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Rating: 3.5/5 (6 votes cast)

 

BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice


Whenever I review a movie, I always make it a point to deal with my own personal take and nothing else. Cinema is such a subjective art form, it’s futile to take issue with a differing viewpoint. But every now and then, along comes a movie so excessively condemned I have to wonder if the critics are all wrong/biased/insane. In the case of “Batman v Superman”, it’s gotten way out of hand and I cannot in good conscience let this stand. A defense must be mounted!

In the spirit of the film, this review pits general critical opinion against mine in a colossal, 6-Round showdown. To make this debate legit it will feature excerpts from actual reviews, all combined into a single adversarial persona: Criticman! Through detailed breakdowns of the film’s essential components, I will demonstrate that Criticman’s attacks are either unfounded, exaggerated, or just plain ignorant. Mind you, this isn’t going to be one of those “I’m smarter than you” vanity pieces. This is an honest exercise in redressing a huge imbalance. Wherever the film’s failings are too glaring to refute, I shall readily concede.

Be advised: in order to properly discuss what works and what doesn’t, I must get into HEAVY SPOILERS. You’re here because you’ve seen the film and want an answer to all the negativity out there. With that in mind, let’s begin…

 

ROUND 1 – STORY

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CRITICMAN: “Batman v Superman” is wretched, astronomically atrocious, and an absolute storytelling disgrace. The story is messy, unfocused, incoherent, over-long, and for all its incident-packed nature, is downright boring. Eventually, the script’s illogic wears you down.

ELECTROSHADOW: Alright, let’s get this out of the way first. Yes, BvS does indeed suffer from a somewhat messy and unfocused story. This is an ambitious and sprawling narrative, with a whole bunch of characters and subplots weaved into what is basically a rather simple premise of two superheroes butting heads. Director Zack Snyder and his writer Chris Terrio got a little TOO ambitious for their own good here.

CRITICMAN: It’s not going to be much of a debate if you agree with the criticisms.

ELECTROSHADOW: Unlike you, Criticman, I always provide a fair and balanced perspective. There’s no getting around the fact that the filmmakers made some storytelling choices that simply did not work. Not for the running time they settled on anyway. I’m not saying a longer cut would’ve cleared everything up, but there are plot points that aren’t fully fleshed out, and what remains in the film give the impression of an incomplete and disjointed narrative.


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The biggest offender is an early sequence in Africa that is meant to set Superman up as a reckless, unstoppable weapon in the eyes of the world. Snyder has admitted that he removed a lot of scenes here for time. It shows. In place of those missing scenes, he resolves the sequence awkwardly with an eyewitness testimony of the death and destruction Superman supposedly caused. But since we don’t see it the impact is somewhat lost on us. This whole bit feels unnecessary anyway because we’ve already seen the damage he (unwittingly) caused in “Man Of Steel”, and at the start of this film through the eyes of Bruce Wayne.

The African subplot sparks off yet another mini-tangent, where a stray bullet lodged in Lois’ notebook leads to her discovering that baddie Lex Luthor has been manipulating things behind the scenes. While it’s fine to give Lois a pro-active role, this ends up undermining Lex as a brilliant, figured-out-all-the-angles player. If his plan is to secretly frame Superman, it’s a sloppy move to supply his mercenaries with bullets that can be traced back to him.

So yeah, there’s a lot of stuff happening in this movie, and some of it is self-defeating. But to say that it is boring is complete nonsense. This point can easily boil down to a matter of taste, but I happen to like movies that are densely packed with detail. I find a certain joy in mentally unpacking the information both on the spot and later on, long after I’ve left the cinema. Although the way the information is presented is occasionally clumsy, mostly due to editing choices, the information itself is fascinating. As for the movie being incoherent, come on. It’s neither incoherent nor illogical; you’re just not paying due attention. Despite its complexity the various story threads generally come together to serve the big picture — how and why these superheroes end up fighting. Pretty much everything we need to know about that is up there on screen.


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CRITICMAN: “Generally?” So you admit that they don’t all add up?

ELECTROSHADOW: I admit that there are things in this movie that should’ve been given a bit more thought in order to make the story tighter and more efficient. Of course, the studio’s need to establish a shared DC universe also causes some problems. There’s one dream sequence too many, and they raise more questions than they answer. But that in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Audiences of today are used to studios playing the long game, where each movie in a franchise contains teasers of future events and characters.

