Eh, It Could’ve Been Worse: A Review of ‘Batman V Superman’
“Then you get out of the car and yell, ‘I’mma gonna murdelize you!‘ But do it in slow-motion so it looks totally awesome and stuff.”
“Got it. Can you see my tits through this thing?”
So let’s get this out of the way: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is not the total shitshow it’s being made out to be. (Read: It wasn’t Sucker Punch-bad. Thank fucking God it wasn’t Sucker Punch-bad.) Nor is it some sort of genius comic book opus. It’s a stupid superhero movie that pretty much falls in line with the other stupid superhero movies despite its efforts to be, like, totally serious, bro. Because at the end of the day, as much as Zack Snyder and DC want to front that they’re doing something more “epic” than Marvel, Batman V Superman is their Iron Man 2 right down to the shoehorned setups for a superhero team and a female badass joining the final fight. Christ, there’s even a senate hearing, but enough jibber-jabber. Just because this movie was 18 hours long doesn’t mean this review has to be. But it will.
Oh, also, SPOILERS. Haha! You almost found out Superman dies in the end. (Seriously, he does though.)
The Shit That Worked
- After the movie starts with Batman’s origin for the three people who somehow don’t know his parents get shot – and a sequence I like to call “Bat-Jesus” because Zack Snyder loves Jesus references, just loves them so hard – it jumps to Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne choppering in to Metropolis during the final battle in Man of Steel, and it is literally the best shit in the movie. In hindsight, I probably should’ve walked right out and went, “Welp, I’m sure they become friends,” and lived a fuller, richer life. Anyway, it starts right up with the Hans Zimmer score that snaps you back into the first film, that’s now stupidly better by comparison, and immediately sells Affleck’s place in this one. (Or more precisely, starts the ball rolling on shoving Henry Cavill’s Superman right the hell out of the movie.) There’s a fucking amazing shot from the ground where you see the plane crashing Superman’s baby rocket into the World Engine. And while the audience knows this was the only way to stop General Zod from turning Earth into Krypton, from the ground, all you see is a plane crashing into a giant alien ship, and oh, goddammit, now it’s falling on everything. It’s really a great moment that shows the repercussions of these superhero battles — until you realize the movie is going to beat that concept into the ground for two and a half more hours.
Saving people kills people.
Saving people kills people.
Saving people kills people!
SUPER SERIOUS GRIM DARK!
SUPER SERIOUS GRIM DARK!
- Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is absolutely the highlight everyone says she is, but that probably has a lot to do with her mostly showing up at the end to do a bunch of 300 moves and having literally nothing to do with the bleak-as-shit two hours where you can practically hear the bong hit as the script goes, “Dude, what if Superman was real – and 9/11? BOOSH.”
- Right before the shitty, CGI, hey, look how sad Superman is even while doing heroic stuff like randomly tugging a boat (?) scene, there’s a shot of him actually smiling while carrying a little girl he just saved from a fire in Mexico. This is the only time in both Man of Steel and Batman V Superman where Zack Snyder gets Superman right even though I’m pretty sure Devin Faraci nailed it when he accused Snyder of hating Superman. If you wanted to make a solo Batman movie, just make a fucking solo Batman movie. Oh, wait, you basically did.
- When The Flash shows up for his weird-as-shit time travel message and says, “Am I too soon? I’m too soon,” I fucking laughed because thank God somebody at some point went, “So let’s have one second of levity, and then get right back to shooting a goddamn funeral. Deal? Deal.”
So, let’s see, four things. I liked four things about a 2 1/2 hour long movie. Good, good stuff.
The Shit That Kinda Worked
- Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice as a motion picture experience.
The Shit That Shat
- Let’s hit the big one. The ultimate trump card for anyone who wants to try and say to your face that BvS is finally a real comic book movie for the “fans.”
Batman and Superman literally stop their epic battle of the ages because their moms have the same name.
I 100% shit you not. Batman has a fucking Kryptonite spear that the entire movie has pounded home he’s absolutely comfortable shoving through Superman’s face, which it’s inches above, and the second he finds out their moms’ names are both Martha, he cries like a little bitch and throws that shit away. Keep in mind, this is after almost two hours of Batman straight-up murdering people like the goddamn Punisher, and now he suddenly wants to be BFFs with Superman because of their mommies. Of all the ways he could’ve ended a fight that was already bullshit to begin with, that’s what Zack Snyder went with.
“Psst, yo, dude. Our moms have the same name.”
“Whaaaa? We’re totally friends now.”
