I’m just going to say right now that there is a possibility that the film could be spoiled for you here. I’m not going go through every aspect of the film, but in order to discuss my issues thoroughly, I really have to divulge into the larger problems, so you’ve been warned.
It’s surprising that after all these years that WB still hasn’t figured out how to market any of their large line-up of rich characters except Batman. We seem to go through the same routine every few years where they put all their chips on Batman, and don’t really use logic when it comes to their other characters. Superman Returns and Man of Steel were both troubled yet enjoyable films. Green Lantern was a horrible mess, and yet Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy has gone down as one of the greatest live action interpretations of Batman we’ve ever seen, at least until now. It seems that WB has once again shifted the focus into their new Batman while leaving Superman off on the sidelines.
While I did enjoy, even largely defend defend 2013’s Man of Steel, the problems the film had were more in the writing then the direction. The film had the action many Superman fans had been craving for ever since we’ve seen what CGI was capable of but a weak script had the characters saying and doing things that didn’t make much sense. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was WB/Snyder’s chance to correct those problems and issues Man of Steel created and would reverberate throughout the future movies and they have failed more then they succeeded.
While BvS promises to address the destruction, character motivations, and the fact that Superman doesn’t really act like Superman it tosses all of this to the side to show you a bunch of cool stuff. I always defended Superman’s actions in Man of Steel because it was literally his first day on the job, I was willing to overlook that he didn’t start out as the Superman we know and love because he hasn’t yet learned how to be THAT Superman. I am willing to watch him grow over a couple movies before becoming the leader of the Justice League and becoming that beacon of hope he’s been promised to be, but this did not happen.
I felt like I was sitting next to Zack Snyder and every time I had a question, he’s dangle some platinum diamond keys (or in other words something pretty from the movie) to distract me from anything that didn’t make sense. “Zack Snyder, why did Lex Luthor hate Superman so much?” I asked. “Well, he just does.”, Zack replied. “He hates him in the comic.” “Yes, but we know he hates him in the comic, but in this film, why?” Zack suddenly whipped out a cool action scene or something pretty for me to look at in hopes that I would forget my questions.
How did Batman know to dream, in such detail, about the Omega sign and Darkseid if he never met or heard of him before? Why didn’t he just dream of Superman going nuts and destroying the city like any normal nightmare? Well because Snyder and company wanted to show you something really cool and make a Batman figure to sell to kids. There is a weird moment where, at first, we’re lead to believe that the Flash (Ezra Miller) had ran back through time to warn Batman about Superman, only to have Batman wake up again like it was a dream. Leaving the audience to wonder if this really happened or if it was really a dream. We’re lead to wonder about Lex, as he keeps mentioning his father. Perhaps this isn’t the real Lex Luthor because it wouldn’t take anything for Snyder and company to go, “Oh, no, he wasn’t the real one, his dad is the real Lex Luthor.”, and here goes my underlying problem with BvS is it doesn’t commit to anything.
The film carries enough good stuff to keep it from dropping into Green Lantern level of horrible but, and this is putting it bluntly, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is a cluster fuck of a film. Don’t ask for a plot because there really isn’t one. BvS feels more like Snyder wanted to direct a Batman movie more then a sequel to his Superman as the Cavill is left without anything to really do except be a punching bag for Batman during their inevitable match-up and serve as a plot point later in the film. There was a moment in this film where I felt that Cavill was going to deliver a strong speech about helping mankind and how he was going to be a better hero and who we need him to be when he’s called to Washington to answer for all the problems he has been causing but just when he’s about to speak there is a giant explosion before Henry Cavill has a chance to utter a single word.
Which leads me to my biggest complaint and yet a small compliment is Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, or Lex Luthor’s son because the movie left it open so the film makers could very easily change gears and say he isn’t the real Lex and his father could show up later on as the real Lex Luthor in later films. It’s not so much that he played Lex Luthor, but how he played him. Superman’s greatest villain has changed his backstory and motivations many times over the years but Eisenberg’s performance is kind of all over the place except near the end when he turns out to be really psychotic which I loved it’s just that the two performances just didn’t mesh well together so it’s jarring when Luthor switches.
BvS is nothing but a bunch of cool moments strung together in some vague attempt at a story, even the fight, which the entire movie is being touted around, is a lie when it gets down to the real reason they’re fighting which is extremely disappointing. Iron Man 2 and The Avengers: Age of Ultron caught major complaints from fans when they turned out to be basically trailers for what was coming later in the MCU and DC should not be left off the hook. There is no reason that WB/DC can’t make movies of the same caliber or better then the MCU but for whatever reason they seem content walking the line of mediocre.