As a set-up for “Justice League” this isn’t anywhere as jarring and out of place as the Thor subplot in “Avengers: Age Of Ultron”. Snyder introduces the other Meta-Humans (Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg) as a by-the-way discovery during Bruce Wayne’s investigation into Luthor. The total goofiness of Luthor already having designed superhero logos for each of them notwithstanding, the video dossiers segment is a quick and cool little sequence that hardly detracts from the main narrative. Batman’s post-apocalyptic vision comes off as more of a detour, but even then it serves to drive the Dark Knight further into paranoia over Superman. Again, it’s in service of the big picture.

Looks like there’s an almost equal measure of pros & cons to the story/storytelling, so this First Round is a draw.
BvS 1, Criticman 1

 

ROUND 2 – TONE


CRITICMAN: Fine, I’ll give you your draw as an act of charity. Because you won’t be able to argue away this next one: the film is a joyless slog. Tainted with this air of nihilism and grim despair, it’s constantly threatening to collapse from self-seriousness. When was it decided superhero movies shouldn’t be any fun?

ELECTROSHADOW: I think you’re mistaking fun for entertaining. The two CAN be mutually exclusive, and if you think a superhero movie cannot be both dark/serious and entertaining at the same time, then the problem lies with your own pre-conceived expectations and not with the film. It seems Marvel Studios has a lot to answer for. Their brand is all about being fun, meaning more humour, a brighter colour palette, and nothing that kids cannot watch. That style works really well for them. Now, suddenly everyone expects all superhero movies to be that way. Why? Why can’t the DC universe strike a distinctly different tone, one that is aimed more at adults (or the adult-minded)? I’ll tell you why, Criticman. Because you hold this ridiculously out-dated notion that superhero movies are just for kids. You think that since the whole concept of superheroes is inherently childish, they should remain in the domain of children.

You can argue that Marvel has successfully grown up the image of the superhero while still maintaining its appeal amongst kids, therefore anything that tries to move away from kiddie-appeal amounts to betrayal or contradiction. That is just an incredibly limited way of thinking. The fact is, there is room for all kinds of interpretations, even a deathly serious one. Batman’s brutal takedown of Luthor’s thugs is vicious, borderline R-rated, exceedingly grimdark… and bloody entertaining at the same time.


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You also make it sound like BvS is nothing but grim despair, which is patently untrue. If you cannot even crack a smile, or feel a sense of awe, at the sight of the three most iconic superheroes in history sharing the big screen for the very first time, then you are dead inside. That moment where Wonder Woman saves Bats? Pure cheer-worthy gold. That scene where the Batmobile tears through wood, steel and stone like tissue paper only to end up a steaming wreck when it bumps into Superman? The 6-year-old in me went nuts.

Criticman also conveniently forgets the numerous sprinklings of humour, delivered primarily via Alfred’s delightfully dry wit and Perry White’s endearing sarcasm. Even Batman gets a funny line. “I thought she was with you” may be corny to some. To me, it comes at just the right moment, and nicely echoes Wonder Woman’s earlier playful taunt about “little boys with no natural inclination to share”. DC films will never be as light-hearted as Marvel’s, but they are certainly not humourless either.

And the movie is nihilistic only if you choose to ignore what’s being presented to you. As dark as BvS is, it still finds room for positive, life-affirming themes. Most of these themes are embodied by Superman, and I’ll get into that in the next round. This Round, let’s call it like it is. BvS 2, Criticman 1

 

ROUND 3 – CHARACTERISATION: SUPERMAN

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CRITICMAN: I call it bullshit, is what. Life-affirming, positive? Superman is little more than a smugly sociopathic deity. This guy doesn’t seem to have a decent bone in his body. Snyder outright ignores the values these superheroes always stood for.

ELECTROSHADOW: If you think the filmmakers don’t get Superman as a character you’re willfully misreading the film. At the end of “Man Of Steel”, Kal-El was closer to becoming the Superman we’re all familiar with. But that doesn’t mean he needs to stop evolving as a character, which is what BvS explores. This is a superhero who has not yet figured out the “hero” part entirely. He’s still unsure of himself, he’s still a work in progress, and he’s well aware of it. He’s clearly learned valuable lessons since the events of the last film and continues to learn in this film. For example, he now avoids collateral damage by quickly taking the fight away from populated areas. Is that not a sign of decency, of compassion, courage, and selflessness? All the values you say he lacks?

CRITICMAN: That’s a sign the filmmakers were back-pedaling on how negligent Superman was in the last film. Now they want to make it look like this newfound respect for innocent bystanders is a form of “character development”.


Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice


ELECTROSHADOW: First of all, it’s not newfound. Superman has always cared about human life, he was just overwhelmed in his battle with General Zod. The fact that he now has the presence of mind to take pre-emptive measures IS character development. What would you have them do, ignore the events of the last film? Then you’d be attacking Superman for having learned nothing. It’s a no-win situation with you.