- Batman V Superman: The actual fight. Considering the goddamn title of the movie tells you these two are going to become besties by the end, the stakes for Batman and Superman fighting were already pretty low to begin with. Best case scenario, it’s awesome to look at and shows these two characters squashing their beef in a logical, compelling manner. Well, obviously you know how that ends, so let me tell you how it begins, which is almost as equally bullshit as the mommy business.
Superman shows up and immediately tells Batman that Lex Luthor tricked both of them into a fight, confirming literally every single piece of information we’ve watched Bruce Wayne discover. And how does Batman react? No fucks. He gives no fucks.
Because in this all-new DC Movie Universe, Batman is a murderous idiot who sucks dick at detectiving. Case in point, Superman’s identity. Lois Lane figured it out. Lex Luthor figured it out. Batman? Builds a fucking spear. Also, I’d like to point out that thanks to Zack Snyder making Batman a gun-crazy kill-machine because he beats off to The Dark Knight Returns, Suicide Squad makes literally no sense now because I’m pretty sure this Batman would’ve murdered all of those people in the face instead of putting them in jail. Jesus Christ, Superman fucking saves people, and this Batman still tried to stab his brain out. So I don’t really see him being the type to lock up a clown who beat his kid sidekick to death with a crowbar in hopes he’ll get the proper psychiatric treatment. Unless that treatment is a spear. To the face.
- For a movie with Superman in title, he’s barely in this fucking thing. Which makes me feel bad for Henry Cavill because this poor guy is in the hands of a director who clearly hates his character and gives him next to nothing to do but mope around and react to an entire room full of people exploding around him like you and I react to an empty coffee pot. “Sonofa… ah, whatever.” In fact, the only thing this Superman seems to care about is boning Lois Lane, international diplomacy be damned, which is the only thing that almost makes his final sacrifice dramatic at the end. (Except not really because he just survived a nuclear bomb to the dick five minutes earlier. An actual nuclear bomb.) But mostly you just feel like, “Yeah, I’d probably kill myself, too, Superman. These people are dicks.”
- Lex Luthor. I honestly didn’t think Jesse Eisenberg was that bad. Horribly miscast, and ham-fisted, but surprisingly not as terrible as expected. Just a mediocre kind of awful. But then I found out he was supposed to play Jimmy Olsen and die in the beginning, but instead Zack Snyder told Bryan Cranston to fuck off and went, “Nope, this annoying guy. This annoying guy is my villain.” So, you know, fuck everything about that.
- The Batmobile murder spree. There’s a reason Christopher Nolan relied heavily on practical effects, and everything about this scene is why. Just goddammit. (See, also: Doomsday, still looked like a turd monster.)
- This “for the fans” bullshit. First off, I am a fan. I am a huge fucking fan. I cut my teeth on DC Comics, and Batman and Superman will always be my jam. Which is probably part of the reason why even after everything you just read, I not only still kind of liked Batman V Superman, but am genuinely interested in watching the three-hour R-rated director’s cut knowing full well it’s full of all the bullshit I just told you about. (I even want to see Justice League, too. The Justice League presented in this movie where Batman kills everyone. Why do I hate me?!) And it’s because of that bullshit that I sympathize with anyone who wants to shit all over BvS way more than someone who wants to say it’s for the “hardcore” and the “casuals” can go watch the childish Marvel movies. Really? We’re doing this? C’mon. This is how dicks don’t get touched and rape threats start bouncing around Twitter. Sure, Batman V Superman tried harder than others to unfold just like a graphic novel, but that’s how you get pseudo-intellectual wankery that also sunk The Dark Knight Rises. A movie that I’ll go on record as saying was equally as full of baffling decisions and actually longer than Batman V Superman, but I digress. My point is that even the people responsible for this new universe are already telling anyone who’ll listen that things won’t be so dark going forward. Including the guy who wrote Batman V Superman. Because as much as these movies want to differentiate themselves from Marvel, they need to embrace the fact they already do because of the characters and everything else is unavoidable. At the end of the day, its people in tights punching the shit out of things. It’s kind of hard to fuck that formula up. Like Zack Snyder just did with an eight-hour long funeral that ends with a poop monster, and an actual funeral. (Did I mention don’t bring kids to this thing? Don’t bring kids to this thing.)
GRADE: Lego Batman is already shitting on this movie. Lego Batman. P.S. I want this in my face.
EDIT: I knew I forgot something stupid. Superman’s major beef with Batman is that he’s branding pedophiles. And we know this because the movie goes specifically out of it’s way to tell us, “Yeah, okay, Batman branded a guy, BUT that guy was totally a human trafficker and a pedophile, so it kind of makes it better.” This is what pisses Superman off. Why in the shit?
Photo: Warner Bros.