and like comics, just not represented nicely even though it had potential.
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • March 27, 2016, 1:27 pm
No no no no no no. Nobody was expecting a Marvel film. I don't know where you come up with this stuff. xD

You really need to reread the second to last paragraph of this review, as it perfectly sums up what DC is doing wrong. "There are two routes that one can take to be successful. One can seek to entertain the audience, or to intrigue it. Batman v Superman, like Man of Steel, tries to do both and, as a result, does neither."

This is the problem with DC's current ethos, and also the reason that Marvel films get better reviews, even though they don't have as much intellectual substance as BvS. Marvel films, as you well know, are popcorn flicks. They aren't to be taken seriously. The only purpose they serve is entertaining the audience, something they usually do very well.

DC, on the other hand, is (and this is a largely accepted opinion) supposed to be deeper and more intriguing. The ultimate example of this is The Dark Knight. TDK wasn't there to entertain anybody. It was there to intrigue and captivate us, and it did it better than any other comic book film that's ever been made. This is the standard BvS should have lived up to.

Of course, it didn't live up to it, because Zack Snyder is so obsessed with CGI and visuals that he forgets how to tell a story in a structured and intelligent way. Zack Snyder's filming ethos would really be put to better use over at Marvel. DC needs somebody like Christopher Nolan, a person who can weave a seamless narrative that's compatible with a dark and gritty overview.

Oh, and once again, I have to warn you. You're using language in your comments that can get you banned. I recently received a week ban for using exactly the same word you used in your comment. Fair warning. :P
  • RenegadeRad
  • Level 9
  • Apprentice Explorer
  • March 28, 2016, 1:53 am
Yea I agree, but then again we are pointing out the same thing with different statements xD

But if you go on rotten tomatoes you will see the critics not criticizing the film in the right way, but by expecting it to be a marvel one. But still, can't we enjoy the film, honestly Zack made the film a clustercrap with the plot. But ya know, DC is always intrigueing with paradoxical stuff and things related to Gods...

Hard to judge this film is...
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • March 28, 2016, 2:29 am
I agree, it's definitely hard to judge. Part of that is because it has such great potential, and a few pieces of it worked really well. It just wasn't put together successfully.
  • RenegadeRad
  • Level 9
  • Apprentice Explorer
  • March 28, 2016, 6:24 am
Let's be honest. We did "enjoy" it :P"
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • March 28, 2016, 1:15 pm
I enjoyed the Capitol Hill scene, and some of the Lex Luthor scenes. Everything else I found relatively tedious.
  • Reer123
  • Level 54
  • Grandmaster Terraformer
  • March 26, 2016, 4:13 pm
I just watched the movie, I went into it without any expectations, I didn't think it would top the original Batmans or the Marvel universe I just went to enjoy it. I liked it, it was a nice movie to just relax and watch. The plot was simple to follow and the effects were amazing. Some of the choices by Zack in regards to the plot and wonder woman were odd but I didn't mind it.
  • Reer123
  • Level 54
  • Grandmaster Terraformer
  • March 26, 2016, 4:13 pm
The ticket was only €6 so no losses for me :P
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • March 27, 2016, 1:17 pm
Yeah, mine was a matinee. I wasn't willing to spend 10 dollars to see this one. xD
  • SteamFan
  • Level 2
  • Apprentice Network
  • March 26, 2016, 3:20 pm
I expected more stars... But *sings* Greeey remnant knooows! Best!
Lol another epic review, you have to stop watching horrible movies though, I'll probably watch this anyway since well I thought it might not be too bad, it can't be worse then Fantastic 4 anyway.

Also you said you don't usually like Ben Affleck, why?
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • March 26, 2016, 12:06 pm
He's a flat actor. He doesn't emote. But, to be fair, I think he's a spectacular director. I wish he would stick with that. xD
True, he was a better actor before, in movies like Daredevil.
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • March 26, 2016, 1:34 pm
How dare you mention that film! Bad memories. -_-
Lol Gray, why?
  • Kazla
  • Level 43
  • Master Geek
  • March 26, 2016, 2:00 am
Star Wars is better.
  • kungfue
  • Level 42
  • Master Turtle
  • March 27, 2016, 5:56 am
Yes. Star wars was better but i was disappointed with the new one... Soz man
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • March 26, 2016, 1:33 pm
Indeed.
  • Kazla
  • Level 43
  • Master Geek
  • March 26, 2016, 2:57 pm
Ayy.
  • SteamFan
  • Level 2
  • Apprentice Network
  • March 26, 2016, 3:21 pm
Agreed #starwarsforever
  • _Deadpool_
  • Level 46
  • Master Gent
  • March 26, 2016, 2:15 am
This guy knows whats up, I like you.
  • Kazla
  • Level 43
  • Master Geek
  • March 26, 2016, 2:57 pm
Ay, who doesn't?
  • WhoIsThis
  • Level 1
  • New Network
  • March 26, 2016, 1:55 am
Thanks Gray for writing this nice review. It made sure I didn't go to watch it, yeah
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • March 26, 2016, 1:32 pm
Lol, no problem. ;)
  • T0NG
  • Level 39
  • Artisan Engineer
  • March 26, 2016, 12:34 am
Someone said "Definately, The fighting was occurred between batman and superman. but in the end, loser was audience"
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • March 26, 2016, 1:03 am
I sure felt like a loser when I was leaving the theater. -_-
  • Dlljs
  • Level 34
  • Artisan Nerd
  • March 25, 2016, 11:56 pm
Can't wait for The LEGO Batman Movie!
  • nannehessel
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Ladybug
  • March 25, 2016, 11:36 pm
Wheres week in review? =)
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • March 26, 2016, 12:56 am
Dead. Month in Review will be released on my Youtube channel soon, though. :P
  • nannehessel
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Ladybug
  • March 26, 2016, 1:08 am
You stopt with it? :O
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • March 26, 2016, 1:22 am
No, I've expanded it to a monthly format. I can't keep doing it week in and week out. It takes too much time. If I were being paid for it, then I'd have no problem with it, but that's not the way it works.
  • Palando
  • Level 37
  • Artisan Pixel Puncher
  • March 26, 2016, 3:13 am
Ah, nice to know. I already wondered for some time how you could manage writing it every week. Also, it seems like you built a lot less since you started. Back then you posted a GrayRemnant build in your very style every week and seems like Hotel Katanica turned into a permanent construction site :P.
  • GrayRemnant
  • Level 56
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • March 26, 2016, 1:33 pm
Lol, you are correct sir. I'll be building a lot more now. ;)
  • RenegadeRad
  • Level 9
  • Apprentice Explorer
  • March 27, 2016, 2:17 am
Now ya wont sit on yer ass all day to see whats new this week and shit.

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