Also, you’re just trolling when you label him a smug sociopath. A sociopath is a person with no understanding or regard for the feelings and well-being of others. Basically, someone with no conscience. Superman in this film is ALL conscience. While he has found his sense of purpose as mankind’s saviour, he’s still struggling to find a sense of belonging. It’s an interesting notion: God as an immigrant. Thanks to Luthor’s scheming, public opinion turns against Superman and he finds himself even more displaced. All he wants is to do the right thing, and to do right by his adopted homeworld, and yet circumstances keep testing that resolve until it reaches breaking point. That explains why Superman just disappears after the Senate bombing instead of coming forward to explain he wasn’t responsible. He believes he’s lost his place amongst men.

It takes a visit from his late father Jonathan Kent to remind him of what being a hero truly means. And it means that heroism can be a very thankless, lonely endeavour, often rewarded with blame or guilt, but that is the necessary sacrifice. As we know, in the end Superman makes the ultimate sacrifice. His journey towards the classic superhero archetype is completed by the end of this film. I don’t know about you, but that’s the inspiring Superman that I know and love.


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CRITICMAN: Well, speaking of soul-searching and whatnot — that is another major problem. None of this emo navel-gazing goes towards building his antagonism towards Batman. Superman has no real motivation.

ELECTROSHADOW: Wrong again. Snyder and Terrio wanted to make Superman a more sympathetic character here, which is why he gets all this exploration of human themes. More importantly, the filmmakers weren’t interested in just doing a straightforward beat-em-up. The “v” in the title is also about the differences between the two men on a philosophical and psychological level. Superman stands for hope, Batman stands for fear. Because that’s what both men grew up with, respectively. One is a testament to the power of parental love and guidance, the other the utter absence of it.

The so-called “emo navel-gazing” you accuse Superman of is precisely what keeps him grounded and pure of heart… and accounts for his distaste of Batman’s ways. As far as Supes is concerned, Batman is an extremist, just a step removed from men like Zod. Having learned his lesson the hard way with Zod, Superman feels it is essential to take pre-emptive measures to prevent this human vigilante from becoming an all-out monster. So there’s your motivation for Superman. BvS 3, Criticman 1

 

ROUND 4 – CHARACTERISATION: BATMAN

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CRITICMAN: When it comes to Batman, I won’t criticise his motivations, because I think for a change we can both agree that the film establishes them quite logically.

ELECTROSHADOW: Why, Criticman. Could you be in danger of turning into a reasonable man? Haha. You’re right though. From our first glimpse of Bruce Wayne rushing headlong into the Metropolis disaster (awesome sequence, btw) only to end up with a fellow orphan in his arms, we totally get why he’d hate Superman, or at least what he symbolises. It’s by design that this sequence comes immediately after the flashback scene of Bruce’s parents getting murdered by a robber. Snyder wants to reinforce how Bruce sees Superman: as an inhuman murderer. Even worse, an immensely powerful one. Since Batman has dedicated his life to stopping criminals, he sees it as his sworn duty to stop Superman.

CRITICMAN: No disagreement there. Now what I really hate is that this Batman kills. Batman doesn’t kill!

ELECTROSHADOW: Ah, back to the debate. Excellent. Yes, generally Batman’s code of honour means no guns, no killing. The thing is, that code has been broken before, both in the comics and the movies. This film is partly based on Frank Miller’s seminal graphic novel “The Dark Knight Returns”, and Batman’s a stone-cold killer there. In Tim Burton’s two “Batman” movies, he killed lots of people. So it’s not fair to single out Snyder’s version as a betrayal of the character.


Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice


CRITICMAN: You want to talk about betrayal, try this: Bruce Wayne, for all of his gadgetry and fighting prowess, is supposed to be an abstract thinker, beyond intelligent. The idea that he can be so easily manipulated or lack foresight is out of character.

ELECTROSHADOW: But you see, Batman isn’t thinking straight when it comes to Superman. His judgement is so clouded by prejudice and hatred, it doesn’t take a lot to manipulate someone in that state. Alfred notes how Bruce has changed for the worse since Superman came into the picture (in addition to all the bitterness he’s lived through in the last 20 years, including Robin’s death). Reprimanding him for his nasty new habit of branding criminals, he says: “That’s how it starts. The fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men cruel.” Alfred realises that Bruce’s rage partly stems from a feeling of impotence in the face of such a God-like figure. For all his brawn and brains, it amounts to an ant taking on an anteater. It really was quite easy for Luthor to push him over the edge. Besides, a massively pissed-off Batman is the most badass kind, and true enough this guy delivers. This is easily one of my favourite big screen iterations of the Caped Crusader. BvS 4, Criticman 1 

 

ROUND 5 – PERFORMANCES

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ELECTROSHADOW: Let me guess. Now you’re going to prattle on about Lex Luthor not having any motivation. Allow me to save you the trouble and address that upfront. Luthor, in a subtle parallel with Bruce Wayne, also suffers from feelings of inadequacy over Superman. He sees himself as the intellectual pinnacle of mankind, what with his genius-level IQ. And yet, it means nothing. So he’s insanely jealous of this God whom he feels is undeserving of all that power.