Now that I’ve railed against this film, you should know I didn’t exactly hate it, in fact I enjoyed many things about it. It’s ironic that people did nothing but complain about the casting of Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman and he turns out to be the best thing about it. This is THE best live-action Batman we’ve ever had. He fights and moves just like Batman should, he uses his gadgets and environments to pretty amazing results and I can’t wait to see what Affleck does with the character in his solo outing which he is directing and writing. Gal Gadot is pretty amazing as Wonder Woman, once again silencing the critics over her body type as she melds very well with Superman and Batman and it is great that anyone who has a daughter finally has a female superhero they can cheer on because Gadot really breathes new life into a character who has never appeared on a movie screen before.
BvS is a beautiful disaster, a film that hurts so much because of all the things it gets right is wrapped in mediocrity and it’s frustrating to see. This isn’t just a Marvel thing, or a chance to jump on the idiotic fanboy argument of which is better, Marvel or DC. Twenty years ago we would have been happy with whatever comic book movie we could get because no one was taking them seriously but times have changed and the power has shifted. The fans are now in charge of creating these films and the bar has been raised thanks to The Dark Knight Trilogy, the Marvel Films, Deadpool, the whole comic book movie craze kicked off with the small budgeted Blade, something no one really thought had a chance to do anything.
If you are a DC lover and you’ve been waiting for this movie and you’re going in with the mentality that you’re going to love it regardless, then by all means go and I hope you enjoy the film. There is enough here that you can nerd out on but let’s not kid ourselves here, there are major problems with BvS and it has me worried for Justice League because Zack Snyder couldn’t handle this simple story line how is he going to handle seven other main characters? This worries me because WB/DC is coming so late into the comic book movie game that they can’t afford to reboot this again and hope to start churning out their roaster of hero’s, they need to buckle down and start utilizing every tool they have to make a good film and start gaining some control over these film makers so we don’t get anymore Green Lantern’s or another film with so much wasted potential.
When The Avengers took in 1.4 Billion dollars during its theatrical run all DC fans reverted their eyes to Warner Bros who has been sitting quietly in the corner for years living off of Batman. They quickly put plans into effect to jump start their shared universe. It should be said that, unlike Marvel, WB owns ALL the DC characters and could have started this shared universe idea years ago, but that’s in the past and DC silenced it’s large list of doubters when it released the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer that was shown at Comic-Con.
“What we are doing is ground up all the way. It is one giant story,” Zack Snyder told Empire Magazine. “The first thing we had was the Justice League concept. The other movies, in a way, have to support that. That is our Wonder Woman, our Aquaman. They have their own creative concepts that supports them, but they do serve Justice League in the coming together of those heroes.”
And while the interconnected nature of DC’s cinematic universe will obviously put some parameters on projects like Suicide Squad and the after-mentioned solo films, Snyder—who’s essentially godfathering the entire universe—is giving each team as much creative freedom as possible.
“I want all the other directors of the other films to be able to stretch their legs and do what they want, but at the same time there is a big interconnected universe,” he said. “I have given everyone amazing access to our story, to me, and what we are doing. All the films have like minded conceptual jumping on points.”
In fact, DC producer Charles Roven even has an official name for his structure: The sandbox.
“We call it the sandbox. It has borders around it, but everybody gets to play in the sandbox. On Suicide Squad, David Ayer has a lot of specific control over his area of the sandbox. Even if he crosses the line a little bit, we see if we can push our boundaries back a little bit.”
I’ll be the first to admit it, I wasn’t behind what DC was doing, I even had an entire article written was was ready to post about how WB/DC just didn’t seem like they cared about their characters but that trailer shut me up. I like the difference in tone between DC and Marvel, and like Marvel is doing with their Netflix shows, I hope WB will branch out and make some of their future properties lighter in tone and play some in that giant sandbox they are creating.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters March 25, 2016!
Well, the debate has now ended and Chris Pine has signed on to play Steve Trevor in the Wonder Woman movie. Recent rumors suggested he might instead be headlining Warner Bros. Pictures’ Green Lantern Corps, along with Tyrese Gibson, who has been campaigning hard for the role.
Steve Trevor is he romantic interest of the Amazon Warrior (Gal Gadot), Trevor debuted in the comics right alongside Wonder Woman in 1942’s “All Star Comics” #8. Although the character has been rebooted several times over the years, the original version of Trevor was a US soldier whose plane crash lands on Paradise Island, exposing the secret civilization to the world. Not sure if this will play out considering Wonder Woman is going to debut in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice next summer or they’ll just show it in flashbacks.
WB has a real opportunity to create the first good female-lead movie and not repeat the dreadful Halle Berry lead atrocity Catwoman.
Gal Gadot will return as Wonder Woman, which will be directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster) and will play an important role in Justice League Part One, hitting theaters on November 10, 2017.
The new official trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice – In UK cinemas March 25, 2016 – directed by Zack Snyder and starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons and Holly Hunter.