CRITICMAN: Yes, yes, I know. Luthor references Greek philosopher Epicurus in that if God is all good then he cannot be all-powerful, and if he is all-powerful he cannot be all good. So what? The character may have some half-baked reason to despise Superman. It’s the acting I take issue with. Jesse Eisenberg’s performance is pitched at an 11, and what’s meant to come off as anti-social instead plays as overly caffeinated.


Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice


ELECTROSHADOW: Throwing your ‘So what?’ back at you. Yeah, so what if Eisenberg goes over the top and all twitchy? The important thing is, does it work for the character? To answer that, you’ve gotta go back to what the intent is. The intent is to pitch Luthor as one of those endlessly entitled trust fund brats who’ve grown up warped by delusions of grandeur thanks to the over-inflated, hyper-sensitised cult of false stardom that only social media and 24-hour news networks can enable. Add a touch of textbook megalomania, some daddy issues, and that sounds exactly like the Lex of this film to me. To be fair, I can see why some would find Eisenberg’s performance irritating. It is a risky choice to write and play him that way, and while the risks don’t pay off entirely, Eisenberg certainly makes the role his own. Most crucially, he sells me on the character constantly fluttering back & forth over the fine line between genius and madness.

I’d say the problems regarding Luthor are more to do with how he’s written. Apart from the issue I mentioned in Round 1, some of his actions aren’t properly thought through. How was Luthor planning to control Doomsday after unleashing him? Say the creature succeeded in killing all the superheroes, what then? It’s not like it was going to just happily obey him after that.


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CRITICMAN: Yes, even more abject foolishness. Much like Snyder failing to coax anything resembling a decent performance out of Henry Cavill. What an uncharismatic, wooden, and sour Superman.

ELECTROSHADOW: I will say that Cavill frowns a tad too much here. It would’ve been nice to see his Clark smile just a wee bit more. That would’ve helped make him more likeable. Mind you, I’m not saying he is unlikeable. As explained in previous rounds, the character is troubled by a crisis of confidence. So he’s not going to be all sunshine and rainbows. It’s just that in the rare moments where we catch a glimpse of Cavill’s smile, it’s rather winning, and I suspect just a couple more of these would’ve helped even out the impression that he is one-note. Cavill is not one-note at all. There are subtle expressions he makes in quite a number of scenes that suggest a character processing a lot of complex feelings inside. Examples: the look on his face after the Senate bombing, his reaction when he finds out his mother’s been taken hostage, and his resigned yet tender “I love you” to Lois right before his final attack on Doomsday.


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You know, I think the real reason Cavill isn’t so impressive to you is that he is upstaged by Ben Affleck, and to a certain extent, Gal Gadot. It’s funny to look back on all the hate Batfleck received when his casting was first announced. Now, the praise for him is almost unanimous. I liked his casting then and I love his performance here. As Batman, he cuts an imposing figure and pulls off the physical stuff pretty well. As an older Bruce Wayne, he simply nails the burning anger and the deep-seated cynicism towards humanity and life in general. Affleck also has nice chemistry with Jeremy Irons, who once again shows he can make the most of any role, no matter how small.

Speaking of shining in small roles, Gadot is great as Wonder Woman. The character is used sparingly yet enough so that she feels crucial, and Gadot has an enticingly regal, mysterious air about her that keeps us wanting more. She has this lovely little moment where she’s brought down by Doomsday… and she breaks into a big smile. Like she’s having the time of her life! Snyder said that reaction was 100% Gadot’s choice. It’s very telling that the naysayers have stopped whining about her casting too.

As for the rest of the supporting cast, Amy Adams is fine, Laurence Fishburne is amusing, and Diane Lane is still my favourite Ma Kent. So apart from Eisenberg, the acting isn’t really an issue for this film. Don’t you agree, Criticman?

CRITICMAN: Sigh. Very well, then. BvS 5, Criticman 1 

 

ROUND 6 – CRAFT: ACTION, VISUALS, EFFECTS, MUSIC

BvS Rev16


ELECTROSHADOW: I don’t think we even need to get into this final round to determine a winner. But since you’ve dished out such a relentless pummelling on this film, now it’s time to return the favour.

CRITICMAN: You bastard.

ELECTROSHADOW: You’re welcome! Anyway. Say what you will about Snyder’s weaknesses as a storyteller, the guy is a talented visual craftsman. He does action like few other directors can. The fight scenes are a treat to watch, without having to rely on any gimmicks (eg: speed ramping). Snyder shoots in a clear, smooth style that allows the well-staged fight choreography to fully register. The titular showdown is terrific, the stuff action figure playtimes are made of, and I was surprised to see it end on such a decisive note. No cop-out draws here.

And although you might find the “Martha” moment too convenient, I think it’s a wonderfully simple yet emotionally resonant way of resolving the hostility. This discussion belongs in Round 4, but whatever. Throughout the film, we constantly hear Bruce dehumanising Superman (“You’re not brave. Men are brave.”). So when this supposedly inhuman alien ends up pleading not for his own life but for the life of his HUMAN mother — one with the same name as his — it finally jolts Bruce back to his senses. It’s beautiful.


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Snyder has a superb eye for design too, which is why Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman’s costumes all look fantastic. The Batmobile is a damn sight more appealing than Chris Nolan’s boxy version. The only design misstep is Doomsday, whose look is too derivative and just not very interesting. As for the CG, there are a few dodgy shots but by & large the effects are top notch. It’s also important to give due credit to the score. Hans Zimmer has been knocking it out of the park, and teamed up with Junkie XL here, they’ve created an aural landscape that is operatic and atmospheric in all the right ways.

CRITICMAN: Sounds suspiciously like your mind was made up about this film even before you went in.

ELECTROSHADOW: Look who’s talking. If anyone’s preset bias is showing, it’s yours. I went in with a healthy amount of concern. I came out of this feeling like I’d watched a highly compelling and re-watchable movie, albeit with its fair share of problems.

 

VERDICT

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ELECTROSHADOW: Look, the entire point of this review hasn’t been to prove that critics are idiots who don’t know anything. Technically, I’m considered a critic too so it would be counter-productive to slam critics. The fact is, when critical reception for a film is overwhelmingly negative, it is a valid sign that something’s indeed wrong. And I have pointed out the film’s flaws where necessary. “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” is both bloated and lean in the wrong places, with a middle portion that meanders and sags a little. Some of the acting is an acquired taste, and the way certain characters are presented is controversial.

At the same time, it’s obvious to me that much of the film’s content and themes have gone either unnoticed or misinterpreted by critics (and blind fanboys). Also, while the creative decision to go all “dark” has not gone down well with many people, it’s really a matter of personal preference. I personally like what the DC Cinematic Universe is doing, in terms of tone, characterisation, and visual style. A few directorial and writing blunders aside, the film is by no means “atrocious”, “meaningless”, “idiotic”, or “unwatchable”. Those are all hyperbolic reactions that call into question the real reason(s) behind them, be it prejudice towards Zack Snyder, a vested interest against DC, or just plain old-fashioned Expectation v Reality. Yes, critics are human too, and just as susceptible to frailties like these.

Final Result: BvS 6, Criticman 1

CRITICMAN: I’ve realised, all this bickering is pointless. Maybe we should work together instead of fighting.

ELECTROSHADOW: Sure. I’m putting together a team…

 

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Rating: 3.5/5 (6 votes cast)

22 comments

  1. Fran

    April 4, 2016 @ 9:00 am

    Finally someone with some sense. I also felt the movie had some flaws but overall I liked it alot! Critics are full of it some times. Your going to get a lot of hate from the fanboys too. There’s a guy in my work place who won’t shut up about how they got Superman wrong, I’ll show this to him so if you get an angry comment thats prolly him, my bad haha.

  2. Mr Eko

    April 4, 2016 @ 9:34 am

    This was a fun read! Don’t agree 100% with your points tho your arguments are v well reasoned out and mature, unlike the stupid rubbish that comes out from a lot of idiots I see online. Still think Lex is not the Lex from the comics at all but even if they were trying to do something new they failed. Jesse is just playing the Facebook guy again, but more crazy. Agree bout the action and visuals. Batman is awesome!!

  3. Caro Bento Yoyo

    April 4, 2016 @ 12:02 pm

    “You think that since the whole concept of superheroes is inherently childish, they should remain in the domain of children.” Wow, that is just perfectly phrased. People including critics simply don’t get that comics and comicbook movies have evolved. Not everything needs to be bright and cheery. I like Marvel movies just fine but isn’t it great to have some variety? Nolan’s and Snyder’s films offer exactly that. Also love love love your analysis of the Pa Kent dream sequence (it was a dream right??). I was struggling to make sense of it but your explanation somehow just did it.

    This is just one hell of an amazing analysis. I’ve seen some attempts to explain the meaning and messages but never this detailed or well broken-down. Kudos, guy (sorry if you’re a gal). You just won the Internet.

  4. Barkley

    April 4, 2016 @ 12:20 pm

    So is Criticman’s dialogue really from actual critic’s reviews or did you make it up just to prove your points?

    Hated the movie, sorry, your explanations don’t do anything to convince me. Critics are right. This movie is terrible. 29% on Rotten Tomatoes don’t lie. Agree with the rest who say review is well written though. I like the vs concept, it’s clever. Let’s agree to disagree on your opinions ok.

  5. Pacman

    April 4, 2016 @ 12:28 pm

    Well argued review. Liked ‘Batman v Superman’ and have no major gripes with it unlike ‘Age Of Ultron’, except for Henry Cavill’s performance. Have to give it to Criticman here. Cavill’s got to start developing more range otherwise his Supes is gonna be outshone again with more metahumans jostling for screen time in ‘Justice League’.

  6. Mr Eko

    April 4, 2016 @ 1:15 pm

    To Barkley, a quick Google shows some of Criticman’s dialogue comes from Movieweb, AVclub, Entertainment Weekly. So its real reviews mostly I think.

  7. Subculcha

    April 4, 2016 @ 4:53 pm

    Cool FAQ style review. Nice carry thru of the theme til the end. So are you forming a Justice League of Critics? LOL

    Some thoughts on stuff you didn’t cover…

    The significance of Flash’s message from the future: I think when Supes said to Batman ‘she was my world, and you took her from me’ that’s something they got from ‘Injustice’. He blames Bats for Lois’ death (though in the comics it was Joker), and could be a hint at a possible future for them all. So when Flash says, ‘Lois is the key to everything’ he must be warning Wayne to prevent her death.

    Some people complained that Lex couldn’t possibly know about Darkseid. They forget he had access to the Kryptonian archives. There’s a deleted scene just released online that shows Lex communing with a giant alien creature, which suddenly dematerializes when the SWAT team shows up to arrest Lex. Could be a hologram of Darkseid (though I hope not as the design is so weirdly different).

    As for what was Lex’s plan to control Doomsday, my theory is that he had none. At that point, he’s gone full retard (you never go full retard!) and all he’s thinking about is Superman’s destruction, everything else be damned.

    So that’s my 2 cents. Nice writing dude, keep it up!

  8. gwen10

    April 4, 2016 @ 8:05 pm

    @Pacman. I have to disagree about Cavill’s performance. He actually had small nuances that made me admire him as an actor, not just as a good-looking specimen of the male form. 😉

    In particular was the Capitol scene. When the bomb blew up around him, he his facial expression helped me understand better what that scene meant and what the repercussions were. He had this look that was a combination of defeat and realization: the knowledge that this was Lex’s intention all along, to discredit him and that he had fallen into this trap willingly.

    Then there was the moment when Lex revealed that he had Superman’s mother. There was a slight change in his facial expression, a shattering of his armour that showed how vulnerable he was with his mother in danger.

    It’s those small, meaningful moments that made me admire him as an actor in this film.

    @Wai: great job on this piece. I won’t call it a review, but more of an analysis. A great analysis at that. I don’t get the hate people have thrown at this film. Too many just want it to fail. Which is sad, because it’s a golden age of superhero movies… why would we want them not to succeed?

  9. PREsident JOnES

    April 5, 2016 @ 5:56 am

    DON’t maKE me LAUgh!! so-caLLEd “”ReVieW”” is ONe EPIC FAIL just like the mOViE is EPIC FAILUre to EnD ALL EPic FailuRES!!! i’LL shoW YoU HOW MuTHAS!

    1) SUPERMAN is Not””GoOD” or caring HE KILLS PEoPLE!!iN AFRiCA He KILLED the BLaCKGUY who HOSTAGed LOIS LaNE. WHat KIND ofHErO is THAT????? 2) ORIgIN STOrY for BRUce wayne AGAINN???? WTF COME ONe SERIOSLy LOL!! WHY DO WE NEED to see ANother oriGIn STORY for BRUCE wayne agaiN?!!!! DONT teLL me ITS all aBOUT “”TEmes nMEANINGS!””! ThatS a LAME WAY to JustiFY It!!!

    3) BATMAn IS the WORLD”s GREATEST DeTECTIVE COMEoNNN HE COULDnt tl LEX waS PLAYING HIM????WHAT KinD of DUMB BATMAN Do YOU CALL TAHt!!?? ThATS RIGHT NOT-BATMAN!!!!

    4) SUpERMAn COULD here LOIS FALLING OF aBUILding butcouldntHEAr MA Kent SCREAMINg FORHELP Getting kidnapED??? I KNOW WHY, BeCAUSe SCRIPT!!

    5) HOW DOEs Lex know ABOUT FLASH CYBORG, AQUAMAN adnwoNDER WOMAN????

    Not explaIND LIke AnythinG IN THIMOVIE!!!!

    6 LEX Is A genius AND supper confIDENT MAN NOTTHS STUTERRING WEIrdoe FB HIPSter BULSiHT Skinnyy nd week fool!!!!

    7) ENDING WAS SOOO STUPPID TDEATH OF SUPERMAN IS aCLASSIC SToryline from comICS AND THy mESSd it up totally man, TOO SOOn come ONNN!!!! A WHY SHOW THE DIRT MOVING YOURE just MESSING With US zac SYDER ypo BITCH!!!

    9 REView MY ASS THIS IS JUST SUCKng SnydeR”S DICK!!! WHAT A WASTE OF TIME READIG THIS AND WATCHING thMOVIe!! HAlOSER YOU BEEN PWNED, DROP MICk. BOOM!!!!!

  10. Barkley

    April 5, 2016 @ 1:10 pm

    @the moron above me… To quote Tarantino: English mutherf**ker, do you speak it?

    And wtf is wrong with your keyboard? Do you always type like that or are you just off your medication.

  11. Dashiell

    April 5, 2016 @ 3:03 pm

    I have a feeling “PREsident JOneS” is that guy from Fran’s work place.

  12. Dashiell

    April 5, 2016 @ 3:05 pm

    Oh, and excellent review. One of the few level-headed looks at this film I’ve come across.

  13. Julian Dellamorte

    April 5, 2016 @ 8:48 pm

    Like you I also gave the First act a lot of thought and came to the conclusion that everything from the North African scenes until the first Senate hearing can be removed. From the scene of Bruce witnessing the fall of Wayne Financial, cut straight to Senator Holly Hunter saying “Let the record show that this committee holds him responsible”. No more redundant repeating of Superman as a public danger,no more dumb mystery bullet subplot. Much cleaner storyline. Of course that’s just a small chunk of what could’ve and should’ve been fixed. Sadly I’m in the camp that thinks this movie’s an almighty mess. I got a mild headache trying to process everything the movie was throwing at me. It was too much. I think that’s why the reviews were so scathing. Critics abhor excess exposition in a visual storytelling medium like cinema. Having said that I also think critics went overboard. My feelings on the movie lie somewhere between Criticman and yours. There is a lot to appreciate here, I just don’t like having to be put through so much excess to enjoy the good stuff. Great piece of writing like your Deadpool review, Wai. Always a pleasure.

  14. casca

    April 5, 2016 @ 10:09 pm

    movie is awesome. who cares what critics say. i liked this even more than man of steel, and i liked that plenty. watching it again this weekend.

  15. Solasthi

    April 6, 2016 @ 3:54 am

    batman TERRRRBAIKKK. wonder women, perrrgghhhh…

  16. Wai

    April 6, 2016 @ 5:06 pm

    Thanks everyone for the comments. Even you weirdos.

    Fran: Actually, I suggest you do NOT show this review to your colleague, especially if he’s holding a sharp stick/pot of hot coffee/semi-automatic assault rifle. Safety first!

    Mr Eko: It’s easy to make the comparison between Lex and Mark Zuckerberg, since they were both played by the same actor. But I think in terms of personality Lex is closer to real-life douchebags like Martin Shkreli than the FB guy. Just Google “The most hated CEO in America”.

    Caro Bento Yoyo (love your nick!): Yes, I am a guy. And I like winning the Internet. As for the Pa Kent scene, I don’t see it as a “dream” per se. But as more of Clark recalling the time his father told him that story. It was probably just artistic license (and for dramatic effect) to not do it as a flashback but as a scene where his father is right in front of him.

    Barkley: As Mr Eko correctly pointed out, yes I did use verbatims from real reviews. Sorry you hated the movie. Maybe a 2nd viewing will sort you out. 😀

    Pacman: While I think Cavill is fine as Supes, you are right about the danger of him getting upstaged by other JL members. Especially Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, who, if “Game Of Thrones” is any indication, is going to be quite the dominating presence.

    Subculcha: Great points you raised. I’d say you’re absolutely right on all three. On the last point, Jesse Eisenberg revealed in an interview yesterday that his Lex is indeed a man who becomes more and more “unhinged” throughout the movie. So good call on that.

    gwen10: You’re right, this is indeed a Golden Age of Superhero Movies, and fans should be counting their blessings that we’re not getting REAL garbage like “Batman & Robin”, “Elektra”, or “Ghost Rider”.

    PREsident JOnES: Just so you know, I am going to make a T-shirt out of “DROP MICk. BOOM!!!!!” Stay awesome (and medicated), buddy!

    Dashiell: Are you a Hammett fan by any chance? Just curious. And thanks for the kind words.

    Julian Dellamorte: Excellent suggestion to improve the flow of the film. But not sure I agree that critics hated this film because of the excess exposition. I hardly saw reviews that mentioned this as a main problem. It probably did add to their disdain for it though. Also, as with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” I recommend watching BvS again. See if it improves for you.

    casca: I’m going for my 3rd viewing soon. 🙂

    Solasthi: biar betul!

  17. Marilyn

    April 8, 2016 @ 5:01 pm

    Oh! I didn’t understand half of what was going on in Batman Superman. So I came here to ask some questions and what did I find? Most of my questions already answered in your review! Plus some in the comments section. 😀 Thank you for this very thorough and well-researched write-up. It’s interesting how you tied up all the points into a debate format. I wasn’t quite sure what to think of the movie but now I think I appreciate it a bit better after reading this.

    Henry’s yummy as usual and Jeremy is still sexy for his age. Even Ben who I normally don’t care for was hot, mainly coz he’s playing an older, more mature guy.

    Didn’t like the monster battle at the end. Thought it was a bit silly but I was shocked that Superman died. I like your comments about his ultimate sacrifice, it did redeem him as a true-blue hero.

  18. Fenton

    April 11, 2016 @ 3:02 pm

    As much as I think president Jones is a retard (or troll), I wanna answer some of his comments. Superman didn’t kill the black guy in Africa. He said so in a later scene ‘I didn’t kill those people!’ So he may have knocked him thru a bric wall but I think Superman can control himself so that he cushioned the impact. Black guy prob got a couple of broken bones but he’s still alive.

    Then talking about how come Superman fails to hear his mom screaming, my theory is that he was still in d mountains somewhere, but that night when Lois got caught he was in town already.

  19. Kaleidoscopia

    April 17, 2016 @ 12:56 am

    Very well analyzed review. Good to see someone giving it back to critics who just have a chip on the shoulder for Snyder. As the review fairly says, the movie is flawed but it’s still great IMO. WW was the highlight of the show, Batman was bad ass to the bone, the death of Superman scene was lovingly handled.

  20. Wai

    April 17, 2016 @ 10:39 pm

    Fenton: I agree with your take on Superman not killing the guy. Thanks for chiming in!

    Kaleidoscopia: Thank you for the kind words. Sometimes, I do wonder if critics are just biased against Snyder and fail to give his films the due thought all other films deserve.

  21. Ghibli's Delivery Service

    April 21, 2016 @ 3:26 pm

    I’ve never heard of this blog or this writer (got directed here from another site) but man, this is good stuff. I am one of the rare people in my social circle who unabashedly loves Batman v Superman. I mean LOVES it. So it’s quite refreshing to read a review that gets this movie. I think BVS has to be one of the most underappreciated and misunderstood superhero films in history. Is it perfect? No. But it is also nowhere as flawed as it’s been made out to be.

    Very few filmmakers give superhero films the sense of the epic and iconic like Snyder does. Not the Russo bros, as good as Winter Soldier is, not Joss Whedon who is more preoccupied with squeezing in the next joke, not Nolan with his insistence on keeping everything grounded, and certainly not Bryan Singer with his mediocre TV-level visuals.

    Snyder is one of the few guys who can make superheroes look and feel truly mythic. He often says in interviews that superheroes are our modern mythology, and he puts his money where his mouth is. The experience of watching BVS was unlike anything I’ve ever seen from Marvel. And I mean that as a positive. As great as some MCU efforts are, they all feel a little factory-assembled and lacking in true directorial vision. This film is every inch its own being. The score alone singles it out from anything else out there.

    I know I’m talking about the surface stuff, but this review already wonderfully laid out the deeper stuff. Just wanted to add on.

  22. Wai

    April 23, 2016 @ 11:18 am

    Ghibli’s Delivery Service: Interesting observations there. I get what you’re saying about Snyder’s style capturing the mythic quality of the DC pantheon. And thanks for the vote of confidence. It’s sad that this film is so maligned. Some of it is earned, most of it isn’t.

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